Coolers?

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by cooper669, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. cooper669

    cooper669 Member

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    Damon
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    My wife and I are going on our first LR trip at the end of June, 8 day on the Indy. We live about 13 hours away and am driving. We will be having the fish processed there and need an idea of how much cooler space I might need to get our potential catch home. Thanks
     
  2. scotth

    scotth Newbie

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    Scott Horton
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    You will probably catch a lot of fish, maybe more than you really want. From my experience you should have two big coolers, like 120 qt or more, and figure out how to limit your catch to stay within those. You could easily net 100# of "table ready" fish each, a lot of fish and a big processing bill too but worth it if you like to eat premium fish. That would probably fit within the cooler capacity I recommend.
    I can see driving straight home with fresh-processed fish (make a reservation with the processor) but you must stage the fish into your freezer so it freezes as quickly as possible - probably over a couple of days depending on your freezer capacity. Otherwise spend the night and have it blast-frozen by the processor - you can hang out for the day in San Diego, not a bad deal - that's what I do for a 24 hr drive (with 10# of dry ice) and then I just load it in my freezer already frozen.
     
  3. hucklongfin

    hucklongfin Deep release specialist

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    MarkT
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    I take 2 100 qt coolers for my 10 days. I don’t need more than that and I’ve only filled them up once... with just Wahoo. I try to limit my take to a couple of YT and YFT plus as many ‘hoo as I can catch! I took grouper home in trash bags when my 2 100’s where full of ‘hoo. I kept no YFT or YT on that trip. I’ve given away all my cows and super cows!
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
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  4. surfgoose

    surfgoose active geezer

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    Gary
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    whichever has the longest bunk
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    Like Scott says, you are very likely to catch a lot of fish. At the processor, you can have them vacuum-seal portions of about a pound each of prime boneless fillets of whichever fish you want to keep for yourselves and to share back at home. If you will be driving home for the next two days, your fillet bags will be fine in your coolers with regular ice, no worries.

    You can release fish while on the boat if you wish, you don't have to gaff everything. You can hook and hand-off to another angler, and bring good karma upon the group. Even back at the dock, you can see who has a smaller fish pile and ask if they would like a fish. And at the processor, you can tell them how much you want to pay for and if there is extra, you can donate it and it finds a worthwhile home.

    And it is perfectly fine to ask the chefs on the Indy to cook for you a fresh dorado or wahoo if you wish. There is no better tasting fish than the one which you caught just a couple of hours ago! Just let the crew know so that they can take it to the galley instead of dropping it into the hold.

    Have a great trip! And keep notes and take some pictures, I'm looking forward to your report!
     
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  5. cooper669

    cooper669 Member

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    Thanks, we are staying the night that we return, in case there are any processing delays. Just want to make sure we have enough cooler space for our catch.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  6. cooper669

    cooper669 Member

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    Hope I have that problem...........
     
  7. caveman

    caveman Member

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    charles boyd
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    I take two 70's and a 120. On my spring 8 day I always keep three or four whole smaller yellowtail for a friend at home, and have always had room. My fall 10 day I have to keep track of my catch, especially if the bigger grade of yellowfin are around. Two years ago my chests were full and I still had a couple of tuna over 100lbs. to still process. (Guadalupe was good to me) Luckily, the processor had an old 120 in his upstairs storage. As it's your first long range, make sure you tell the processor how you want it done, ie: portion size, skin or no skin, collars, thicker bags, etc. (hint: save the yellowtail collars). Pick folks brains during the trip, you’ll pick up tons of good info.
    Have great trip, and post your thoughts after returning.
     
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  8. Brad I

    Brad I Common Sense Isn't Common Enough

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    I've learned over the years and developed the following rules of thumb:

    1 qt of cooler volume holds about 3/4# of frozen tuna fillets.

    For freezer space, another rule of thumb could be: 1 cubic foot holds 16-17# of frozen tuna fillets. 1 qt = .033 cubic feet.


