Part of the joys of fishing is being able to bring home what you caught. Whether it’s Alaskan salmon or halibut, you need to store your fish properly if you want it to last. Here are some tips you can use in order to keep your recently caught fish fresh for as long as possible.
Filet and clean the fish immediately
After reeling in your first fish, the first step you want to take is to filet and clean it. This involves removing the gills and internal organs, then cleaning it with fresh water. Cleaning a fish is relatively simple, but fileting it can be daunting for beginners. If you’ve never fileted a fish before, watch this video to help get you started.
There’s a reason we put food into our freezer. It’s because ice preserves food, allowing you to eat it several weeks or months in advance. After fileting and cleaning, place the fish in a cooler filled with ice. Use crushed ice over blocks if you can, and make sure the ice completely surrounds and covers the fish. A good rule of thumb is to use about four pounds of crushed ice for every two pounds of fish.
Keep the drain open
No matter how air-tight your cooler is, it’s likely your ice will begin to melt. When this happens, keep the drain of your cooler opened so that your fish isn’t sitting in lukewarm water. Then, replace any melted ice with new ice to ensure the fish stays cool.