If you’re new to fishing like me, it’s essential to know how long you can keep your freshly caught fish in the fridge. After a successful fishing trip, I always end up asking myself “So what do I do with all the fish?”. There’s only one answer, clean them and put them in the fridge until I’m ready to serve them to my family. But sometimes, I leave them in for a little too long and they start to perish.
One thing you should be cautious of is how you handle the fish after it’s caught. It is prone to contamination, which makes it more perishable. Thus, the time spent from catching and serving the fish is critical. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, you should only keep seafood in the fridge for up to two days. Keep in mind that the quality of the fish deteriorates each day.
So how do I make sure that the fish stays fresh for the next 48 hours?
The process starts after catching the fish. Take the fish off the bait and kill it using the Iki Jime method. It is identified as the most humane way of killing fishes. All you must do is poke the fish above the eye with a clean pointed metal until it stops moving.
As soon as it dies, cut off its gills and let it bleed in ice water. When you dock and have access to a cleaning station, take the fish out the cooler and remove the innards. Rinse it with cold water and make sure there are no digestive enzymes left then bury it in ice while on the way home.
DO NOT just toss your catch in the fridge as soon as you get home. Prepare a bowl or a roasting pan. Then partially fill it with crushed ice or ice cubes.
Now you want to take the fish out of the cooler and rinse it again in cold water. Next, pat them down with a paper towel. Water makes bacteria spread faster which will make the fish spoil quicker.
After they’re wiped off, cover them individually with cling wrap. Then place the fish on the bowl or pan that you prepared. Make sure to file them in a single layer so they are not exposed to each other’s moisture.
Put crushed ice or ice cubes over the wrapped fishes, making sure they’re entirely covered with it. Tightly seal the container with cling wrap. Lastly, check the container from time to time and drain out the water and replace melted ice.
Another option is to completely freeze the freshly caught fish.
To do this, after rinsing and drying the fish, put them in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers. Make sure to remove as much air as possible to avoid freezer burns.
Remember to write the date that you put it on the freezer on the bag or on the container’s cover. Store in a freezer that is set to 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Consume within two weeks to get the best quality and nutrition.
Keeping your freshly caught fish in its top quality depends on how you process it from stream to table. It can be daunting at first, but nothing a little practice can’t fix. If you follow these steps, you can refrigerate your catch for two days or freeze it for up to two weeks without them spoiling. Leave us a comment down below which option you prefer! 😉