Getting your fish home?

Discussion in 'San Diego Long Range fishing Reports' started by tingo777, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. tingo777

    tingo777 Newbie

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    Hi folks,

    Another neophyte question here. For those of you that fly in/out to SD for your LR trips, how do you get your fish home? I will be going on my first LR trip in September, 8 days on the Excel. I have made a reservation with a processor, but am starting to try and wrap my brain around getting that processed fish back to Montana.

    If there are preexisting threads on this, my apologies. I searched and did not see, so am posting.

    I have no idea what to expect in terms of lbs that I might end up with at the end of such a trip. Not really interested in judging the success/failure of any fishing venture in terms of lbs put in the freezer, but rather the enjoyment of the experience as a whole. Still tho, a friend asked me the other day what I was going to do if I ended up catching a lot of fish on this trip, and I opened and closed my mouth a couple times before realizing I didn't have an answer for him.

    I think I will be flying Delta, which, if I book first class, allows 2 70 lbs pieces of luggage. Processor told me their large boxes will hold 60 lbs of frozen fish. So that would account for 120 lbs. Assuming I ship tackle+gear and only take a carry on, would this be sufficent, or should I be looking at air cargo or something?

    Delta says their additional baggage costs are $150 for third bag, $200 per bag for bags 4-10.

    Anyway, these are the facts I have been able to gather at the moment. Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. albacore11

    albacore11 Member Intrepid 200# Club

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    I have never had to deal with this issue myself, but I have to think all the major processors are quite familiar with this. I do know several people that use 5 Star and have their fish air freighted home, not as part of their luggage. Nice to have your catch well frozen prior to shipping.......resulting in a much better product.
     
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  3. canyonman

    canyonman Well-Known "Member"

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    Most processors will ship your fish home next day air.
     
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  4. Fishybuzz

    Fishybuzz fishybuzz

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    I live in Arizona and have been having my fish air freighted to me for the past 12 years....I use 5 Star fish processing I usually have them ship it a week or two after my trip that way the fish is frozen at their facility and I can rearrange freezers to accommodate the amount I am having processed.....really easy, the 5 Star office will inform you the day before what flight they will be sending your fish on ...... air freight calls you to let you know when your fish has arrived ....you go down pay the freight bill and it is done........I have NEVER had fish not arrive rock hard and in perfect condition.....largest shipment was 320# in 6 boxes.....
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  5. surfgoose

    surfgoose active geezer

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    X2 what Fishybuzz said. I send fish as gift boxes to family members who live in various states who have asked for some fish, and 5 Star has made it happen flawlessly.

    I also let them keep the fish for several days so that the boxes are rock-hard. The vacuum-sealed fillets thaw out perfectly as they are brought out even a year later.
     
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  6. Rodless_Jim

    Rodless_Jim I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    If your fish is frozen and ready to go (usually not the next day), you can pack some of it in a soft-sided lunchbox, pack THAT in your checked baggage, and just fly home. I bring fish back to Mexico City that way pretty much every time I visit San Diego.
     
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  7. RichG

    RichG Well-Known "Member"

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    Agree with all of the above. I’ve heard of guys waiting to taking fresh processed fish home and then have to put it in the freezer. I do not recommend doing this. The processors, at least 5 Star, has a much better freezer and if you wait one day and fly home the should still be frozen. Better yet, have them ship it to you a week or two later, the they are rock hard.

    5 Star usually send me tracking numbers, so I can follow the flight information. Sometime the Airline calls me but not always. If you are going to air freight, like on Delta, while you are at the Bozeman Airport, get there local air fright number. Save you trying to go through there central operator. Also check which airline has the best schedule from San Diego. You would prefer the least connection and wait between flights.

    How much fish you process and ship it up to you. With my simple math (this is not actual but ball park) I figure processed weight is about 50% of catch weight. So 60# of processed filets is about 120 pounds of fish. On an 8 day trip it’s possible to catch over 500 pounds. And that’s a lot of filets. So figure out ahead how much you want to bring home.

    So I suggest you set a limit for yourself. The excess you can donate to the boat for a meal, the crew, another passenger, or some charity. The processors have arrangements with local charities.

    Welcome to our addiction, keep asking question and plan to have a great time on the Big X.

    PS I usually tell 5 Star the flight I want. If you leave it to the airlines who knows what they decide.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
  8. mogambosquid

    mogambosquid Well-Known "Member"

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    “The excess you can donate to the boat for a meal, the crew, another passenger, or some charity.”

