Party boat fish quality

Discussion in 'Charter Boat & Party Boat' started by Colton Weber, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. Colton Weber

    Colton Weber Well-Known Member

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    I do a 32hr trip every year on the Helen H for YFT.

    The fish are thrown into a bucket of water after being caught. Then when the mate gets around to it he will quarter them, throw them into a bag and then into the ice chest.

    Every year I get home and theres a nasty mush around all my quarters I have to cut off and throw away. It equates to quite a bit of discarded tuna. It sucks!

    I was thinking can I just gut my own fish and pack ice into it and throw it right into my cooler? What is the proper way to dress a tuna quickly? Obviously if I get a big one it wont fit. But a couple 30lb yft would.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
  2. a1flyfishr

    a1flyfishr Retired Member

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    What’s probably happening is fresh water is getting into the bags and breaking down the flesh. Your best best is leave the gutted headless body whole or (Not sure if Matt 1st mate will appreciate this) bring a food vacuum sealer and a bunch of bags with you. Vacuum packed bags should keep the loins dry and if on ice stay fresh till you get back.

    Benny
     

  3. ReelMe

    ReelMe Super Member

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    We take the head off and gut YFT and pack the core with ice and them put the fish as deep as we can into the fish box full of ice. Never any problems. Have had them iced about 24hrs before with no problems.
     
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  4. a1flyfishr

    a1flyfishr Retired Member

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    Luke I think they are cutting loins and putting the loins in ice water. Like you said headed and gutted packed is ice is fine.

    Benny
     
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  5. ReelMe

    ReelMe Super Member

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    Yeah that doesn’t sound like a good idea at all. Legally, they can only take the head off here. We have to cut fish at the dock. I skin the loins right out and they get cut into manageable pieces and then put into 1 gallon zip lock bags and back on ice for the ride home.
     
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  6. Dobhar-Chu

    Dobhar-Chu Active Member

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    Good morning Colton,

    I am new to the 360 tuna chat board and I share your desire for the freshest possible meat we can get. Years of chasing "That taste" of fresh fish cooked that day on the boat....

    YFT and BFT Tuna are a red meat fish, lots of blood, lots of Lactic acid build up if fought for long periods. Nice to be "Sporting" with the fish and sometimes you have to go down to 25 lb fluoro to get bit, BUT when fighting tuna for a prolonged battle the oxygen deficiency causes lactic acid build up in the meat. Once you get that Tuna spiraling one of his gill plates is closed off and the fish tires faster... and Lactic acid builds quickly. The lactic acid needs to be bled off as soon as possible and the meat core temp dropped to 31 degrees as quick as you can. Gilling and gutting the fish, if done carefully and correctly, preserves the gullet membrane and the meat will be protected. Refrigerated salt water or brine spray chilling works great, if not available packing the gullet with ice as soon as possible is the ticket... core temp!

    Spike the tuna in the brain as soon as you can, that sound of a Tuna rata-tat-tatting the deck with its tail sounds way cool but is a major meat bruising event. Spike and cut the gill artery immediately upon boating the fish, I prefer to spike the tuna while coming over the rail before he hits the deck that may be padded foam rubber in one spot on the boat for the BMF's

    I have my meat processed and vacuum sealed in 2 lb packages once back at the dock, and if a commercial grade vacuum sealer service is not available I head to the trunk and get my vac sealer and go to town. I put all the vacuum sealed packages in plastic garbage bags to prevent the packages from getting wet. This is important... don't freeze wet packages... they will freeze in a block of fish to big to lift and the great defrost event will be started shortly after. Call your friends for freshly thawed tuna... they will love your massive frozen block of fish boo-boo. tough lesson to learn and even tougher to re-learn. Keep em dry folks!!!

    I have taste tested 5 year old vacuum sealed Tuna against fresh tuna and I cannot tell em apart if the vacuum seal is intact... no kidding.

    Now that "Gooey" tuna may be belly meat, a delicious delicacy I live for! Protect the belly meat like its Gold... Poach it in toasted sesame oil and some Cajun seasonings (Tony Chacheres) for a short time when you get home and dine on a delicacy!

    So, if meat quality is a major concern (As is with me)... spike... gill and gut.... chill the core... and vacuum seal as soon a practical and treat the bellies like the sweet gooey Gold they are!!!

    D-C
     
  7. HungryJack

    HungryJack Member

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    Lactic acid is NOT REDUCED by bleeding.

