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Do you ice your catch ASAP or string em up?

Trebla

Member
May 19, 2016
10
4
8
36
Ontario ca
Hey guys, so yesterday I went out In search for some calico. Instead I ended up with about 6 nicely sized Opaleyes. I was probably in the water for about an hr. When I would catch one I would string it up right away on my buoy & search for my next catch. I forgot my knife at home so I didn't stab the brain to kill it of right away. Some some were still alive when I went back to shore too. When I got back to shore I threw them in my ice chest under ice went out for lunch real quick & headed home. When j got home I filleted what I can out of these boney fish &I made myself a sweet little ceviche meal for the following day. Anyways, my question is, how do you deal with your fish when you catch them? Do you ice it right away? Do you string it up still live? Do you string it up and stab the brain to kill your fish & leave it on the stringer? I would like to know so I can get the freshest taste possible. I would also like to know if you any of you wash your fish before gutting or wash you fillets. Sorry if these seem like stupid questions. I am still new to this &I I would like to eat what I catch as I work on my craft. Thanks in advance for any great advice given.
 
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Trebla

Trebla

Member
May 19, 2016
10
4
8
36
Ontario ca
OH!!! Here's what I made with my catch. I know it's not yellow tail or whit sea bass. But I'll get there one day!
 

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Andrew Fogarty

Active Member
May 17, 2016
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36
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Australia
Hi Trebla, the short answer is the sooner seafood is chilled to near zero the longer in onset and less damaging to texture and taste is the process of Rigamortis. This is when a dead fish go stiff. This happens because the muscle cell run out of energy and as relaxation is a metabolically active energetic process, the muscles cells all contract causing stiffness. This happens much faster and with more intensity when the flesh is at high temp. Early onset of Riga is what degrades quality and shortens shelf life. The microscopic tearing of tissue causes soft mushy flesh and the high metabolic activity of the cells bring on autolysis or self digestion due to enzymes within the cell which are released with cell damage.
Added to this if fish are filleted prior to Riga and stored, the mass contraction of cells cause more significant damage because the tissue is not supported by the skeleton. The classic "gape" or breakup of mussel myotomes (the sections of muscle held together by connective tissue) further reduces quality. I know how and where fish are speared often regulates how soon chilling can take place but water temp is maybe as significant. The way I do it is immediately brain kill (to reduce muscle activity and is more humane), bleed and place in an ice brine. I dive from a boat which is always close and don't keep fish in the water at all because of sharks. I leave the fish on ice for 24 to 48 hr's as L-lysene (an amino acid which gives a sweet taste) reaches a peak during this time due to the very early stages of cellular breakdown, a bit like hanging a beef or other game in the cold room to age and improve eating qualities. Then its time to fillet and store at less than 4 C for a week or snap freeze. Hope this helps your situation but you can only what you can do. Just remember ice cools when its melting so adding water to your ice is a big benefit to chilling and salt water brine cools to a lower temperature faster.
 
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