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So you caught dinner.,what now? Coffin? Cooler? Live well?


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Lets just say you are out for the day fishing for kings, browns, steelies, etc. and plan to eat your catch when you get home or even freeze for later. At the launch I have seen guys pull their catch out of live wells, iced coolers and plain ole' coffin boxes like my boat has.

Once landed, some guys whack them with the bat first, others throw 'em in the box live.

What is your preference?

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I used a live well last year and all the fish were dead within 20 minutes. I think unless you have a massive live well with crazy aeration, then they are basically useless.

This year I am going to just kill them and put them in a cooler box on ice, if I'm planning to keep them.

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Eviscerate and take the gills out. Ice them on a bed of ice so the gurry does not taint the flesh.

Ideally the best is to freeze them in a tank of chilled seawater, dip them in a bath of fresh water and freeze them immediately. The ice formed from the water bath keeps the freezer burn away. Live wells are useless unless they are temperature controlled.

The commercial tugs on Lake Erie bed their perch on ice layered on every six inches in coolers that are pallet sized, covered and sealed. The processor cleans the perch and walleyes as soon as they hit the dock.

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Wow guys thanks! I had never heard anything about bleeding out the fish before, certainly glad I posted the question.

I did some research online, and also found some youtube videos on the subject as well.

Even if I can't or don't want to eat all of the fish caught, I give them away. I was surprised to learn last year that the survival rate of boated fish was very low, so I feel compelled to make sure they are not wasted.

Thanks again!

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