Care of these Epic BFT

Bigfattuna

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Just wondering why I don't see more people at least gill and gutting their fish after being bled out. Those organs get pretty damn hot after a long fight and are best taken out of the fish ASAP to help preserve that awesome meat these fish give out. Stuff those babies full of ice and bag em!
If they were going straight into a fish hold on a cattle boat it is a little different story.
Just a thought.
 
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nefarious235

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Because then they can't hang it for photos or weight it. My guess only
 
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fishboy93

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Some of the guys who care are cutting the gill plates and gills leaving them open and vented, and then gutting the fish before stuffing it with bags of ice and blue tarping or kill bagging them. Most guys leaving them whole either don't know or don't care and are just interested in the dock weight. Ike jime and gill/gut is the way to go if you really want nice meat. Just don't open the bags of ice otherwise the fresh water destroys the meat, simply stuff as many small bags in as you can fit
 
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nefarious235

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Just don't open the bags of ice otherwise the fresh water destroys the meat

The for market fish on "Wicked Tuna" are stuffed with I've, no bag.
 
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GrabBass1

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Now that I know how to care for the meat all I need to do is catch one! Gonna try tomorrow. Will have plenty of ice and will gill / gut and stuff with bags of ice as recommended (assuming I catch one that is...)
 
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Spoons

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SW slush is best if you don't have RSW but most small boats can't slush due to the excess amount of weight from the saltwater.

It's standard practice on my boat and every tuna and wahoo got down to 32 degrees within 10 mins of boating and spiking the last couple years.

I have a little bit of a commercial background so I tend to be a snob about the quality of my catch and the way I see it is, we all spend a fuck ton of money to make a trips/hobbies happen, might as well spend a little more and bring home Prime Grade A fish. My trips are so much more meaningful than hanging fish on a scale and bragging about it to strangers on the internet. If it's not getting sold commercially, I could give a fuck less what it weighs.

I do have to add though, bringing SD Socal saltwater down to 32 degrees requires quite a bit of ice!!
 
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cvjarrod

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Just wondering why I don't see more people at least gill and gutting their fish after being bled out. Those organs get pretty damn hot after a long fight and are best taken out of the fish ASAP to help preserve that awesome meat these fish give out. Stuff those babies full of ice and bag em!
If they were going straight into a fish hold on a cattle boat it is a little different story.
Just a thought.

Left them biting on Friday because two 24X72 kill bags and 180 lbs of ice (+ 20 lbs of dry ice) is only good for two of the 100+ bluefin.

Didn't gill and gut because we wanted to weigh them and took pics.

It ISN'T a different story for a cattle boat. Putting them into a kill bag full of ice is the same thing.

I've heard a report of a 100+ lb bluefin with ORANGE filets because they weren't iced properly.

I've been eating UNBELIEVABLY PURPLE filets for the last couple of months. These tuna crab stuffed bluefin are the BOMB!

Guys that don't have the capacity to immediately ice these fish down SHOULDN'T be fishing for them.

BTW, gilling and gutting them only decreases the weight by around 2-3% and we aren't catching 1,000 pounders that you can't get cold quickly by immersing in an ice bath. The tuna we've caught that were immediately gilled and gutted were the EXACT SAME QUALITY as the one's we didn't. Actually, the one's we didn't gill and gut were better because they were about 60% bigger.

I don't do any commercial fishing but I've had a MUCH HARDER JUDGE. First generation Japanese mother (RIP) would have kicked my ass for bringing home crappy sashimi.
 
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middleofnowhere

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Likely salt water ice though. If you make a salt water slush, your meat will be fine.


...Just don't open the bags of ice otherwise the fresh water destroys the meat, simply stuff as many small bags in as you can fit

The wicked tuna guys are using fresh water ice. Fresh water will not affect the meat through the gut cavity or the gills. However, not recommended to let water contact the meat directly (fillets).
 
