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Care and Preservation of Your Catch

Care and Preservation of Your Catch Care and Preservation of Your Catch

FISH!! How many times when this word is spoken, the housewife shudders and screams, "It smells up the whole house when I cook it!"

Just like any other food, fish must be treated properly to ensure its fresh taste and smell.

Many fishermen destroy this right after the fish is caught. There are procedures that we must follow to preserve the quality of this nutritious food source.

The largest mistake is that fish are not cooled immediately after they are caught. Always have plenty of ice in the cooler. One 8 lb. Bag is not enough for a 48-quart cooler. There should be enough ice to completely cover all the fish you have caught. Never keep fish on a stringer after they have died. Leaving a dead fish on a stringer in 70 degree water does nothing to keep it fresh.

Excessive blood can taint the meat. Cutting the gills and tail is recommended, especially on salmon and trout.

After filleting or cleaning your fish, you should remove the skin, and any fatty tissue. Cut out the dark areas along the lateral line, and then rinse the fish in cold clean water several times until all the blood and oils are removed. Soaking the filets in salt water (1/2 cup of salt to a gallon water) an hour or so before freezing will help draw out excess blood.

Fish is delicate, so be very careful to wrap fish tightly so to prevent freezerburn. Freezing in water is the best method. You can use freezer bags, but I prefer using empty milk cartons. Milk cartons won't tear or leak, pack better in the freezer, and it's easy to write the date and contents on the container bottom.

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pegleg13 | Posted: June 17, 2004

Good article. Most folks know they should put their fish on ice, but rarely have enough. You can never have enough ice with you. If you try to save a buck or two by skimping on ice, you can ruin the whole day's (or week's) catch for everyone!