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So, we go perch fishing and have a live well in the back of the boat. We get back to the dock and throw the fish into a cooler and fill it with ice cubes. We get home, take the fish out of the back of the SUV and it's time to filet them. Most of the time they're still alive and my wife is talking to them saying something like, "stop it, it will be over in a few minutes." So, I look at the wife and said, "you know what's going to happen when you go to heaven?" She says, "what?" I said you'll be walking through the door and a large sheep head (fresh water drum) will be greeting you at the gate. As you walk in, you'll see a large cooler with ice and a big slab of wood and as you're lying in that large cooler, still alive, covered with ice some big perch will pull you out and as you're alive will decide that its time to filet the human." And I said to her, just remember, he'll say, "stop it, it will be over in a few minutes." And that's why I don't clean fish!
 

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Why not put them into the iced down cooler right out of the lake? Then, hopefully, they will all have died by the time you get them home(possible exception being the last couple to be caught? I do see you live fairly close to the lake though.) No harm, no foul. OR maybe (keeping them well iced), clean them later-even the next day. (I also hate cleaning "live(ly) fish.)
Why keep them alive in a live well? Live wells are for bass tournaments, or maybe walleye tournaments.IMO) "Culling" perhaps? Just put the ones you are happy with in the cooler, release the smaller ones, and be done with it. Also, water filled live wells adds much add'l weight to the boat requiring extra fuel for the engine to push it. Live wells on Erie boats are for "add'l.(precious!) dry storage space"!! Again, my opinion.
ps-Taking dead, smaller perch out of the livewell(or cooler) and replacing them with live, larger fish is technically illegal by the way.(Per the Wildlife officer in charge of reg. enforcement for Eastern L. Erie.) Not saying you do that, just tossing out there for the general population.
 

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Wasn't there a thread on here a while back about "bleeding" fish? Personally, I like the ice method. Gives me time to have some beverages and get everything ready for the cleaning. Plus I don't like cleaning live fish. Actually, I don't like cleaning fish but I got good at it because no-one else could or would ;););).
 

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Wasn't there a thread on here a while back about "bleeding" fish?
That's what I use my livewell for. Maybe I should call it a deadwell? I don't perch fish very often twice in the last ten years), but, I bleed everything else, including bluegill. I just use a pair of scissors, cut one gill, throw em in the livewell for about 10 minutes, then, into a cooler of ice. I used to clean them live, like I was taught as a kid, but IMO, bleeding makes the fish taste a little better, there's less mess when cleaning, and, they aren't alive.
 

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I also consider cleaning a lively fish dangerous. Imagine trying to keep a large walleye or any other fish still while wielding a filetting knife you could shave with!! Scary!!
 
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