Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   



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Six Steps for Perfectly
Frozen Fish

Harvesting your own catch is one of the great joys of fishing. Once you’ve mastered the art of cleaning and filleting fish, you’ll need to know how to freeze fresh fish properly. This is key for preserving the flavor and quality of every fillet.

1. Place your fresh catch in ice immediately and keep it there until ready to fillet.

2. Clean your catch as quickly as possible. Sort into meal-size portions.

3. Rinse with cold water. This will help remove any leftover slime, particulate or other contaminants that could compromise the flavor. Pat dry with a paper towel.

4. Place into plastic bags. It’s recommended to use quart-size bags and place three to four fillets in each. Some people suggest adding water, but this can turn meat to mush if you’re not careful.

5. Remove air. Air exposure can lead to freezer burn, destroying the meat. Using a vacuum sealer is an effective preservation method, but you can also use plastic zip-top bags. Prepare a large bowl of water and dip the bottom of the open bag into the water until it reaches the top of the fish (but not overflowing into the bag). This acts as a vacuum sealer, forcing out the air. Zip the top securely.

6. Wrap the bagged fish in butcher paper. If the plastic bag gets punctured in the freezer, this will protect the contents from exposure to cold air and freezer burn.

When ready to eat, thaw with cold water or in the refrigerator overnight. Now dig up that family recipe and put your new skills to the test.

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