BWCA Keeping fish for a later meal? Boundary Waters BWCA Food and Recipes
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      Keeping fish for a later meal?     

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luckydog
member (15)member
  
04/24/2014 09:35AM  
So, once you've caught the fish I'd like some advice on how long (and how) to keep them. If you catch fish in the morning to eaten at dinner, must they be cleaned immediately? Likewise for fish caught in the late evening to be eaten for breakfast the next day. I've seen photos of whole fish hanging from a tree on the stringer. How long can they be on the bone? Other than keeping them from bears and turtles, how do you address this issue?

Thanks!
 
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schweady
distinguished member(8091)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
04/24/2014 10:19AM  
Clean as soon as possible after deciding to keep. If you have a way of keeping the fillets cool, great. Otherwise, eat. Otherwise, release. (Oops, decide this first...)

Left on a stringer in the lake all day is not a good option. They will either be rotten. or turtle food. or both.

Photos of strung fish hanging in a tree were (hopefully) just for the photo opp.
 
rupprider
distinguished member(646)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/24/2014 01:26PM  
If it's warm and I don't plan on eating them within a couple of hours I wouldn't keep them. Would you leave fish on the counter at home for hours? You can risk leaving them submerged in deeper water away from camp and hope they don't rot, or get eaten. But you will be risking the chance of wasting the fish.

 
OBX2Kayak
distinguished member(4401)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
04/24/2014 01:46PM  
I practice "eat or release."
 
Jackfish
Moderator
distinguished member(7895)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
04/24/2014 02:12PM  
Eat them for lunch, then go catch some more for dinner.
 
BearDown
distinguished member(754)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/24/2014 02:56PM  
We've found that walleye keep very well if given enough line. We tie a 6 foot leader to a 12 foot line and have kept them for 2 days no problem. However we only keep one at a time, which I'm sure helps.

For lake trout we do the same thing, and they will stay alive for a few hours, enough to keep them fresh till dinner, but not any longer.
 
PompousPilot1
distinguished member(1122)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/24/2014 03:03PM  
quote Jackfish: "Eat them for lunch, then go catch some more for dinner."


It's not that easy ;-)
 
luckydog
member (15)member
  
04/24/2014 03:23PM  
I appreciate the replies. Certainly I would never waste any fish or risk the chance of wasting. That's why I asked. I like the 'eat and go catch more' option and hope I can work that out!

Thanks!
 
caribouluvr
distinguished member(631)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/25/2014 08:25AM  
I've thought about bringing some instant cold packs to keep fish for a couple of hours. Has anyone done that?
 
neutroner
distinguished member (420)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/25/2014 06:12PM  
I have had good luck with salt brine, in a lidded pot covered with a wet towel. Maybe it was luck, but I have had no problems using that method. This method came from my uncle who says it was how he brought fish back in the old days.
 
crazyjmk
member (15)member
  
04/26/2014 12:31AM  
We used to carry a pan fish basket and keep a couple in there for future meals when base camping or not moving hard. Would put in 10 feet or so of water, with a rock in the bottom and a small float at the top. Worked well.

J
 
analyzer
distinguished member(2194)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
05/01/2014 12:03AM  
I have read guys talk about putting a wet paper towel on the filets. The evaporation keeps them cool.

I don't know why you couldn't filet them, put them in a leechlocker, and sink them in deep water.

If you put them on a stringer, add a long rope so they can get deep. You're about 20% likely to lose them to a snapping turtle though.

I basecamp with a cooler, so it's easy for me. I filet them, put em in a zip lock and stick em in the cooler.

Whenever possible we try to eat them after that fishing session. If that's not practical we release them. Yeah, you might not catch any next session, but there's always spaghetti, or pb and J's.
 
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