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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Dead fish in livewell #13560797 05/17/20 12:55 AM
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zachary00 Offline OP
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After I catch a fish I intend to keep, I throw it in the livewell with water and kill and clean them when I get home. I have had a few die along the way and didn't feel comfortable keeping the but hated to throw them away. Is there a tell take sign that a fish has been dead to long without refrigeration? How long after they die are they still safe to clean and keep?

Re: Dead fish in livewell [Re: zachary00] #13560815 05/17/20 01:09 AM
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fishslime Online Content
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If they still wiggle, I clean them. If stiff and discolored, no. I freeze 2 litre coke bottles and put one or two in the live well in the hot weather to keep them from spoiling when needed.

Re: Dead fish in livewell [Re: zachary00] #13561047 05/17/20 06:36 AM
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If the gills are red they are still good.
Even slightly faded gills are good but by the time they turn to a light pink color the meat gets slimy and probably no good.

Re: Dead fish in livewell [Re: zachary00] #13561300 05/17/20 03:06 PM
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Another way of looking at it is that 375 degree frying oil will kill about anything if you get in a bind.

Re: Dead fish in livewell [Re: zachary00] #13563539 05/19/20 02:19 PM
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Keep a cooler full of ice in the back of the vehicle. When you pull the boat drain the live well and put the fish on ice. Don't have to worry about it if they are iced.


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Re: Dead fish in livewell [Re: zachary00] #13564087 05/19/20 08:35 PM
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I freeze three liter Coke bottles of water. I leave those in the truck in an ice chest. When I load the boat and have fish I am keeping, I transfer them to the ice chest and lay the frozen bottles on top of them. Yesterday, doing that I had three of the bluegill I kept still alive when I got home an hour later.


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Re: Dead fish in livewell [Re: fishslime] #13568274 05/23/20 12:51 AM
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Originally Posted by fishslime
If they still wiggle, I clean them. If stiff and discolored, no. I freeze 2 litre coke bottles and put one or two in the live well in the hot weather to keep them from spoiling when needed.


If they're stiff and discolored, check with Tuner before throwing them away. He's thinking about eating gar and other Cajun delicacies.


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Re: Dead fish in livewell [Re: zachary00] #13569758 05/24/20 04:32 PM
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I thought this was gonna be one of them puking & spitting chunks stories about finding a dead fish in the live well and having to clean it out. Been there done that.


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Re: Dead fish in livewell [Re: zachary00] #13582329 06/04/20 12:53 PM
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Press down on the the side of the fish with your finger. If it stays indented no go. If it returns to normal it's all good.

Last edited by hook_n_line; 06/04/20 12:54 PM.
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