By Brad Laabs
With this hot weather, it is important to take good care of any fish you keep. Nobody likes to clean mushy fish.
I’ve said it here before. Freeze milk jugs that have been refilled with water, and you can put them in your live well. It’s an inexpensive way of taking care of your fish, and just requires a little foresight. When you put your catch in the livewell, you can put your frozen jugs in there, and then fill it up with water before turning on the recirculation pump.
Of course, some boats are not equipped with a recirculation pump. With these boats, I suggest a 20-pound bag of cubed ice. Turn the drain valve to the off position and shut the jet pump off. The main thing is you don’t want to melt down the ice by pumping warm water into the live well.
Another key piece of advice is to cut the throats/gills of any fish before putting them on ice. In combination wiht the ice or ice water, it allows the fish to completely bleed out, keeping them fresher for you. This puts the fish in about as good of condition you can have them for the cleaning table. Then, once you get them cleaned, get them in cold water as soon as you can.
Laabs is a fishing guide in the Detroit Lakes area focused on walleyes. He can be reached at www.bradlaabs.com or (218) 849-6108.