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scugpg

How to get the best tasting fish to bring home

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I occasionally like to keep the odd walleye or perch and was wondering the best way to get them tasting best. I usually keep them in the livewell and drain out and bring them home but I realize this gets the meat "red" when they stress out etc.

 

Would it be best to just use a cooler (or the in the dry livewell) and put them on ice? I read about bleeding them out as well; wasn't sure the best option to do this.

 

Or maybe get a couple of jugs of ice and keep them in ice water in the livewell? (this might be better for bleeding out and flushing the livewell with fresh water?

 

What do you think would be best?

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A quick dispatch and throw them on ice 'til you get home. Livewell is useless for that unless it only has ice in it.

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A quick dispatch and throw them on ice 'til you get home. Livewell is useless for that unless it only has ice in it.

 

Roy what's a dispatch (neck?) I figured using some big jugs of ice in the livewell w/water once they are departed would keep them as good as just ice.

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Dispatch means to end his days. Why must you use water? If you could not clean your fish as soon as you got home would you leave it in water?

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Dispatch means to end his days. Why must you use water? If you could not clean your fish as soon as you got home would you leave it in water?

 

I know what you mean; but instead of buying crushed ice and throwing in cooler or dry livewell you could use frozen jugs & water to keep them cold instead?

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That's what we do. Instead of buying ice. We freeze a few juice jugs with water, and toss them in a cooler.

 

Seems to work just fine.

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I bled walleye for the first time during a walleye trip a week ago. After catching and dispatching each walleye, I bled it for 20 minutes in a 5 gallon plastic pail half full of lake water. Then the walleye went into my cooler on ice until I got back to camp.

 

My observations

 

The eventual filleting process is definitely a lot less messy and the fillets are much whiter. We were unable to discern any noticeable taste difference with walleye not bled from the other boat.

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I usually cut the gill them and cut them then throw the on ice or as you said the ice blocks will work but gillin them an gutting them wont allow them to go bad as fast and to bleed them out you can cut where the gill come together on the bottom.

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Thanks for the responses guys. To save space I'd like to use my livewell as a cooler, so I'll get some jugs and freeze em up!

 

Any suggestions for strong durable jugs that can be frozen over and over?

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Just go get a couple of the milk jugs they are big enough for the ice block to last a long time and the plastic is pretty strong.

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Any plastic container as long as they're not completely full.

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I like the freezer pacs with the blue goo in them in my cooler, find they really do last longer than ice. All fish for the table go in a big cooler. Got a nice live well, the bench for the old centre console is a big aluminum welded box with a lift up lid/seat and livewell plumbing. Never had a fish in it, plugs in the hull at the inlet and outlet and the well is full of Plano boxes of spoons and other gear.

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Depending on the water temp I will sometimes use my live well with lake water if I know I am not going to be out for long but if I am going out to catch fish for the table I prefer Roy's method. Dispatch quickly, pack on ice. After cleaning I also soak my fillets in a bit of salted water in the fridge over night then pack them in fresh water and freeze them. Never get freezer burn and when you do take them out of the freezer to use, they taste just the same a fresh caught.

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