    This is packaged, frozen, tuna. Packages were individually placed in coolers somewhat efficiently, not just dumped in. Flat fish (such as dorado) could probably be packed a bit tighter. Fresh fish could be packed tighter, but with added ice, you'd probably come out similar to the frozen. Larger containers held more per quart than did smaller containers, and the larger mass also helps the fish maintain cool temperatures better.

    FWIW, I also strongly believe that its best to let the processor blast freeze the fish whenever possible.

    Have a great trip.
     
  9. back-breaker

    back-breaker Member

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    Jim Simondet
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    Have you called a processor to get on the list for same day? I they are all good and I recommend reserving the one that gets you out the door fastest.
     
  10. cooper669

    cooper669 Member

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    I haven't. Sounds like I should though.
     
  11. RichG

    RichG Well-Known "Member"

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    I agree with all that is posted. Definitely make a reservation. You will catch fish!. The only unknown is how much. I suggest you make a limit that you want to process and take home. I am not sure how much a cooler will hold, but others do. Then at the end of each fishing day you can estimate what you have. Also if you know you have more than enough, as suggested you can donate to other anglers, the crew, or for a meal or even some charity. The processors usually have someone.

    More importantly, you need to watch your gear. Make sure you put you rods, reel and tackle in your motel room. Unfortunately there are always someone who wants your stuff. If you have an open pick up, put the coolers in the cab, while you are fishing.

    Have fun. Welcome to our addiction. Oh and keep asking questions.
     
  12. cooper669

    cooper669 Member

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    I just made reservations with the processor. Thanks all
     
  13. stephen campbell

    stephen campbell aka "Soup"

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    Stephen Campbell
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    We live about 6 hours away. We are in our 70s and are a bit wooped buy the time a long range trip is unloaded. We stay the night, wash all our gear in the shower and rest up. 4 times now we have had 5 Star process, freeze and have ready the next AM. The ,dry or wet, ice plant is a block w of 5 Star. Next morning our fish is smookin' frozen, 5# of dry ice per big cooler and we are off. I think the flash freeze at the plant is way better than most home freezers can do and with the dry ice (paper between the ice and fish, on top) when ya get home there is no rush to unpack it.
     
  14. AKSalmon

    AKSalmon I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    I never take home all the fish I catch. It's expensive to process and ship it to Alaska so as much as I've tuna and wahoo and yellowtail, I have to limit myself. What I do is this: I tag all my fish and then pick the ones that have survived the trip back in the best shape, and give away the rest. That was especially important on my last trip: We had three days of Victory at Sea wind and waves and quite a few fish got pretty banged up. For example, my biggest tuna had a run in with a wahoo in the RSW and had a wahoo head size hole in the side.
     
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  15. Olddog8

    Olddog8 Well-Known "Member"

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    As many people have pointed out, you will be much happier with the quality of your fish and how long it remains good for dinner if you have the processor freeze your fish.

    Their freezers can freeze your fish in hours compared to days at home. I once tried freezing mine at home and some of the fish towards the middle of the stacks were not frozen solid after 3 days.

    My brother-in Law lives 8 hours away and his fish is always still frozen solid when he gets home.
     
  16. cooper669

    cooper669 Member

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    I just made contact with the processor. It will be processed, frozen and ready for pickup the following morning. I appreciate all the input.
     
  17. Yellowtail Dan

    Yellowtail Dan I've posted enough I should edit this section

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  18. chamackO

    chamackO Well-Known "Member"

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    Perfect. Bring as many big coolers as you can; if you need more just grab another at costco or walmart.
     
  19. back-breaker

    back-breaker Member

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    Jim Simondet
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    FWIW I live 12 hours from sd and my strategy has always been get out of sd by mid am with same day 1 pound bags. I use the 150 quart iced coolers then freeze them the following day in my large freezer. I also generally fish late fall or winter so I’m returning to a cold environment. My fish has always freezes quick and results in quality meat.
     
  20. hucklongfin

    hucklongfin Deep release specialist

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    MarkT
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    Hopefully you’ll need another cooler or two!
     
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