How do you handle your catch???

Just wanted to know how everyone handles the fish they catch.  I'm talking about the ones you are taking home with you.  Want to know if you bleed them, fillet them, ice them on the boat/shore etc etc.  And then how you sort them out when you get home ie fillet, skin, freeze etc?

Thought it would be interesting to see how different fishers sort there catch???


I fish for the future - Cause I can't bloody catch anything!

alfred's picture

Posts: 3097

Date Joined: 12/01/07

Ikijimi and bleed, some fish

Sat, 2010-02-13 08:19

Ikijimi and bleed, some fish I will gut.  All go on ice.

Posts: 809

Date Joined: 01/05/09

well whats sort of fish are

Sat, 2010-02-13 08:24

well whats sort of fish are u talking about? muscley fish usuaully need to be bled, like herring, skippy, salmon, sambos, tailor etc. most demersal scale fish are also bled by most people but i find it doesnt really chage their tase but u can do it anyway. squid i just pul thier heads and guts out the moment its of the hook. with the ice part when on boat icing is a good idea for all fish but on shore u can just put them into a bucket of water and keep them alive(unless a musclely fish) till u want to kell them. smaller fish u can just gill and gut so  just loosen the gills and cut open the organ section and pull on the gills and all of it should come out. then just take of the head. biggers fish or really nice tasting fish u can just fillet. with the skinning there is not much point with some fish. the skin usaully cooks of or u can just pull it of once it is cooked. most  sharks though u need to skin, take of their head, tail fins, and organs almost instantly. Most fish freeze well apart from the really quick growing fish like dolphin fish and never freeze then defrost and then freeze again. hope this helps

deepwater's picture

Posts: 1921

Date Joined: 09/05/07

ikijimi as soon as the fish

Sat, 2010-02-13 08:29

ikijimi as soon as the fish hits the boat pull the hooks out so it doest bit you ,bleed the fish and straight in ice water ,get home take the fish out of the icey water and fillet the fish ,the fish is still cold after you filleted it and either cook and eat or pack and freeze


Lucky Tim's picture

Posts: 2536

Date Joined: 28/11/07

KG whiting- into a bucket

Sat, 2010-02-13 08:46

KG whiting- into a bucket then I use a scaling bag to scale them then into a ice slurry.
Other demersals usually I just iki jimi then into ice slurry. Later in the day I might gill and gut then back into ice slurry.
Pelagics- mackies, tuna, dollies etc I iki jimi, then bleed, gill and gut then rinse and into ice slurry.
Squid I just strangle and into a bucket of sea water or a catch bag hanging over the side if they are inky. Once I've finished squidding I normally pull up into the shallows and stand in waist deep water and clean the squid on the transom step. I normally take a few glad bags out and put tubes in one, tenticles in another etc depending on what I want to eat and what's bait and burley. Then into the esky.

carnarvonite's picture

Posts: 8338

Date Joined: 24/07/07


Sat, 2010-02-13 08:56

Any fish I want to keep gets spiked and straight in to an ice slurry.
On arriving home it comes out of the slurry and is iced down untill next day to allow it to set properly.Once filletted it is put in packs of four and wrapped with cling wrap x 2 to prevent freezer burn.

wazzbat's picture

Posts: 977

Date Joined: 19/01/10

"Iced down"?  Are you

Sat, 2010-02-13 09:04

"Iced down"?  Are you saying you put more ice on it when you get home and leave it overnight before filleting?  Do you tip the old ice out first.  Do you make a new slurry?



I fish for the future - Cause I can't bloody catch anything!

carnarvonite's picture

Posts: 8338

Date Joined: 24/07/07


Sat, 2010-02-13 09:18

Empty the ice box completely and ice the fish down with fresh ice and leave the bung out so they are not swimming in soup.
I've got a spare chest freezer so I make all my ice in 2 litre containers so ice is not a worry.

wazzbat's picture

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Date Joined: 19/01/10

Ice - Where From?

Sat, 2010-02-13 09:06

Looks like ice slurry is the prefered method.  Where does everyone get there ice from.  It can get rather expensive buying it buy the bags everytime you go out.  Do you put any block ice in the esky or do you make your own blocks and crush it up before you head out?  What's the best way to do it?


I fish for the future - Cause I can't bloody catch anything!

wazzbat's picture

Posts: 977

Date Joined: 19/01/10


Sat, 2010-02-13 09:12

Spike - I just googled and found this :

Or just in case the link doesn't work :

Processing your catch

To obtain the best quality of product, fish should be processed immediately after capture or as soon as possible. If they are not processed immediately, they should be kept cool using ice, ice water or brine in a wet bag, or at least in the shade, protected from direct sunlight.

To ensure high quality, it is advisable to bleed or spike and bleed fish as soon as they are removed from the trap or from the seawater bin. Effective bleeding will reduce discoloration of the flesh, the start of spoilage and bruising. It can be done by cutting the gill rakers or a main artery. While fish are being bled, they can be either held in seawater contained in plastic bins in the shade or immersed in an ice slurry. The use of an ice slurry is the preferred method.

