26 Jan Fish processing
Taking Care of Your Catch
The first step in preparing your catch is to keep it cold, either at water temperature or below. If you are fishing with a guide and catch salmon or halibut, the guide will place the fish in a fish well on the boat that will keep the fish at water temperature until your trip is complete.
The second step in preparation is to fillet the fish with a suitably sharp knife. Again, when fishing with a guide, he or she will do this for you, usually placing the fish fillets into a plastic bag for you to transport to the local fish processor. If you plan to fillet your own fish, watch a few other people do it first, if possible. There are various methods to fillet a fish and some will yield a little more than others. When fishing with a guide on the river, it is customary for the guide to keep any eggs that he might find in your catch. The eggs are like gold to fishing guides as their livelihood depends on having an adequate supply of bait.
Just like on the river, when fishing for halibut, one of the crew will fillet the fish for you. However, they won’t cut out the halibut cheeks for you to take home unless you ask for them.
Now that you have a plastic bag full of filleted fish, what do you do with it? The third step in proper preparation is to have your fish cut into convenient meal sized portions, vacuum sealed and frozen for storage. We HIGHLY recommend using the services of a fish processor for best results. For a very reasonable fee, the processor will properly package, freeze and box your fish for transportation home. Fish processed and boxed by a professional will stay frozen for up to 36 hours, more than enough time to survive a flight home when you can place it into long term freezer storage. The fish processor can provide additional services of smoking your fish, making lox, or even canning. Allow extra time for these services.
The third step in proper preparation is to properly thaw frozen fish before cooking. Thawing the vacuum sealed fish is best done in the refrigerator overnight. However, if you are in a rush, you can place the vacuum sealed package of fish into a sink of cold (not hot) water for about 1 hour to thaw. After the fish has thawed, try one of our recipes!
Mark Glassmaker Fishing proundly reccomends Ed’s Kasilof Seafoods in Soldotna, Alaska for all fish processing needs.