To string or not to string...that is the question

M
Michael
So here's the situation... you're reeling in.. you feel the tug, you set the hook, and you land a keeper.

when I was a kid I used to just put them, still alive, on a stringer, in the water. I've read that's a no-no. I've read that field dressing them as soon as possible is the best way. But I've also heard that you're not supposed to clean them in or along the waters your fishing.

So I'm curious.. what do you folks do to preserve your fish that you're keeping until you get home or back to your campsite?

Thanks.
 
S
SantiamDrifter
bonk and bleed, put on ice.
 
C
capblack
never seen anyone bonk a trout before, as long as you keep them in the water where there cool, your all right, when Im in my boat, i put them on ice, and clean them when I get home. some areas like foster at sunnyside, have fish cleaning stations, but not everywhere. Brian
 
T
TTFishon
I've bonked them before only because I didn't have a stringer with me. Or I break their necks and they die instantly then use a stick for a stringer and put them in the water. When I bring my stringer I string them up alive and throw and throw them in the water.
 
T
Throbbit _Shane
TTFishon said:
I've bonked them before only because I didn't have a stringer with me. Or I break their necks and they die instantly then use a stick for a stringer and put them in the water. When I bring my stringer I string them up alive and throw and throw them in the water.

I do the same thing. I hate forgetting my stringer, its gets a little bloody then :D
 
T
TTFishon
Throbbit _Shane said:
I do the same thing. I hate forgetting my stringer, its gets a little bloody then :D

Yeah, for some reason I seem to forget my stringer a lot. I like how the blood squirts when I break their necks.
 
Z
ZeeBorn
If the day or water is warm I will put the fish on a stringer and keep them alive until I'm ready do head out. If it's a cold day, or the water is cold I'll kill and gut them on the spot. If I have a fish on the stringer and it dies then I'll gut it and get as much blood out of the meat as I can and get it in the coldest place available to me at the time. If I have a cooler with ice on hand, I'll clean them out and get em on ice right away. You just have to do what ever you can to keep the meat in the best shape possible. It's all about having respect for the life you are taking.
-Nate
 
Fish-On Fred
Fish-On Fred
I use a wire fish basket for small trout or Kokes, and hang it in the water until I am ready to go. Using a wet guny sack for larger trout, Salmon, and Steelhead helps a lot as it acts like a swamp cooler. Of course, cleaning after bonkin' and putting on ice is very proper way of keeping your prize meat from spoiling. You could lay a wet guny sack on top of the carcass in the cooler to if needed. Now what do ya do with all that liquid refreshments that were in the cooler????? AHHH...Drink UP!!!:clap::clap::yay::yay::yay: Fred
 
T
Thuggin4Life
I like to ripe there gills so there is blood everywhere and toss them in the cooler and listening to the flop till the die. Thats in the boat. On the bank i string em up in the water but same thing rip the gills so they bleed out.
 
E
everett464
I'm usually wading, so I bonk 'em, cut em, wrap them in grass, and stick them in the back of my vest. That said, I C & R ninety-five percent of the time, which is clearly the sporting option.
 
T
Thuggin4Life
Curious what the grass is about. And it was nice to meet you today. I know a cool spot you would like to go sport fish for trout were its c&r only and pretty country we should hit it up sometime.
 
E
everett464
First, it is recommended in the Curtis Creek Manifesto, the single greatest authority on fly fishing ever written.

On the reals though, it does a few things, it keeps the fish from drying out, and it helps to insulate the fish, slowing down bacterial activity. It also keeps the "slime" on the fish instead of it all coming off on the cotton in my vest.

Further, if you are camping you can cook trout, wrapped in grass, under hot coals. It keeps the skin from burning, and gives the trout some flavor.
 
T
Thuggin4Life
Those are all some very good reasons. I put a fish in the pocket of my waders one time and I won't be doing it again. gonna try the cooking method sometime.
 
M
Michael
So for those of you that are gutting them on the spot... What are you doing with the guts and heads? Throw em in the bushes?
 
E
everett464
Yeah, I try to get it up from the bank a bit, and out of anywhere someone might walk, or if I can out of sight.
 
T
TTFishon
everett464 said:
Yeah, I try to get it up from the bank a bit, and out of anywhere someone might walk, or if I can out of sight.

Aren't you worried about someone's dog getting it? When I clean my fish at the water's edge I throw the guts as far into the water as I can.
 
E
everett464
I guess I never thought about that.

I have heard that you should not put it in the water, but I can think of no good reason why.
 
T
TTFishon
I've heard it's illegal but I'm not sure if it is or not. I can understand why they wouldn't want guts thrown in some waters like at a trout pond or something of that nature. Just think if everyone cleaned their fish at AB and threw the guts in the water or up on the bank how nasty that would be. Normally I clean my fish at home, but when I'm camping I usually clean them at my camp spot.
 
E
everett464
I clean em at home too, unless I have a lengthy drive.
 
T
Thuggin4Life
It is wrongfully illegal but I toss them out in the current if i can't do it at home.
 

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