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Interesting article where Wisconsin is leading the way in allowing LMB to be kept in size classes below the typical keeper size. This allows harvest in public waters and helps with LMB culling. Over and over on the forum ponds especially in northern waters where there is insufficient warm water to allow for several BP spawns the LMB run out of food and stunt. It is then up to the pond owner to be the predator and it can be hard to get things in balance again.

All the lakes I have ever fished around me in MI have only skinny or stunted bass as the predominant LMB weight/length class. Usually BG are stunted too.

Enjoy this article. It suggests we are missing out on a tasty meal option. What a win-win if states encouraged keeping LMB in the 8-14" range and they became the new preferred fish filet or fish taco meat too!!

Keeping more LMB in WI

How do we get the State regulators to try this in our states?

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What? You dare suggest that people actually EAT a ditch pickle? Blasphemer!!! lol

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Little pickles ain’t too bad…..

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A young one out of cold water is actually not bad at all, pretty good eating, its the big ones that are lounging around in 80 degree water thru the summer that taste like shit.


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The article and reading on this forum leads one to understand that the taste is better if fish goes on ice rapidly and stays chilled till fillet time. Since most boats come with LIVE WELLS and not ice boxes, how do folks cart and store enough ice while fishing in the heat to achieve this rapid frosting of the fish and keep them cold?

Do they bop the fish on the head and put in a cooler whole?

We always put fish in the live well and cart them home live or at least partially live. I guess maybe the only point of the live well is at a competition where you need do a weigh in at the dock? Seems like few of us need live fish at the shore or on the way home so why don't they put built in coolers and ice makers in boats running on 12v power?

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Originally Posted by canyoncreek
Seems like few of us need live fish at the shore or on the way home so why don't they put built in coolers and ice makers in boats running on 12v power?

Ice makers and coolers are very power intensive. I don't think it would be possible to run off of 12V without an entire bank of batteries.

If you designed a propane freezer for a boat you might make a fortune!

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Originally Posted by canyoncreek
Do they bop the fish on the head and put in a cooler whole?


Yep, cut the gills and chuck em on ice. Makes a huge difference in the quality of the finished product.

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My cooler on the boat usually doesn't have room for fish till about two thirds of the way through the trip. smile
What I meant earlier was before you catch them, LMB spend a lot of time in warm water instead of traveling to deeper cooler holes like a BC or WE. but I do tend to try to cool them off quickly after filleting, any fish or any type of meat for that matter, theres something about gettin the body heat out of meat quickly that I prefer, always been fussy about. I got a friend that will go fishing and toss his fish in a cooler livewell thing and half of them will be stiff before he gets around to filleting them. that turns my stomach.


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Educate please on purpose and technique of 'cut the gills' I assume cutting a gill bleeds out the fish like cutting the jugular on a mammal? Do you do one side or both and how far do you cut through? Does gill plate have to get cut off? Time to research this on youtube!

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Originally Posted by canyoncreek
The article and reading on this forum leads one to understand that the taste is better if fish goes on ice rapidly and stays chilled till fillet time. Since most boats come with LIVE WELLS and not ice boxes, how do folks cart and store enough ice while fishing in the heat to achieve this rapid frosting of the fish and keep them cold?

Do they bop the fish on the head and put in a cooler whole?

We always put fish in the live well and cart them home live or at least partially live. I guess maybe the only point of the live well is at a competition where you need do a weigh in at the dock? Seems like few of us need live fish at the shore or on the way home so why don't they put built in coolers and ice makers in boats running on 12v power?

I'll just take a cooler, fill if almost full of ice, put some water so the ice can barely move and toss the fish alive into it. I want it to cool down.

Cutting the gills basically means cutting the bottom of the gills free from the body of the fish. If I bleed them, I do like the first fish except I don't bonk them.

[video:youtube]https://www.google.com/search?q=how...s-wiz#kpvalbx=_YcXpYp72LsaJptQPlpSB6AE18[/video]


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Good video esshup!

Is the insertion point to pith most gamefish roughly the same as they show for the salmon example in the video?

