View Full Version : Bleeding !them,vs

07-26-2017, 08:16 AM
I've been reading a bit on proper care of fish prior to eating,mostly the act of bleeding the fish.I fish from a kayak,and toss my fish directly into a cooler of ice when I catch them.
I often fish daylight till dark,of course all the fish have expired by the time I arrive home.Whats everyone's thoughts on clipping the gills then icing them,vs just icing them,vs a bait basket to keep them alive at least while on the water?
I have lots of idle time right now,so I'm using it to rethink my strategy until I can get back on the water,thanks.

07-26-2017, 08:21 AM
This time of year, I ice them as soon as I catch them. The cold slows down their motabolism which restricts the blood flow and keeps the blood out of the meat.

When tournament fishing this time of year (walleye) we have to keep them alive. Obviously, the livewell is the way to go but, we keep the water as cool as possible by tossing in frozen 20oz soda bottles when needed. I also pull the plug and cycle the water out regularly.

I've never gilled a fish on purpose in my life. Whether it was running salmon charters, fishing for walleyes, or crappies, perch etc. The key this time of year is to decide right away if you want to keep them (on an all day trip). If so, send them in the ice.

A trick I learned from another member of crappie dot com: He is an offshore fisherman (does it for a living). He actually mixes his ice with salt. Almost like an ice bath with water. For whatever reason, the salt and the ice keep the water colder and the ice lasts longer.

07-26-2017, 09:25 AM
When I use to wade for trout on mountain streams, we always gilled & gutted trout as soon as landed. Then we'd put them in a wet fabric creel lined with wet stream moss. This kept the meat really cool and fresh all day while fishing. Always tasted great. We only CPR these days, but if I were to keep some crappie to eat, I would definitely put them on ice immediately after catching, unless you have a good livewell.

The most important thing to consider is to treat fish like you would a carton of milk. That mind set will tell you all you need to know.

07-26-2017, 11:19 AM
Awesome advice!


07-26-2017, 06:15 PM
Straight onto the ice is the way to go for most fish in both fresh and saltwater. We only routinely bleed larger saltwater fish like tuna, mackerel and sharks for the table where the taste of iron or urea is an issue. When we're crappie fishing in our kayaks we keep a small cooler in the rear tankwell filled with ice and some saltwater to create a slurry. It cools the fish faster vs straight ice. Tried the fish basket but it created too much drag on one side while paddling.

07-26-2017, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the imput,I believe I will try the salt and ice in the cooler trick.

07-26-2017, 09:51 PM
Thanks for the imput,I believe I will try the salt and ice in the cooler trick.

When it's hot as hades like it is now the trick is to add enough clean water to the cooler to make a slurry of sorts that the fish will submerge into. The brine solution chills the fish faster and maintains the best quality-no it doesn't alter the taste of the meat even overnight. When I pull the yak out of the water I make sure the fish are submerged and pull the drain plug. This removes the liquid and encases the fish tightly with ice for the ride home and lightens the cooler for lifting into the truck. I learned this on long offshore trips to maintain top fish quality in the oppressive heat throughout the day. Try to keep the color closed as much as possible-seems silly to say but it'll kill your ice life quick.

07-26-2017, 10:26 PM
Thanks for the imput,I believe I will try the salt and ice in the cooler trick.
if you use salt with the ice ; rock salt works best and you can use to get your beer or whatever beverage you drink real cold too !!!

07-27-2017, 07:41 AM
All sound advice, I don't see a need to bleed crappie they are very mild anyway. We only bleed fish that are strong in taste. Also I try to keep fish in the cooler months when they taste better and release them in the hot summer months whenever possible.

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07-27-2017, 08:57 AM
Dutch, it might have been you that I learned that ice/saltwater slurry mix from! What a game changer and you explained the reason why perfectly! Unlike straight ice, the slurry allows the fish to be submerged.

07-27-2017, 08:02 PM
How much salt do you use?