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blackdog1101

Never Fails to Weird Me Out

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You go ice fishing, catch some fish, and throw them on the ice. They freeze. You bring them home in a bucket, leave the bucket on the front steps until you're ready to clean them. Get some coffee, eat some dinner. Sharpen the fillet knife, dump the fish in the sink. Add water to wash off the slime. And they come back to life. These fish have been out of the water for 4 hours and they're swimming in my sink. I hate that! crazy

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I have had that happen to me several times with Crappies. It must be a timing thing. They are out in the cold long enough that they must sort of go dormant, but not long enough to totally freeze and die.

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I taught a dissection lab for a high school freshwater fishing class a bunch of years back. a couple of hours before class I ran down to the lake and caught a mess of crappies and gills and threw them into a cooler full of ice. I'm in the class, going over the rules.... diagrams....all the prep junk. the kids just want to cut up fish and look at the guts. we did it step by step.. when we get to remove the hearts I start to hear a couple of the lab groups freaking out.

I went over to check, a number of the crappie hearts were still twitching (beating) after being out of the water four a couple of hours and then even after being removed from the fish!

But, I still have not had any come back to life in the sink. I hope to see it someday!

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I'm glad I'm not the only one. It's happened to me a couple times before, but only on warmer days like today. I guess the water in their gills doesn't freeze, so even though they get a frozen "crust" on their body, they must still get oxygen but go into some sort of "hybernation" from the near-freezing cold.

I moved them from the sink into a plastic bag and into the freezer. I can't fillet them when they're still twitching.

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I've had it happen to me too. When I'm thawing them out in the sink you can always tell the ones who are going to flop on you. Even though their body may be slightly frozen, their beady little eyes start moving grin

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The first time this happened to me was about 4 years ago. I had spent most of the day on the ice and caught 2 walleyes. They had been on the ice for about 4 or 5 hours and it was about 10degrees out. They were frozen soild when I got home so I put them in the sink with cool water to let them thaw out before cleaning them. I went into the living room and was on the phone for about 15 mins when I heard a noise from the kitchen. My first thought was that some one was in my house. As I got closer to the kitchen I could hear the noise again. I walked in to find one of the walleyes swimming in the sink. I went over to look at it and it must have saw me because it started to freak out. Since then I have had it happen a few more times. Crazy.

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Crappies always do that and perch too. the first time It happened I was in high school. I put them in the sink to thaw out and after about an hour one had jumped out of the sink and hit the floor. Mom wasn't too happy but she had seen that they were fish popsicles before i put them in there.

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I had a bucket of minnows freeze solid on Tuesday night, brought them to to thaw so I could get the ice out of the bucket and 90% came back to life....

I have also seen this with crappies and walleyes before.

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I just beat them over the head with a butter knife, whether they look dead or not. Easy to clean the Frankenstein ones and the dead ones don't care.

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I just beat them over the head with a butter knife, whether they look dead or not. Easy to clean the Frankenstein ones and the dead ones don't care.

I usualy kill them right when I get them on the Ice. Its more humane and they dont flop around and bruise the meat. It always good to not let them freeze. FResh, non frozen fish is so much better. a simple 5 gallon pail with snow will keep them from freezing. the snow acts as an insulator, keeping them from becoming rock hard, at least for several hours.

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We have had this several times with sunnies and some other fish. My girlfriend does most of the fish cleaning and she doesn't like it when they are still beating.

Many times on the lake in the wheelhouse if we intend to keep fish we will have the bags ready and take them straight from the hole to the cutting board, throw a towl over them and start cutting.

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Yup, thats what we do also....to try to keep them from freezing solid. If they freeze solid, they get really slimmy when they thaw out, makes em tricky to fillet. I think it affects the quality of the meat also...especially if you don't eat em right away and put them in the freezer. I've always heard that your not supposed to freeze somthing, thaw it out and refreeze it again.

With all the winter fish I've caught over the years, there have been times when I've had em freeze solid in the bucket, in the back of the truck, on the way home. Never had one come back to life though?

Cleaning live fish, live anything, isn't my deal...if they aren't dead when I get home, I help them on their way, if I see the slightest twitch, they get their heads bashed in, a quick fillet job and then I twist em off at the base of the head, just in case....just in case they weren't all the way dead and the carcass and the head are possibly sending signals back and forth.....that wouldn't be good.

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If you freeze them completely they will not come back to life. But if they are only partially frozen they are a cold blooded animal and their heart and oxygen use rate will slow down alot. They are kinda like vegtables in a way after this though!

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