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Originally Posted by canyoncreek
The article and reading on this forum leads one to understand that the taste is better if fish goes on ice rapidly and stays chilled till fillet time. Since most boats come with LIVE WELLS and not ice boxes, how do folks cart and store enough ice while fishing in the heat to achieve this rapid frosting of the fish and keep them cold?

Just need a bigger boat or ice chest.

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Add salt and water to the ice and rapidly chill the fish so they are much better to eat

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Originally Posted by jludwig
Just need a bigger boat ...

Isn't that what they said on Jaws?

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I think I'm going to have to invest in a garage mounted ice maker too. I always wondered why people stopped at the gas station and bought several huge bags of ice. I guess they were all going fishing?

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Originally Posted by canyoncreek
I think I'm going to have to invest in a garage mounted ice maker too. I always wondered why people stopped at the gas station and bought several huge bags of ice. I guess they were all going fishing?
You can buy a lot of ice for what a ice maker cost unless you can get a good used one

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Originally Posted by Pat Williamson
Originally Posted by canyoncreek
I think I'm going to have to invest in a garage mounted ice maker too. I always wondered why people stopped at the gas station and bought several huge bags of ice. I guess they were all going fishing?
You can buy a lot of ice for what a ice maker cost unless you can get a good used one

Rod: yes the cut is the same for all the fish.

Talk to Lusk, he had an ice maker in his garage. I don't know where it ended up at though after he sold the place.

In AR I can buy block ice for $0.05/lb


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A handy trick I learned from saltwater fishing: Dry the filets with paper towels -- bacteria prefer a wet medium for growth. Place dry filets in plastic bags, then put in cooler with ice, some water, and road salt. This will keep filets super cold & dry. You can even put them (still in sealed bag) in fridge in a bowl with salt, ice when you get home.

Meat stays good for a LONG time without being frozen. I've eaten fish stored like this nine days after catching and they tasted just about as fresh as the day they were caught.

If freezing, Alaska Dept of Wildlife found that best was to put filet in a plastic bag with a small amount of water. This will freeze rapidly & hopefully coat fish overnight. Next morning, put in more water to form second layer of ice. A few drops of lemon juice can be added to the water if desired, but don't overdo it.

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Originally Posted by Pat Williamson
Add salt and water to the ice and rapidly chill the fish so they are much better to eat

Yes! I do know that too much rock salt in an ice chest will freeze your beers...

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Originally Posted by jludwig
Originally Posted by Pat Williamson
Add salt and water to the ice and rapidly chill the fish so they are much better to eat

Yes! I do know that too much rock salt in an ice chest will freeze your beers...
Using the brine and throw live fish in it will draw the fishes blood into the internal organs making the fish taste much better

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Pat, I have learned that during the warm months, fish taste better if you throw them into the ice cooler than if you drag them around on a stringer or even in a live well. Despite what I originally thought, sometimes they deteriorate less dead than alive.

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Originally Posted by anthropic
Pat, I have learned that during the warm months, fish taste better if you throw them into the ice cooler than if you drag them around on a stringer or even in a live well. Despite what I originally thought, sometimes they deteriorate less when dead than when alive.
That’s how they make sushi grade fish by quick cooling

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Originally Posted by Pat Williamson
Originally Posted by jludwig
Originally Posted by Pat Williamson
Add salt and water to the ice and rapidly chill the fish so they are much better to eat

Yes! I do know that too much rock salt in an ice chest will freeze your beers...
Using the brine and throw live fish in it will draw the fishes blood into the internal organs making the fish taste much better

That's what they did on the long range fishing boats that I'd hop on when I lived in So. Cal. We'd leave the dock and not come back for 3, 5, 10 days. They'd drop burlap bags full of salt in the hold, pump seawater in and turn the chillers on. The fish would be in the brine solution/brine slurry and would be froze stiff in a short amount of time. A 100# tuna would be froze in an hour or so. We'd have to thaw them out enough to cut them up when we got home, then package them for the freezer. Thaw them enough so they are barely pliable, but still have ice crystals in the flesh, fillet them, package them and they were almost as good as fresh fish.


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Rapid freezing is the key element.

Slow-growth ice crystals are typically very large, and can actually rupture cell walls.

Rapid-growth ice crystals are typically much smaller and far more numerous.


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