Fresh fish is the best fish, and keeping it fresh on the water is easy if youfollow these steps.
Time Required: 30 minutes
- Take an ice chest with you large enough to hold at least 50 pounds of ice with half of it's volume remaining.
- Determine how long you plan to fish. Crushed ice will not last as long as block ice.
- Use crushed ice if you are fishing a half day or less. Use block ice if you are fishing more than a half day.
- With crushed ice, cover the fish with ice in the ice chest as you catch them.
- With block ice, chip off enough ice with an ice pick to cover the fish as you catch them.
- With a large thick fish, consider gutting the fish while on the water and getting ice into the stomach cavity. On a hot day, fish will spoil from the backbone out because the cold can't penetrate fast enough.
- If you have a long boat ride and drive home, consider taking a box of table salt along with you. Pour and mix the salt in the ice chest with the fish and melting ice. It has the same effect as salt in an ice cream churn and will keep the fish colder.
- If you have a large boat with a built in fish box, consider making a salt brine slush with 100 pounds of crushed ice and table salt. This brine will keep fish all day and will actually be act colder than plain ice.
- Contrary to popular belief, fresh fish will only stay fresh for 2 days, and then only if they are handled properly. After two days they must be eaten frozen.
- Strong flavored or oily fish like bluefish or the mackerel family will become even stronger unless they are kept very cold after being caught and eaten before freezing.