We usually bleed them out by cutting an "L" behind the side fin or cutting the throat latch. Once bled out, we then pack them in a canyon bag or fish box and make sure they are covered in ice. We sometimes add a bit of saltwater to the canyon bag as it brings down the temperature a bit more. This is usually enough to keep the fish until back at the dock for cleaning and icing.
Important note: the quicker you land the fish and dispatch it the less lactic acid will build up in its system. This is one of the things that detracts from the fish. It is also good to keep them from flopping around on the deck once landed as this bruises the flesh.
[Q]DC Ben originally wrote:
Do you ever clean them while out there or is this not adviseable?
And that "L" cut - any pics? Is the foot of the L pointing to the fish's tail or head?
u can gut them if u leave the head and all fins on - easily done by severing throat latch, cutting the membrane all around the gills, slitting the anus and detaching the cords there, cracking the head back and all the guts come out as a unit, cutting them off and feeding them back to the ecosystem. All this after they are fully bled out.
Do you need to do this? no, but if u want the absolute best Sushi quality tuna it is. Plus you get a bonus in seeing what they are eating today.....
Combine all of the above & you'll have perfect tunafish.
1. Land quickly (if possible)
2. Bleed around peck fin, around tail, and gills (peck fin usually is enough). Possibly cut off the gill plate & remove the gills. Bleed on deck and not in the box.
3. Beat the fish in the head to kill the brain & stop the flopping on the deck.
4. Slit the thoat, pull the head up to reveal the guts, cut around the vent, and gut the fish.
5. Access the spine while the head is up & run 400# mono down it to kill the second part of the nervous system (you already took care of the brain)
6. Ice, seawater, and possibly additional salt in the box for a superchilled slurry.
Do all that and there will be no complaints with the quality of your tunafish. I rarely do all of the above and still end up with good tuna. Bleeding while the heat is still beating is priority one. Priority two is getting the fish on ice. All the rest is just to get the best possible product back to the dock...usually reserved for bluefins $$$