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beret

Bleeding Out Surf Caught Fish

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I always hear how important it is to immediatly bleed out fish,especially blue fish. I surf fish from the beach,all plugs,tins,artificials........curious how you surf guys do this. In my years of surf fishing,I do not think I can ever remember seeing anyone catching a striper,blue whatever.......and stopping to gut and bleed out a fish. Generally when guys get a fish......they can not wait to get the plug back in the water. I guess my question is ,who does this and how do you do it on the beach. Do you unhook,slice the gill,gut the fish and just throw it in the sand while you continue fishing.........just curious because I have never seen anyone do this. Appreciate your replys......always something to learn.....................thanks.

 

Before the replys.............I do catch and release but do keep I or 2 stripers a year.....if I'm lucky.

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I don't gut it on the beach, but I take the time to bleed any fish I'm going to eat.  Unhook, twist a few gills on each side with pliers, put it on my rope, hold it in the water for a few minutes to bleed out.  All of that blood you see pumping into the water is blood that's not on the filet table getting all over your filets.

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I simply pull out the gills immediately then remove guts before I leave for the day to prevent sand from getting all over the fish. Honestly, I don't get back to the fishing asap, if I'm keeping the fish it receives words of appreciation before I take its life.

Edited by MarvA

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I think gutting bluefish shortly after catching improves them. I usually wait till they are dead since I was once careless with a very live blue that clamped down on my thumb as I was finishing the gutting. I don't think it's as important for stripers but it certainly can only help. I carry a towel with me that I soak and wrap the fish in to keep them fresh if I don't have a cooler or the fish doesn't fit in the cooler. The fish dry out if laying in dry sand.

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Either slice through the neck area below the gills, essentially half decapitating the fish, or pull out some of the gills. I prefer to keep them either oriented with the tail more highly elevated than the head or put them in the water.

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I bleed everything I'm going to kill / eat . Another thing is nice clean ocean water to rinse your filets in . Shore is tough fill a bucket and look for sand .

Edited by whitey

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I disagree with the video, you want the heart to keep pumping ... cut across the gills and let the beating heart empty it of the majority of the blood.

 

In the old days, we'd slice across the gills and 3/4 bury the fish, head down (so just the tail 1/4 was exposed pointing straight up) a little up the beach, but still in the wet sand ... it bled out, stayed cool and didn't dry out ... you could still walk up and down the beach without having to carry it, just watch the tides and remember which was yours.

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 yep , cut a couple of gills or the gill plate where it joins the jaw.  don't gut as that removes the heart which will keep pumping for quite awhile. i also consider bleeding to be more humane then slow suffocation

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I usually wait until I'm about to leave to bleed out a fish since it tends to bring in the man in the gray suit :/

 

I'll keep them on a stringer that's tied to a Rod holder(jetties), or the ice chest(sand), so they get to stay in the water until I'm done for the day/night. When I'm about to pack up I'll go and slice some gills and proceed to gather my things. By the time I'm done the fish will usually be completely bled out and are ready to be filleted or gutted/packed with ice. This works for me but I should note that I fish for reds, trout, flounder, snapper, and every other delicious fish Texas offers :D

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The few fish I keep get cut through the throat/gill area put on the stringer and placed back in the water. If I dont have a cooler on the beach I cut the same way and put the fish in a hole buried and marked.. The hole allows you to keep the fish in cooler sand and out of the sun. Never filet on the beach you will be chewing sand when its time to eat em.

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I have heard many times that bleeding stripers makes them taste better. I have kept a fish that I did not bleed and I kept a fish that was bled. I could not tell a difference. I don't bleed flounder or sea bass either with no ill effects to the meat. If you want to whisper thanks in their ear as you rake a knife through their gills it may make you feel better but, for striped bass, it don't make them taste any better or worse. Not playing around with them on light tackle and getting them on ice is the way to maximize taste.

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