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Thomas Bennett
(DavidMakalaster) - F
Help me keep my fish fresh. on 10/08/2009 11:10:37 MDT Print View

2-3 times a week I go out to my favorite surf fishing spot. This spot requires a 4 mile walk on the beach. I pack up a modified old climbing pack, walk down there, and spend a few hours before coming back. The best among us occasionally kill a nice fish trying to retrieve it and I can't stand wasting fish. I'm experimenting with different strategies for bringing them back fresh. I use a nifty floating ring I made with a big mesh bag and a pool noodle for my livewell so I can keep the fish till I decide which ones to keep. That works AWESOME. On Sunday I caught a trophy spanish mackerel (yes it was from the beach) and killed the thing getting the hook out. Incidentally, I'm done with treble hooks. They are just WAY overkill. Basically I want a way to freeze fish in that situation and for the walk back so I don't waste any good fish. I just want the lightest, most compact solution for freezing the fish out there. My immediate thoughts were reusable chemical cold packs and some home made soft cooler. I could even setup the cooler so the insulation foam could double as a beach seat. BUT I, obviously, want the lightest, most simple, and compact solution possible. I usually bring back between 40lbs and 100lbs of redfish, specks, white trout, pompano, sheepshead, spanish mackerel, flounder, etc. and 2 or 3 cold packs just won't cut it.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Help me keep my fish fresh. on 10/08/2009 12:25:45 MDT Print View

Google "fish cooler bags" there are a number of things you might be looking for.

Thomas Bennett
(DavidMakalaster) - F
ice on 10/09/2009 18:22:06 MDT Print View

The container isn't the problem here. It's the ice that's the problem. I want some magic solution that gives me the cooling capacity of 20lbs of ice in something that weighs a pound or 2.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: ice on 10/09/2009 19:26:28 MDT Print View

So how many pounds of fish do you need to freeze?
40# to 100#? Or just a couple of big fish?

Jeff Patrick
(callmeammo) - F

Locale: Sacramento
longshot on 10/20/2009 23:35:57 MDT Print View

just throwing this out there without any facts to back it up but what about using dry ice?
You could line your pack with a space blanket emergency bivy, put the dry ice at the bottom then the fish on top wrapped in foil?

David Spaedt
(alwaysone) - F
40 - 100 # of fish? on 10/24/2009 23:15:26 MDT Print View

Did you make a typo?

First of all, how do you carry out 40 - 100 pounds of fish?
Secondly, to freeze 40 - 100 pounds of fish you're going to need a LOT of energy and I'll say it can't be done with a "carry-in" solution. I'm sure someone will make me look silly and give a link to a solution.

Also, your post makes it appear as if you're 100% C-N-R but "occasionaly" you lose a fish. 40 - 100 # s. Those are some big fish. And what's the live well for?

I could care less if you keep every fish you catch or let every fish you catch go but your post is kind of conflicting.

Finally, the best way to keep fish fresh in this situation is to bleed them out in the water. The biggest thing working against freshness is once a fish dies the blood will begin to degrade the flavor of the meat. The best way to bleed the fish out is to make a small cut on each gil about 10 minutes before you plan to leave. It works best when the fish is alive and they will just pump out all the blood, however it works on a dead fish as well. Keeping the fish in the water until leaving will help as well. Then wrap the fish in a thin sheet of wet newspaper. The newspaper works as a bit of a cooler. As the water evaporates off the newspaper it helps keep the fish cool. Placed in a heavy duty ruck type sack with some ice packs and they should be fine until you can get them on ice back at your vehicle (have a large cooler with ice waiting). A four mile walk should only be about 1 1/2 hours.

I really don't see a need to "freeze" them.

Edited by alwaysone on 10/24/2009 23:24:51 MDT.

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
Dry ice on 10/25/2009 00:31:03 MDT Print View

Seems like the closest solution.