    Only way to reduce lactic acid in a tuna
    is to swim/pull the fish next to the boat for a while.
    This is done sometimes with BFT commercially.
     
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  8. HungryJack

    HungryJack Member

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    The water contact from washdown hose is part of the problem.
    You could dry loins with paper towels, then bag them, will help.

    Main problem is the fish is being filleted/lioned
    BEFORE RIGAMORTIS HAS HAPPENED.
    Not ideal for tuna.
     
  9. HungryJack

    HungryJack Member

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    Fat/oils continue to oxidize and break down in a home or chest freezer.
    Frozen only slows down the process, but does not stop the oils from developing
    a rancid taste.

    If you can't tell the difference between fresh tuna
    or 5 year old frozen,
    then either,
    your preparation methods over power the taste of the tuna,
    or your taste buds and palate are not developed properly.

    Fairly easy for an active fish eater to tell the
    difference between fresh or tuna that has been frozen for a week.

    5 years storage, without flavor or quality change,
    requires liquid nitrogen to accomplish,
    this is done in Japan with longterm BFT storage.

    Fish is best fresh,
    ALWAYS second rate frozen,
    with the exception of Pollack and Blueshark
    and a handful of other fish.
     
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  10. moranmd

    moranmd Senior Member

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    Freshwater should indeed NEVER touch saltwater fish!
     
  11. jiggingnut

    jiggingnut Junior member

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    What about those who fillet their catch at home? Should they make saltwater by dissolving iodized salt in tap water to wash the fillet? Just curious.
     
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  12. Dobhar-Chu

    Dobhar-Chu Active Member

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    Jiggingnut

    I do not wash my fish until thawed and unpackaged. Yes vacuum sealed unwashed. The local tapwater has chlorine...Fluorine... and who knows what else. I don't want to long term package fish with these elements in contact with my fish. After thawing and unsealing I wash for food prep...

    D-C
     
  13. Paul Choi

    Paul Choi Well-Known Member

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    I agree the hungry jack here. It’ll be hard to swim a tuna to brings it’s lactic acid levels down on a party boat though
     
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  14. HungryJack

    HungryJack Member

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    Washdown hose on a party boat is
    ALWAYS SALTWATER.


    Thought that was fairly evident to most fishermen,
    guess not,

    but thanks for pointing out your actual lack of experience
    or attention to details while on the water.

    :)
     
  15. a1flyfishr

    a1flyfishr Retired Member

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    What works for me is patting down the fillet with dry paper towels. Vacuum sealing them unwashed with fresh water. When they’re ready to be prepared then I will trim and rinse. Always break the seal on the vacuum bag when thawing to prevent the liquid from being pushed back into the meat.

    Benny
     
  16. HungryJack

    HungryJack Member

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    The plastic vacuum bag that is contact with your fish,
    HAS HUNDREDS OF CHEMICALS.
    No concern about that,
    but you are concerned about a chemical used to kill bacteria in water. :rolleyes::confused:

    Reason why you don't want FRESH WATER
    on SALT WATER FISH is because of
    OSMOTIC PRESSURE and what it does to the fish.

    You have much to learn grasshopper.
     
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  17. HungryJack

    HungryJack Member

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    Sorry, might be the worst technique to use.

    You covering the fish in ICE for the reason of
    PREVENTING FREEZER BURN.
    The vacuum bag you use, does exactly that,
    so, kind of pointless.


    THE HARM is putting your SALT water fish in FRESH WATER,
    the fish ABSORBS THE FRESH WATER INTO THE FLESH.


    When the fish freezes, the water expands, tearing the flesh,
    and causing the flavor and fluids to release during defrosting
    and cooking.

    NEVER SOAK YOUR SALT WATER FISH IN FRESH WATER
    NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER


    never
     
  18. a1flyfishr

    a1flyfishr Retired Member

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    The fish never touches fresh water until it’s ready to be cooked. Sealed without any water contact.
     
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  19. HungryJack

    HungryJack Member

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    ok, my bad, then what you do is fine.

    pat dry from boat,
    vacuum and freeze,
    defrost,
    then better than washing with fresh,
    just trim a thin slice off the steak/fillet.
    no agua.
     
  20. a1flyfishr

    a1flyfishr Retired Member

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    Exactly! I lost too much fish rinsing with fresh water making it look good before freezing.

    Bennyy