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huntnfish

Transporting fish

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Wha does everyone use to transport fish from the lake to home for cleaning? I have used a cooler with ice in the past but would prefer to clean fish that are somewhat alive and not all slimed up. The meat on a fish after riding an hour home always seems to be a lot softer than fresh. 

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You could clean the fish at the launch if you bring a means to dispose of the entrails. That way, you can pack the filets on ice for the ride home. Just be sure to leave at least an inch of skin on the filets for identification. The easiest way to do that is to stop just before you pull the skin completely off and then back up and cut the skin off an inch early. When you get home, just grab that piece of skin and tear it off. 

 

If you bring water from home, you might be able to transfer the fish to that cooler for the ride home, keeping them alive. This is how I do my minnows.

Edited by BobT

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If you really want to keep them intact and fillet at home I'd empty a bunch of ice into the cooler and then bring water from home to fill in the gaps between the cubes.  Basically making a cooler full of slush.  Just enough water for the fish to breath and plenty of ice to keep them cold if they die.


This is what I do when ice fishing.  I take the shavings from drilling holes and fill a buck with them and add a little water.  The fish should stay alive long enough for you to make the hour drive home and clean right away. 

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2 hours ago, JohnMickish said:

Bleed them before you put them on ice. You will have fresh clean firm meat that way.

 

I've tried bleeding them but I never seem to get much to drain out so I don't know that I'm doing it correctly. How much blood normally drains? When I did it, it was a little stream that ended but being only about a tablespoon. 

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13 hours ago, huntnfish said:

 

I've tried bleeding them but I never seem to get much to drain out so I don't know that I'm doing it correctly. How much blood normally drains? When I did it, it was a little stream that ended but being only about a tablespoon. 

 

http://kapitifishing.co.nz/bleed-fish-circulatory-system/

Edited by pikestabber

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I use an industrial scissors and cut up between the gills as far as I can reach. I don't know if that's the right way to do it, but that's how I do it.

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From The MN fishing regs:

 

General Regulations: Transporting Fish

 

Can I transport live fish other than bait?

In most instances, the answer is no.

  • You may not transport fish over land in enough water to keep them alive.
  • You cannot transfer or stock live fish or fish eggs from one body of water to another.
  • You can never transport water taken from any lake or stream.

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I take a gallon of tap water and a gallon of ice in old milk lugs and keep in cooler in vehicle. I empty the water in the cooler when I put the fish in it.  Keeps them nice and cold till I get home to clean them. 

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As I was putting the boat in yesterday morning I had the county water patrol pull in behind me waiting to launch his boat. We were the only two waiting to launch so I had some time to ask some questions. This is my first year in a while owning a boat so it was nice to be able to get some clarification on rules. I asked the questions about what I can do with my leeches and fish after coming off the lake. The deputy said most people have a cooler and ice for fish and refill their leech containers with bottled water. I did that with my leftover leeches when I got home and they look good still. He said anything with water in it when you get off the lake has to be dumped or drained. I didn't plan on keeping any fish so I didn't bring a cooler along but I will try bleeding them out and putting them in ice next time I keep fish. Now if I could just remember to put some sunscreen on I'd be set. Thanks for all the help, fellas!

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