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HOW TO HANDLE YOUR CATCH

CONT. FROM PAGE 12

any other kind of dressed seafood to soak in water. Keep your cooler drain open and make sure your seafood is protected from the ice in plastic bags. Allowing fish to soak in water just blanches the taste right out of it.

Now for rule three…the most important of all fish handling rules. Make sure that if you are going to freeze fish, you freeze it properly. Air is the big enemy in freezing, so make plans to vacuum pack your fish, or find other methods to get the air out of the freezer bags. Freeze in each bag only what your family will eat in a meal. I have seen too many people take their ten-pound bags of bulk tuna home and because they were too tired to mess with it, throw it in the freezer. Unfortunately that tuna was unfit for consumption when thawed. Seafood that is not going to be eaten fresh must be frozen as soon as possible. If you are here for a week try to allow time to get your

fish hard frozen before you leave. This way you can pack it fully into a dry (yes that’s right…no ice at all) cooler. Make sure that your blocks of fish are fully frozen and they will act as their own ice. Fill any open air space with newspaper and tape the lid shut. It will stay hard frozen for 36 hours. The secret here is to make sure you use no ice, which will only cause your fish to thaw out. If your cooler is full of frozen fish and the lid is taped tightly shut, it will be fine for the trip home. Dry Ice may be used to transport fish if you can find it.

I hope these simple ideas will help you to enjoy your seafood as much at home as you do here on the Outer Banks. Planning what to

do with your catch is every bit as important as planning how to catch it!

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