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get some

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I don't have a kill bag so we've been processing our fish as soon as we catch them. Cut the head and tail off, gut them and pack a bag of ice in the cavity before stuffing the carcass into an insulated live well. Meat came out the best I've ever seen it. Even had a very particular Japanese friend of mine compliment us on the quality of the fish we gave him.
 
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MYNomad

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Fresh water will not affect the meat through the gut cavity or the gills. However, not recommended to let water contact the meat directly (fillets).

Agreed. That is why we don't cut off the heads, or cut the belly (only an anal removal incision) -- all the guts come out the gill plate. Now if only all of our gaff shots were better placed . . .
Even so, the other great benefit of saltwater ice is that it will get (and hold) the temperature below 20 degrees.
 
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Bigfattuna

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SW slush is best if you don't have RSW but most small boats can't slush due to the excess amount of weight from the saltwater.

It's standard practice on my boat and every tuna and wahoo got down to 32 degrees within 10 mins of boating and spiking the last couple years.

I have a little bit of a commercial background so I tend to be a snob about the quality of my catch and the way I see it is, we all spend a fuck ton of money to make a trips/hobbies happen, might as well spend a little more and bring home Prime Grade A fish. My trips are so much more meaningful than hanging fish on a scale and bragging about it to strangers on the internet. If it's not getting sold commercially, I could give a fuck less what it weighs.

I do have to add though, bringing SD Socal saltwater down to 32 degrees requires quite a bit of ice!!

Now that's what Im talking about!
 
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Auggie

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Are you guys adding salt to the slush ? Or just adding salt water to freshwater ice ?
We have been bleeding and packing in ice bags. But these so far have been small grade .
 
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Spoons

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Are you guys adding salt to the slush ? Or just adding salt water to freshwater ice ?
We have been bleeding and packing in ice bags. But these so far have been small grade .

Up in the sfbay, we have the luxury of having blown flake ice from the ice dock straight into the fish hold. So the trick is to preload the hold with a 1/4-1/3 full of saltwater and blow the ice in. You want it a little thicker than an ICEE consistency.

Down in SoCal we don't have blown ice options. So I've found the best solution is to get crushed ice in 50lb bags and I usually get 150-200lbs or more depending on how many coolers I'm bringing. I'll usually slush after the first catch by dumping saltwater into the cooler. Due to the warm water, don't dump more water than you need, you're just looking for a thick ICEE consistency.

I like to bring along a cheap aquarium thermometer from Walmart. Here's a shot with saltwater and regular ice.

8a8299632f0807e55d30b5bb9ab28133.jpg
 
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Spoons

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Agreed. That is why we don't cut off the heads, or cut the belly (only an anal removal incision) -- all the guts come out the gill plate. Now if only all of our gaff shots were better placed . . .
Even so, the other great benefit of saltwater ice is that it will get (and hold) the temperature below 20 degrees.

Agreed on the cuts and the incisions. Quality of the fish is greatly kept when removing the gills and guts thru gill plate.

But unless you have a refrigerated saltwater system it is very hard to get to 20° with just saltwater and ice. 32° is the norm with a good insulated hold which is right at freezing temp. The fish should be firm from rigamortis and the slush. And your hands should hurt when dipping into the slush.

Commercial salmon is good for 5 days in this slush temp. The longest I've kept my tuna is 3 days in 32° slush and it was prime grade.
 
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Auggie

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Up in the sfbay, we have the luxury of having blown flake ice from the ice dock straight into the fish hold. So the trick is to preload the hold with a 1/4-1/3 full of saltwater and blow the ice in. You want it a little thicker than an ICEE consistency.

Down in SoCal we don't have blown ice options. So I've found the best solution is to get crushed ice in 50lb bags and I usually get 150-200lbs or more depending on how many coolers I'm bringing. I'll usually slush after the first catch by dumping saltwater into the cooler. Due to the warm water, don't dump more water than you need, you're just looking for a thick ICEE consistency.

I like to bring along a cheap aquarium thermometer from Walmart. Here's a shot with saltwater and regular ice.

8a8299632f0807e55d30b5bb9ab28133.jpg
Thanks for the info Eric
 
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