Two Men Gutting Fish On A Boat

CARING FOR YOUR CATCH: 5 EASY STEPS TO KEEP FISH FRESH

After patiently waiting for hours and tirelessly wrestling with your soon-to-be dinner, you’ve finally managed to do it – you’ve caught a fish. However, the work doesn’t end there. Baiting and reeling in your fish is only half the work. If you want to keep your food fresh, caring for your catch is the way to go. Here are five easy steps you can follow as a guide.

REMOVING THE HOOK

You didn’t realise that reeling in your catch was going to be as hard as it was. Fish tend to fight for their lives, so you’re always in for a workout when you try to pull them in. But, your hard work has paid off – you’ve got it right in your hands.

The first thing you must do is remove the hook from its jaw. Some anglers find this easy, but others have a more challenging time. If you’re one of the latter, a good tip is to flip the fish over and rub its belly. This can calm it down long enough for you to take the hook out with ease.

GIVE IT A GOOD THUMP

If you thought that was the end of the fish’s fighting spirit, think again. Fish can still flop around long after you’ve caught them. This flopping action can bruise the meat inside, which isn’t ideal for a dinner meal. So, what are you supposed to do?

It may sound silly, but giving the fish a nice and solid thump at the back of its head can help lessen the energetic movement. While it may not entirely stop the flopping, slightly bruised meat is better than totally bruised meat.

LET IT BLEED

You may find it hard to think about, but caring for your catch means letting it bleed out. To do this, you must first remove the gills of the fish. After that, you must cut the chin as well as at the base of the tail. Prepare yourself for this step as the blood tends to gush out. It’s ideal that you allow it to bleed in water.

GUTTING THE FISH

The next step in caring for your catch is to take out its insides. If you don’t do this as soon as possible, you risk letting it spoil. Gutting can be somewhat graphic, so make sure you’re not squeamish.

You can proceed with gutting the fish by cutting from the belly to the gills. With its innards exposed, make sure you remove them all. Place these entrails into a separate bucket that you’ve prepared explicitly for this purpose. Then, rinse the insides with clean water.

STORE IN ICE

You don’t need to be a genius to know that freshly caught fish must be kept in cold temperatures to avoid spoilage. That’s why anglers are advised to bring coolers with ice in them. Don’t forget to stuff the insides of the fish with ice as well. Additionally, make sure the fish don’t remain at the bottom of your cooler where all the melted ice is located.

When you get back to your house, take out your fish and store them in the freezer. After all, cold fish are easier to fillet because the meat becomes firm, giving you nice and clean cuts.

Overall, caring for your catch isn’t all that difficult. All it takes is some willpower and a good amount of effort. Keep these easy steps in mind the next time you go out fishing for food. They’re easy to follow and ensures you the best possible results. Get the most out of your fish by following my tips for a better tasting fish.

 


 

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Jackson Williams
jacksonw@dinga.com.au

Jackson Williams has been fishing around Australia for 20 years and loves his home region of far north Queensland.