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how long keep fish on ice?

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  • how long keep fish on ice?

    I am wondering just how long you can keep fresh caught fish on ice.
    Salmon, halibut, sea bass. all the fish are bleed right away.
    I catch them, keep them in a cooler with water for 1-6 hrs while fishing. Water temp is around 50deg. ocean water I pump in/out of the cooler.
    I get them back to dock, clean, ice, then after they are cold vacuum seal.

    How long will vacuum sealed fish keep in an ice chest covered with ice?
    I have search the internet some and have not come up with a good answer

    What I do now is after a vacuum seal I put in a freezer that I have with me, but I run the freezer off an inverter/batteries and generator, sometimes add some dry ice if we catch alot of fish.


  • #2
    Re: how long keep fish on ice?

    Hey Elk buddy!
    Here is some good reading for ya..us I mean


    http://www.fao.org/wairdocs/tan/x5884e/x5884e01.htm
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    my resto thread here http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=304356

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    • #3
      Re: how long keep fish on ice?

      Cheapboat Kev: Good info.

      Ice and salt water in the cooler make a great brine while fishing and drops water temperture more so then just using ice. Sometimes I add more salt. Also when taking fish out of the brined water & ice your hand will feel the extreme cold and you will either stop for a minute or two or change hands taking the fish out.

      If fishing in fresh water get some Kosher salt and stir in the fresh water in the cooler. You can also use regular salt. Here we can buy it at the tackle shop in #50lb. sacks.

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      • #4
        Re: how long keep fish on ice?

        Originally posted by Fly Rod View Post
        Cheapboat Kev: Good info.

        Ice and salt water in the cooler make a great brine while fishing and drops water temperture more so then just using ice. Sometimes I add more salt. Also when taking fish out of the brined water & ice your hand will feel the extreme cold and you will either stop for a minute or two or change hands taking the fish out.

        If fishing in fresh water get some Kosher salt and stir in the fresh water in the cooler. You can also use regular salt. Here we can buy it at the tackle shop in #50lb. sacks.
        OMG!!! I agree with Fly Rod!!! What's this world coming to???

        I also brine my fish when keeping for more than just a couple of hours on ice.I use a coarse Ice Cream salt, it's cheap and it works well.

        I encase my fish in ice, some ice in the bottom of the cooler first, then the fish, and then ice on top of the fish and on the sides. Then I sprinkle 1 1/2-2 cups of the salt on top of the ice. The salt will melt the ice a little creating a brine that is also a preservative that drips down on the fish.

        Like Fly Rod said, the fish will be super cold (semi frozen) and keep very well like this.

        When keeping for longer than just overnight I will field dress my fish before the ice and brine. A slit around both gills, cut the little chin part that connect the belly to the mouth, then a slit from the vent all the way up the belly, grab the gills and pull gills and guts out in one pull. These fish will keep well for a couple of days of transport. There is also no question as to size, species, or number of fish if you're crossing and international border or just get stopped by a Warden.
        I consider overkill a job well done... plus a little extra.

        There's as many ways to do something as there is people to tell you how to do it... but not all of them are the right way.

        The drinking and debauchery will continue until morale improves... and maybe for a little while after.

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        • #5
          Re: how long keep fish on ice?

          I've fileted fish in the field, packed them in fresh water in zip lock bags, then bedded the bags in ice and salt in a cooler. They'll freeze solid and stay that way. Uses a lot of ice and salt, though.

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          • #6
            Re: how long keep fish on ice?

            We gut ours and throw them on ice. I have always froze mine in bags with fresh water. Some vacuum pack them also. We generally don't keep them that long if we do freeze them. Salt water and LOTS of ice works down here.
            As a side note. When tourist come down and the resturant advertises "fresh caught" grouper. Most of those fish have been gutted and on ice for weeks.

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            • #7
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              Re: how long keep fish on ice?

              the off shore comercial guys are off shore for weeks or longer and pack the catch as they go on ice. (think about the sword fishing fleet) i have often wondered if on ice that long is it still fresh enough to be safe to eat??? but all of the sword fish and tuna steaks i've ever bought seem to be fresh, and you know they wern't running out to the tuna/sword grounds spending close to a thousand bucks on fuel going out to run back after a few fish to drop them off to head back out to get more!

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