    Or maybe release it
     
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  9. Oceanguy

    Oceanguy Newbie

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    Just got off Rocky's Opener on the American Angler on June 2. Left 376 lbs. of yellowtail and bluefin tuna with 5 Star to be processed and packed in 5 mil plastic. Received 126 lbs. of filets, so yield was 33%. Had it air freighted to me for pick up in Atlanta via Southwest Air Freight on June 7 in 3 boxes. Total cost from 5 Star for the processing and boxes was $499.90. Southwest charged another $187. Picked the fish up 12 hours after it arrived in Atlanta and it was perfectly frozen and beautifully packed when I arrived home. So total yield for me was 33% and cost worked out to $5.45 per final processed pound delivered to Atlanta. I've done this several times now with no problems. Your costs will vary, of course, based on type of fish, processing options and shipment methods. Hope this helps,
    Tom
     
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  10. yakmandan

    yakmandan Member

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    I've had 5 Star process my fish and ship it overnight air. They shipped it about a week later frozen solid 2 years later what was left was still great eating. Last year I stayed an extra day and brought it home myself 150lbs of bluefin 5 Star does a great job
     
  11. Wendell Fox

    Wendell Fox Member

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    I have used 5 Star many times and they have never let me down. Personally I wouldn't want to be messing around trying to get fish checked in on my flight. 5 Star is the way to go.
     
  12. Let em eat 74

    Let em eat 74 Well-Known "Member"

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    What’s up Tom!

    It has been mentioned but not emphasized. Stick with the 5 mil bags. The quality and longevity of the fish is superior on all fronts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  13. FishRock

    FishRock I've posted enough I should edit this section

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    I know it is not a lot of money but tell them to leave out the jell ice packs. They cost money, take up space, don't make a difference in how well your fish stay frozen and you pay to ship them instead of fish.

    Inspect each package of fish when you get it home and load it into your freezer. Put any bags that have lost their seal to one side and eat them first.

    Frequent flyers may want to consider taking 2 or 3 coolers with their gear packed inside on the way to SD. Spend the night after your trip in SD and pick up as much fish as you can fit in your coolers to take home with you. You save at least $35 a box and get your fish home with you. And yes it should be frozen solid by the next day as all the processors have commercial blast freezers. Just have to be specific with them when you drop your fish off at the dock as to what you are planning to do and when you need the fish ready.
     
  14. Fishybuzz

    Fishybuzz fishybuzz

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    almost forgot......I got to know the guys at airfreight real well and I aways open a box and give them some fish...they appreciate it and take real good care of my boxes and call me ASAP when it arrives....win-win.
     
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  15. tingo777

    tingo777 Newbie

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    Thanks everyone for your replies. I feel so much better about this after hearing that the shipping process goes smoothly for others. My reservation is with 5 Star for the processing, so I'm feeling really good about that as well.

    When my trip is done and the fish is tucked away in the freezer, I'll circle back to this post and share what I ended up doing and the cost, in case any other new folks stumble across this thread in the future.
     
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  16. surfgoose

    surfgoose active geezer

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    I want to second what Tom P said about the total yield from processing is about 33%. I always figure 33% of round weight for trimmed fillets. Sometimes I will hear fishermen griping about "wasted" fish. There have been a lot of times over the years when I have done my own fish cleaning, and then I would save the cheek meat and the collars and make a real high arch over the gill and detail the belly, etc.

    If you decide that you want EVERYTHING edible from your fish, then just bite the bullet and do it yourself. No processor is going to be as careful as you will be. But with a processor you will end up with beautiful, sized, bone-free, perfect fillets, vacuum-sealed and flash-frozen. For myself, the service is well worth the cost.
     
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  17. RichG

    RichG Well-Known "Member"

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    An addition thought. Depending on how many serving you want per fillet, you can request smaller fillets for two people. Less left overs if it’s just you and partner. Also you can request bellies. If you get any yellowtail have them save you the collars. Look at food network or google. Just put them on the grill. The meat next to the bone is very sweet.
     
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  18. tingo777

    tingo777 Newbie

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    Man these collars do look great. Think I tried one at a sushi restaurant once but would not have thought about this. Thanks for the reminder RichG!

    I really enjoy trying to find ways to cook the parts of an animal that are not the "prime cuts". Got into keeping hearts and livers a couple years ago from elk and deer, and now they are one of my favorites. The hearts especially. I managed to get the skirt steak out of an elk last fall and it was delicious too.
     
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  19. Fishybuzz

    Fishybuzz fishybuzz

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    Darn it Rich you let the collars out of the bag....LOL

    my favorite part of the yellowtail....keep the fillets I'll take the bellies and collars please..
     
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  20. albacore11

    albacore11 Member Intrepid 200# Club

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    Just a quick note on keeping your processed fish frozen.....DO NOT pack your frozen fillets with ice.......this will actually defrost your fish. You want to pack with DRY ICE, which is available just down the street from 5 Star. 5 Star has preached that to me for several years as I have an 8 hour drive home. If the ice warehouse is closed, Winco Foods carries dry ice and are open 24/7.
     
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