The best slurry can be made from four parts of freshwater ice mixed with one part of fresh seawater. Slurries should be maintained as close to freezing (0°C) as possible, but not below, as partial freezing will occur and bleeding will not be as effective.

It has been found that partial freezing (between -1°C and

-6°C) will encourage spoilage. This makes it important not to add salt to the slurry, as this will make it freeze. Tests have shown that excessive soak time in the slurry will cause bleaching of the skin, especially in red fish, and cloudiness of the eyes. In tropical areas, if you bleed your catch in an ice slurry, fish of less that 1 kg should be processed within one hour of being placed in the slurry. Fish larger than 3 kg can be left for up to two hours.

Spiking, or iki-jime, will kill the fish instantly and prevent the stress conditions that occur when the fish is left to die in the normal way. There are two main iki-jime methods: from the top of the head or through the gill cover (Figure 64). The first method is used for most medium-sized fish where a sharp spike is driven into the brain from the right side of the head. The position of spiking is diagonal and about 2 cm behind the eye. Smaller fish can be spiked through the gill opening with a sharp knife (Figure 64). This will both spike and bleed the fish. The aim of both methods is to destroy the hind brain of the fish, which is the part of the brain controlling movement. Another iki-jime method is to open a hole to the spinal cord of the fish and pass a stiff nylon fibre down the cord.

Spiking can significantly decrease spoilage if combined with rapid chilling. Spiking is only effective if the fish is alive when it is carried out.

If your market requires gilled and gutted fish, these operations should be carried out as soon as possible after bleeding. All gills, internal organs, gut contents, air bladders and the blood line along the backbone (equivalent to the kidney) should be removed completely. Care should be taken not to cut or damage the inside skin of the gut cavity or to spill gut contents on to any cut surfaces, as this will make the fish spoil more rapidly. A stiff brush or a high-pressure spray can be used to remove the blood line. All excess slime and blood should then be washed from the fish. If necessary, the fish should be placed in a clean ice slurry for a short time to make up for any rise in temperature during processing.

A similar washing and icing method should be used when your market wants good-quality whole fish. Care should be taken not to mark or injure the fish during the washing and cleaning process.

Scales are not usually removed from gutted or whole fish, unless the market requires their removal.


I fish for the future - Cause I can't bloody catch anything!

grayzeee's picture

Posts: 2283

Date Joined: 09/07/09

spike gill/bleed everything

Sat, 2010-02-13 09:13

spike gill/bleed everything then ice seawater slurry


If I spent half as long fishing , as I do reading this bloody forum , I'd be twice the fisherman I am. 

Posts: 6

Date Joined: 02/02/10


Sat, 2010-02-13 09:20

G'day Bat,

When i go out with Buddha, we freeze ice cream containers and marg tubs. Take a hammer and if [thats a really big if], if we start catching some we break the ice up. What are you expecting to catch something are you?

wazzbat's picture

Posts: 977

Date Joined: 19/01/10

Shit yeah!

Sat, 2010-02-13 09:23

Thought maybe I might catch something one day.  You're gonna show me how aren't ya?


I fish for the future - Cause I can't bloody catch anything!

Lucky Tim's picture

Posts: 2536

Date Joined: 28/11/07

back in SA I used to buy

Sat, 2010-02-13 09:34

back in SA I used to buy saltwater flake ice for my slurry. It actually "refreezes" itself in the esky and lasts ages. Way better than servo party ice. You might have to go to a fish shop to get some but it's still cheaper than the $5 a bag the servo will charge.
Otherwise we'd just freeze saltwater in icecream containers and break it up with a hammer when we were fishing.
And like John does, we often left our fish overnight with fresh ice and filleted the next day, especially with KG whiting. They go so firm and with a sharp knife are a dream to fillet.

Posts: 75

Date Joined: 16/09/09

Catch em, put em on

Sat, 2010-02-13 14:39

Catch em, put em on ice,




Sharks,  tuna, Tailor , Markrel Bleed then on ice,



Squid and cuttle fish Clead and gutted then on ice.





* In a Tropical Ice Box




Posts: 9358

Date Joined: 21/02/08

Spike, bleed, slurry then

Sat, 2010-02-13 16:18

Spike, bleed, slurry then ice. Just learnt about the under the wing stab on Tuna with Feral and that really helps.


Faulkner Family's picture

Posts: 17183

Date Joined: 11/03/08

jimi. bleed out in a tub,

Sat, 2010-02-13 22:48

jimi. bleed out in a tub, rince blood off , onto ice . once home i fillet all fish and anything from kg's and bigger i will skin then bag up for fridge to then distribute to family and friends , keeping enough for at least one good meal. but definately reccomend jimi, bleed then ice. dont gut while in the slurry as any open cavities can allow germs to gut in and ruin the flesh, i know you jimi amd bleed but they are only small nicks as compared to full removal of guts and gills


RUSS and SANDY. A family that fishes together stays together