Fishing forum > Bleeding Fish

Author Topic: Bleeding Fish
katfish

I bonk and then rip the gills. I have heard some people simply rip the gills and let them bleed to death. I am not sure if this a legal or humane method.

I've also heard it works better if they bleed in the water, or if you suspend them by the tail so gravity works for you.

I was just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on this. Thanks.
fetoid

I bleed the gills, and yes it sounds cruel. I heard of people cutting off the tail to bleed.
If you bonk first, wouldn't that stop the heart and slow down the bleeding?
Kind of on the same topic: If you gut a fish at the bar, what do you do w/ the guts? I've heard leave them on the rocks for an animal to get, but that leaves a mess. I heard throw them in the river, but that can be unpleasant also. I now only gut at home. Thoughts?
ChakaRaka

I have never bled a fish, I just kill em fast, keep them on ice and clean them when I get home. I have never noticed that my catch was any lesser than any other fisherman. Unless I see that there is a marked difference in bleeding them first, I find this unnecessary and just a little morbid.
krustybra

i definitely bonk them first - just enough to stun them, and then cut the gills and bleed them in the water - then keep it cool until you leave
Alan701

Today after i gutted the fish the heart was still beating.. By itself so im sure if you bonk them first it will still work nicely
smokin

fetoid, throw all fish guts back into the river, What do you think happens to the millions of fish that die after spawning? The carcasses feed fry and insects which in turn feed the fish. Its common sense
prunehands

i agree with both of the last comments.The heart pumps long enoubh to bleed it out after its been bonked.Also,guts and any part of the fish you dont intend to use are good nutrients.
fetoid

Ya, throwing the stuff in the river makes the most sense. Thanks.

I've always heard that salmon taste better if bled.
G.A.

best thing you could do is to immediately bleed and clean them. Although it's common for people to do all kinds of other things, nothing will improve the taste of a fish as bleeding and cleaning as soon as possible. Fright chemicals/hormones change the taste of the fish, bleeding them removes the pathway for these chemicals to enter the meat. Cleaning ensures that decomposition which starts very quickly in the gut doesn't foul the meat as well.
Chewy

Kill, bleed, clean. All right away.

I use gravity to bleed the fish out, this is especially important for pinks.

Cleaning right away, if it's pinks we're fishing, i'll wait no more than 15 minutes. If it's coho/spring that's been caught in the chuck (& of course is legal to keep) cleaning immediately is important, they get gut rot (the stomach continues to digest & can attack the belly meat).
katfish

A friend of mine works for a private company that is on contract with the DFO. He supervises, counts and ID's fish caught by commerical fisherman. I asked him if commercial fisherman bleed their catch. He said no. They go on ice right away and will stay there until they are taken to a plant for cleaning. They can stay on ice for couple of days. I thought this was very interesting! It seems icing them is the most important.
cagey

with salmon i like to get the gills out of them right away. i kill the fish by stabbing it in the head then cut out the gills. the fish is dead and bled right away.
i also like to clean it quite quickly and usually do so immediately. for trout i sometimes clean them at home but usually clean them on the spot as well.
ChakaRaka

Katfish,

My point exactly...

half of the fishing I did growing up was with commercial fishermen, old-timers or both.
spooner


I grew up commercial fishing and still do.
The reason most commercial fishermen don't bleed their fish is because it's time consuming,most companies will pay extra for the catch to be bled as it does make for a better product.Its just not profitable enough for it to be worth while to bleed 200 -2000 fish per hour.
Edzzed

about the fish companies, They aren't willing to pay extra for bled fish. Blood adds weight to the fish so a fisherman sells his catch based on weight. Why would any commercial fisherman waste time to lighten his catch when a fishing company doesn't care about bled or not. Well actually the companies do care, a bled fish weighs less so they pay based on pounds or kilos. Has anyone ever seen a can of salmon that says the contents have been bled prior to canning ? I don't bleed the fish, I bonk them and throw the guts into the lake or river, At White lake in the Shuswap, there is a sign advising to leave the guts in the water near shore. Ed
terik4187

Kill, bleed, clean. All right away.

I use gravity to bleed the fish out, this is especially important for pinks.

Cleaning right away, if it's pinks we're fishing, i'll wait no more than 15 minutes. If it's coho/spring that's been caught in the chuck (& of course is legal to keep) cleaning immediately is important, they get gut rot (the stomach continues to digest & can attack the belly meat).
By Chewy.

Fetoid and G.A. I do the same thing. Commercial fisheries are different because of the volume they bring in but for personal anglers it's best to bleed the fish whether its ripping the gills out or cutting off the tail. If blood in the fish stops flowing it clots and makes the meat less tender as more time goes by. Let it bleed at least and put it on ice right away or somewhere very cold for the best fish. (girl friened is a marine biologist)

Cheers and happy fishing all.
terik4187

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