How do you ice salmon/halibut on a 4-5 day fishing trip?

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by chinnok, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. chinnok

    chinnok Active Member

    Heading to Bamfield in a couple weeks how does everyone keep there fish on a 5 day trip?
  2. John s

    John s Crew Member

    Mills landing has salted ice and will vacuum pack your fish . We had our Hali done there on the weekend.
  3. chinnok

    chinnok Active Member

    Are they a licensed processor or do they VP in large pieces and whole fish?
  4. chinnok

    chinnok Active Member

    I used to vacuum pack myself in smaller pieces which we are not suppose to do. Now I'm getting nerves about doing that so wondering how others do it?
    Now I'm thinking about putting whole salmon in bags and into a cooler with salt ice.
  5. John s

    John s Crew Member

    I would give them a call. They process the fish for they’re guest. We did a Hali charter. jP charters. Had jerry from mills as our guide They processed both Hali’s. Did a great job. We’re over at Poett Nook. Decided not to do it our self. I would use salted ice for sure if the fish are going to sit for 5 days. There’s a place in Alberni to get salted ice.
  6. tubber

    tubber Well-Known Member

    Assuming you don't freeze or use a processor- bleed and ice your fish on the boat, then leave the head on (to help hold belly ice and avoid exposed flesh) and stack them in your cooler belly up in fresh salt ice, drain and add fish and ice, throw some wool or fleece on the top, keep it in the shade, not a hot truck (unless there are bears). Drain and top ice several times per day. It'll be fine for 5 days. NO BAGS. I sometimes put whole dressed bottom fish in a seperate cooler, since Halibut are so slimy.
    You may want to put a tag on the wrist/tail for which fisher belongs to which fish.
    Beer and vaccum sealer party at home.
    Try to align disposal of bones and heads with garbage day. Or freeze for crab bait/ winter garden burial.
    That's how I do it.
    dmurph likes this.
  7. walleyes

    walleyes Crew Member

    You can still cut your fish into pieces and transport it. It just has to be identifiable as one fish. I cut mine into sections, vacuum seal each piece individually, place them in order nice and tight to each other then vacuum seal them in one large bag together. The vacuum sealer pulls them all tight and leaves then very identifiable as one fish. I’ve cut smaller fish into 4 pieces 2 per side or larger fish into 6 pieces 3 per side.
    trophywife likes this.
  8. Prfisher

    Prfisher Active Member

    I crewed on a commercial troller when I was a kid. We would regularly hold fish on ice for a week or more.
    As Tubber said, gills & guts out, leave the head on. Clean the blood sack along the spine carefully. Scrape with a spoon & wash with a hose if you have one.
    We would fill the bellies with ice & keep enough ice between the fish to keep them from touching.
    We used to bury them in at least 2" of ice.
  9. wolf

    wolf Well-Known Member

    IF you have any doubt look it up you are only allowed to cut into "2" pieces with salmon and tail has to be on and halibut one whole filet with tail and pectoral fin.

    Personally get mills landing to do as its done and no worries. and they freeze it for you ready for you when you leave.
    it has to get done anyways spend that extra to ensure you have a great product probably the cheapest thing on your trip...
    walleyes likes this.
  10. Birdman

    Birdman Active Member

    Does anyone know why it says in the link that wolf posted salmon/cod fillets can each only be cut into 2 pieces, for a total of 4 pieces, and halibut can only be cut into a total of 7 pieces inclusive of all fillets, including the "special" fillet with the pectoral fin?

    I've seen them cut into more than that and vacuum packed/labelled, by credible lodges, who have been checked by officers with no issues whatsoever.

    It would seem to me that as long as the fillet is measurable, noting the max and minimum size limits that apply between each species including the special rules for halibut fillets and the pectoral fin, that you could cut it into 20 pieces if you wanted. All you have to do is line them up, or if an officer really wanted to be anal, they could cut the packs open and line the pieces up and really take a close measurement.
  11. chinnok

    chinnok Active Member

    Is there any issues bagging the cleaned salmon and putting on salt ice?
  12. donnie d

    donnie d Active Member

    7 for halibut probably due to size? It’s interesting to me that you cannot process to dinner sizes if you have to leave one fillet entirely intact with tail on. I suppose it’s just to tell that it all belongs to the same fish.

    The 4 for Salmon is news to me.

    In the past I’ve vacuum sealed into dinner portions while out in the Bush. As proscribed by the DFO regs: Each piece got a fish id and #, then piece 1 of X, 2 of X, etc, tail on in the package. Additionally license numbers and names are on each package. Tedious to say the least, but you could line them up and piece it together to measure. I’ve been stopped by the RCMP at Buttle bridge and they were able to piece each fish together. I would also prefer to do this while on the trip rather than after my long journey home.

    Will have to change how we do it this summer. Probably just pack the cavities and fillet when I get home...wife will love that, ha!

  13. Fishtofino

    Fishtofino Well-Known Member

    They can cut into smaller pieces because they are a government licensed and inspected facilities
  14. Cuba Libre

    Cuba Libre Well-Known Member

    Do that all the time... no problems. But bury the fish in the ice.
  15. spring time

    spring time Well-Known Member

    I’ve iced fish for five days no problem one other thing to do keep in cool shady place but take a big towel or burlap sack and wet it and put it on top of cooler and keep it wet
  16. dmurph

    dmurph Well-Known Member

    As others have said take a couple big coolers, Canadian tire has a sale right now. I have one on by boat with ice , bleed and gut fish on board right away and bury in ice. Transfer to the other cooler/coolers back at base. A separate one for hali is a good idea.
    screaminreels likes this.
  17. BigBadBrad

    BigBadBrad Member

    I have never used salt ice however I find leaving a fillet or freshly caught salmon for more than 3 days in the fridge it goes bad.

    It sounds like salt ice is obviously different?
  18. scott craven

    scott craven Well-Known Member

    JMHO - I prefer to leave the whole fish gutted in a cooler using frozen water bottles.
    they stay frozen longer than ice cubes.
    I can keep fish a week this way.
  19. Dogbreath

    Dogbreath Well-Known Member

    Fresh water is a killer for fish flesh-Never Ever get fresh water on your fish- at best if it's dirty use a J cloth or the the like to wipe it clean.
  20. Dan The Man

    Dan The Man Active Member

    Bleed, Clean, and belly stuff with salt ice. Leave the fish with head on . Been doing this for years without any issues!!

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