How to Store Fish

The day's fishing trip has been a success, and you are preparing to head home with your catch. The time between catching the fish and storage is critical. Your fresh catch should be properly stored so that it retains the maximum freshness and taste until you are ready to prepare it for a meal. You can use several methods that work equally well when it comes to storing fresh fish.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fillet knife
  • Ice
  • Cooler
  • Running water
  • Plastic wrap or aluminum foil
  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Freezer paper
  • Freezer marker or permanent marker
Step 1
Place fish that you catch in a live well or suspend in the water with a fish line to keep it alive until ready for cleaning and filleting. Fish can be kept alive or stored for up to one day before processing and filleting.
Step 2
Prepare fresh fish by cleaning and filleting with a fillet knife. Attempt to clean and fillet fish as soon as possible after catching to preserve the freshness of the fish.
Step 3
Place cleaned or filleted fish on ice in a cooler or ice chest. Open the drain plug of the cooler or chest so that melted water from the ice will drain away from the prepared fish. Add or change the ice if you use this method of storage for several days.
Step 4
Rinse freshly prepared fish under running water, blot dry and wrap with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Put the wrapped fish in a zip-close bag and place the bagged fish in a refrigerator in the meat drawer or near the back. Double-wrapping fish will help protect the fish from air that can impact the fish flavor. Placing the fish near the back or in a meat drawer will help maintain a more consistent cool temperature as the door is opened and closed.
Step 5
Freeze prepared fish by wrapping it tightly in aluminum foil and then wrapping freezer paper around the foil. Tape the paper tightly closed using freezer tape. Mark the packaged fish with a freezer marker or permanent marker to indicate the type of fish, date caught and freeze date.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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