Using water when cleaning your fish

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Using water when cleaning your fish

Postby Karma Trees » February 21st, 2019, 9:56 am

I was always brought up to never use freshwater when cleaning my saltwater fish.
For example when cleaning a fish at home instead of hosing it down with the sink water or using a hose in the yard i have always just wiped the fillets down with paper towels etc.
I was always told that using freshwater on a saltwater fish would break the meat down in a way that made it fishier so i've always steered away?
I watch these youtube videos at work to kill time some days and see exotic shit get filleted up haha.
I recently noticed them hosing a fish down and was wondering if it is fresh or saltwater rinsing?
Does anyone rinse their meat or clean it
https://youtu.be/AyVZSnLNACM?t=243
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Re: Using water when cleaning your fish

Postby castronova » February 21st, 2019, 10:32 am

The first I ever heard of "not using fresh water on saltwater fish" was from west coast guys when I started traveling or reading these forums. Every fisherman/charter captian in the Keys and the rest of Florida from what I have ever seen cleans the fish with fresh water as they fillet. I've ate fish like that my whole life. I've tried to not use fresh water a few times and notice absolutely no difference in how the fish tastes. I do not know if it makes the fish last longer before needing to be froze, I never tested it that in depth.
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Re: Using water when cleaning your fish

Postby Karma Trees » February 21st, 2019, 10:35 am

ok thanks for the insight.
I've been on a lot of boats that clean that way on the west coast too.
It was just something i was brought up not doing so am wondering if its just bullshit?
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Re: Using water when cleaning your fish

Postby castronova » February 21st, 2019, 1:14 pm

I bet you do more good by just keeping the fish as dry as possible than what water you use. If you leave the fish with too much excess water when bagged it seems to go bad faster in my experience. I don't dry my fish before its bagged but I will dump any water that accumulates in the bag the next day after it settles.
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Re: Using water when cleaning your fish

Postby dariian » February 21st, 2019, 1:20 pm

I've also been wondering this for a long time.

If I have to clean filets at home I'll make salt water with kosher salt.
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Re: Using water when cleaning your fish

Postby Bill McIntyre » February 21st, 2019, 1:41 pm

I grew up in Florida and my father was a fishing guide and commercial fisherman. He always used fresh water cleaning his fish. I always used fresh water until I moved out here and heard that I wasn't supposed to. If I'm cleaning a fish on the boat where I have the raw water washdown I'll use salt water, but if I'm home I'll use fresh water. Ive never noticed any difference.
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Re: Using water when cleaning your fish

Postby Behslayer » February 21st, 2019, 11:18 pm

I'll hose down a fish, get the slime off. But from there, I won't rinse those fillets. I'll bring those in and rinse them off in a bowl of Sea Salt made salt water with ice cubes in it. Then I pat those dry. If I'm going to be using in the next couple days, I'll wrap in paper towel. If you have a red meat fish, for example a Rainbow Runner and you rinse the fillets with Fresh Water it will turn a little whitish, but Salt Water it retains it's original. Same with some snapper.
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Re: Using water when cleaning your fish

Postby NaClAddict » February 24th, 2019, 3:16 pm

I prefer to avoid freshwater exposure to fish. You can see the meat break down and get milky looking. It definitely doesn’t freeze as well that way. Here in Redondo I swear I can taste the heavy chlorination at least with wsb and halibut that have been rinsed in fresh water. I also try and keep blood, slime, guts, and gut fluids off my meat. I’d rather wipe with paper towels than rinse.
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Re: Using water when cleaning your fish

Postby Avenues » February 24th, 2019, 4:12 pm

Last year I visited a fish processing area and they were using fresh water to clean the fillets. When I asked them about the fresh water breaking down the meat, they told me exposure to fresh water is fine. What you don't want is to have the meat soaking in any water, fresh or salt.

I do this and dry the fillets after, can't tell a difference from how I was doing it before.
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Re: Using water when cleaning your fish

Postby gringo sushi » February 26th, 2019, 10:13 am

I try to do a good job of bleeding fish. When I do I've noticed that I don't get any blood when cleaning.

I give the fish a good hose off before starting and am careful not to break into the gut and most often can do the entire fish dry. In the cases where I do get some bleeding on a fillet I'll rinse it off with fresh water and pat dry before tossing it in the ready to pack bin. I'v never been able to notice a difference.
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