I remember when I was younger, I spent a summer with cousins in Florida. They introduced me to fishing, and I was hooked. After summer, I returned to our home in Georgia and got my friends interested in fishing, too. A friend’s older brother joined us, and he was the captain of our small boat. I caught a sturgeon, impressive enough in size, and I was so excited to go home to show it to my parents. Except that we didn’t go home right away; the others had yet to catch their own prize so it was like 5 hours later when I finally made it to our house. You can pretty much guess who stinky the fish was then. That experience got me so disheartened that I gave up fishing for a long while.
Until recently. My new passion now is sport fishing out in the sea. Part of the lesson that was imparted to me when I was starting is the need and the absolute importance of keeping the fish fresh until cooking time. I had to learn the hard way, but I am glad I now know better. Here are a few pointers:
- Fishes rot faster than meat if it is not preserved after catching;
- Keep the fish alive until cooking time. This gives the freshest results, but this would require a special container;
- One method to keep it alive is to put it on a stringer on the water. It will go along with your boat, but chances are, it will swim away;
- If you choose to put the fish in a bucket, place an aerator in it for its oxygen;
- Another special container is a mesh basket of sorts, with a secure clasp. You can put the fish in there and submerge the whole thing in the water;
- Another option is to keep the fish alive in ice, like an ice cooler. The rule is to have 4 lbs of ice for every 2 lbs of fish. Don’t use ice cubes. Use crushed ice or flaked. Some fishermen suggest mixing ice with salt water to retain the taste of the fish. Once in a while, check on the cooler and if there is much water, drain it and put in new ice;
- While in ice, don’t lay the fish flat. Let it stand like it was swimming;
- If there are several fishes in one cooler, give some space in between them;
- The last option is to kill the fish. And do it fast. If the fish thrashes around, it can get bruised and believe me, it affects its taste. Same thing if the fish is left to die outside water;
- After killing, remove the whole head, and clean the abdomen by gutting it out. Then fill the stomach cavity with ice, and put the fish in the cooler filled with ice;
- Final, here is a very simple way but extremely effective to keep the fish fresh longer: that is I always try to bring in every fishing trip the best vacuum sealer for fish like foodsaver v3240 vertical model or Foodsaver Gamesaver Deluxe model to vacuum seal my fish after killing. The result is that I always have fresh fish to cook.
With my fresh fish, I would give my family the most wonderful dinners with sous vide cooking methods. I prefer to cook sous vide salmon. The modern cooking method require that you need to have an efficient working vacuum sealer with liquids. This is a key factor to help you get the perfect results for your family. How to select your best sous vide vacuum sealer? Get your answer at https://vacuumsealeradviser.com/best-vacuum-sealer-for-sous-vide.
I know the task does not sound so appetizing. The good news is if you are hiring a charter boat, there crew are most likely knowledgeable on how to clean the fish. Or should you choose to keep it alive, they would most likely have ice coolers or the mesh basket for the job.
All you have to do is to prepare your stomach for some filling meal.