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Cleaning your fish the next day

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Old 02-16-2013, 09:51 PM   #1
cfioritto
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Default Cleaning your fish the next day

How do you keep your fish overnight when you were out fishing all day and don't feel like cleaning them when you get home? Do you pull the gills, gut them, keep them on ice or something else?
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:05 PM   #2
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Keep them on ice

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Old 02-16-2013, 10:26 PM   #3
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I don't clean fish. My wife does it. We ice the fish up and when we get home she's responsible for cleaning them.

Been married for 30 years - it's just how you train them.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:42 PM   #4
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If you don't clean and freeze them immediately, why keep them?
They'll wind up tasting like the fish you buy at the store.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfioritto View Post
How do you keep your fish overnight when you were out fishing all day and don't feel like cleaning them when you get home? Do you pull the gills, gut them, keep them on ice or something else?
pack WELL on ice, if using a cooler make sure it has a drain and plug is open...nothing worse than slimy fish laying in water!
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:08 PM   #6
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If you gut them, then there is no need to freeze them overnight, just keep them cool.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:04 AM   #7
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I like to pack them whole in a Cooler full of ice.. I do not Gut them. It is important to drain off the melted ice water. Fresh Fish in a Market is considered fresh for up to 3 days after it is caught - if it is packed in ice for the 3 days.

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Old 02-17-2013, 12:09 AM   #8
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Ice'em down good
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:19 AM   #9
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I like to pack them in ice in a Cooler. It is important to drain off the melted ice water. Fresh Fish in a Market is considered fresh for up to 3 days after it is caught - if it is packed in ice for the 3 days.
Very seldom do I clean my fish the same day I catch them except during the Spring bite, but I do bleed all my fish immediately then ice them on the boat.
We do our best to have the fish covered with ice and not just laying on top of the ice. I have supports made from flower flats in the bottom of the cooler to keep the fish out of the slime water.
When I get home I add ice to completely cover the fish with around three inches of ice, leave the cooler outside with the drain plug open. The fish are firm and clean the next day and easy to clean. No need to gut and or gil them when cared for this way. You will also have less mess and a very white fillet by bleeding the fish when caught.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:30 AM   #10
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Keep ours on ice all day. We dont do any thing else till fish are done. Three day old fresh fish is why we dont buy it. When i say fresh i mean it. If i cant hold up long enough to clean them. Ill fish less time. My fish are freezing in less then 12 hours or so.

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Old 02-17-2013, 02:28 AM   #11
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+1,, Shortdrift.... Keep them out of the cooler water!!-Keep them,,cold-ice cold,,Bleed them when caught,,I recommend,, that for Eyes,,over 3lbs,,for sure!! Pan fish,,Ice & out of cooler water!! The fish will keep a good 2 days this way.. You can use the eyes of your fish to be sure of quality,,by the clarity of them...They should be clear as glass,,when they are fresh!! If there is any cloud in them,,they will be getting past their best,,for sure.... ----->>>>>sonar<<<<<-----
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:24 PM   #12
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Shortdrift do you bleed them by just cutting the gills and do you let them bleed out in the lake water or in the cooler? For years I've made my color like a live well and pulled the fish out alive when I got home and wacked them on their heads then cleaned them.. It's been a pain, especially after 12 beers and 20 crappies still left to clean
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:34 PM   #13
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I usually just hit them over the head and stick them in the freezer over night.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berliner View Post
Shortdrift do you bleed them by just cutting the gills and do you let them bleed out in the lake water or in the cooler? For years I've made my color like a live well and pulled the fish out alive when I got home and wacked them on their heads then cleaned them.. It's been a pain, especially after 12 beers and 20 crappies still left to clean
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I normally bleed them into my livewell, they will be bled out and lifeless in a few minutes. You can also use a large bucket but be sure to point them headfirst into the bucket as the blood will squirt out if you cut them correctly.
I use a heavy duty pair of sissors and cut through the place where the gills are joined to the jaw. You will see a inverted "v" at that joining point. Cutting at this point severs the main artery the same as cutting the throat of a live animal.
You can cut the gills but,IMO this subjects the fish to a much slower death and does not bleed out as completely.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shortdrift View Post
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I normally bleed them into my livewell, they will be bled out and lifeless in a few minutes. You can also use a large bucket but be sure to point them headfirst into the bucket as the blood will squirt out if you cut them correctly.
I use a heavy duty pair of sissors and cut through the place where the gills are joined to the jaw. You will see a inverted "v" at that joining point. Cutting at this point severs the main artery the same as cutting the throat of a live animal.
You can cut the gills but,IMO this subjects the fish to a much slower death and does not bleed out as completely.
Good tip! I've suffered through some marathon sessions with a fillet knife in my hand, when all I wanted to do was have a beer and then go to bed!

Here's another tip. As others have mentioned, if you're keeping the fish in a cooler overnight, make sure you have plenty of ice underneath the fish and plenty on top as well. You basically want the fish "encased" in ice. And, if you can, fill the cooler to the top. Coming back from a trip to Canada I, and my buddy, had a limit apiece of nice sized Walleye. So, we go to the ice house to pack the cooler. Put down a nice thick layer on the bottom and put my fish in as I'd be the last one getting home, another layer of ice, then my buddy's fish, then a top layer of ice. But there was still room in the cooler. The outfitter happened by and told us to fill the cooler to the top with ice. So, OK, we did. On the drive back we stopped for gas and bite to eat and figured we should drain the cooler. We pulled it out, popped the plug, and hardly any water came out! We checked the cooler and found it still chock full of ice, and it was still chock full of ice when we got home to Ohio. And this trip was from Quebec to Ohio, in the 3rd week of June with the temps in the 80's! We figured that maybe these coolers work more efficiently when completely full. Less room for warm air to intrude. Plus, all that ice got the inside of that box really cold!

Considering what we spend in time, effort and money to catch fish, ice is really pretty cheap!
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