Monday, December 1, 2008

Keep Your Catch From the Lake Fresh For Your Plate

You can't get much better than a meal of freshly caught fish. They are flavorful and tender. But they can also spoil easily! The fish can start to die and spoil before you get them home.

The first thing to consider is how the fish are treated after they are caught. You need to keep the fish alive and in good shape until you clean it. Live wells are the best way to do this and the fish can stay in great shape until they are processed.

A bucket with holes in it or a basket will work as well if you don't have a live well. Either of these containers would be a good bet to keep the fish alive and breathing until you take them from the lake. The main thing is to try to keep the fish alive as long as you can before cleaning.

When you leave the lake transfer your catch to a cooler to keep the fish on ice to lessen the chance of spoilage. Keep a little water in it to transfer the cold to the fish faster. The fish will then be in great shape when you get them home to clean.

One thing you can do is use a large metal bowl with water, ice and some salt to put the cleaned fillets in. This will keep the fish fresh and in good shape until they are cooked.

Then fillet all fish. Start with a cut along the spine and go along the length of the spine to the tail. Flip the fillet over and repeat the procedure along the skin and you will have some nice fillets to eat. Put the fillets into the lightly salted water until you are ready to begin the cooking process.

Proper care and preparation will bring you great results when you are handling your catch. If you can't cook the fish right away you should freeze them for storage. They now have vacuum lock bags that remove the air from the bag before freezing. These are wonderful and do a great job of keeping them from getting freezer burn.

Another good thing to do to keep them fresh is to freeze them in water. You can use paper milk cartons and they are easy to stack. You can also use freezer bags with a little water as well.

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