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Bringing fish back from Canada

Discussion in 'Warm Water Species Fishing' started by junior4x4, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. junior4x4

    junior4x4

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    Headed to Canada in a few weeks and hoping to bring fish back like last year. I know you have to keep a patch of skin on for identification. We will be keeping our fish chilled while at camp and they won't be froze. Once home last year it was a pain to remove the patch of skin especially on the perch. My question is how well will the fish do if we left all the skin and scales on the fish for up to 5 days? Never done it before but how would it effect flavor? We would then fillet off the skin once we return home. Any thoughts
     
  2. Scottygvsu

    Scottygvsu

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    I'm sure walleye and perch would be ok with the skin on. I'm not sure if I'd like a pike fillet that's been marinating in slime for a few days.
    When I went, I always filleted both sides at once and left all the fillet skin and a little belly skin to hold the two fillets together. Lay them flat in the bag, then lay your next pair of fillets on top of that pair, skin facing out. Keep all your bags flat so they pack easily. Doing it this way makes the count a lot easier if you get stopped.
     

  3. frenchriver1

    frenchriver1 Mr. Flatfish Premium Member

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    Never been checked in visiting Oh Canada for about 40 years...
     
  4. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    5 days just on ice is not the best but they won't go bad.

    You're saying they will be filleted but not skinned, correct? I would definitely not leave them whole but fillets should be okay. Keep them as cold as you possibly can and keep the fillets out of water (bag them) and on ice. After 5 days they won't be rotten but they aren't going to be as perfect/firm like 24 hrs after you caught them, either.

    The skin left on will not affect flavor so long as you remove it before cooking.

    Will you have access to dry ice? If so you can freeze them.
     
  5. junior4x4

    junior4x4

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    Not worried about keeping the fish cold, just more concerned about flavor if skin, scales, and slime are left on them. I fillet all my fish immediately normally but we have a few guys lacking in knife skills. Last year they pretty much cut the whole chunk of meat off with the patch of skin and wasted a bunch of perch and walleye meat. Just trying to prevent that this years as it is easier to skin the whole fillet instead of a patch. Pike would be the worst I'm sure. Just looking for what others have encountered
     
  6. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    I wouldn't worry about leaving the whole skin and scales on. Just give them a good rinse before packaging to get the blood off. They'll taste fine.
     
  7. 1fishingnut

    1fishingnut

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    We skinned the fish right to the end and left just enough attached to keep the whole skin on. Then vac seal them so they can see each filet. When you thaw them to eat, the skin pulls right off.
     
  8. Fishfreak48

    Fishfreak48

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    I leave my fish In the fridge for a couple days with the skin on they are not bad but not more than a cop days after that they get a lil more slimy and to me pushing that not so good mark
     
  9. PATRPM

    PATRPM

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    I fillet them out and leave the skin and scales on them, and rinse them real good, so that all the slime is gone. Then vacuum seal them with the skin side out. Not to bad of a deal to skin them before frying. I have been checked a bunch of times coming through Port Huron. I just don't never want the problems.
     
  10. fishindave

    fishindave

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    Quoted for truth
     
  11. shrubmasters@gmail.com

    shrubmasters@gmail.com

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    Where in Canada? Depending on where and what limits are in effect you can only bring back that number per license. ie; conservation license is two. Catch the bring home fish on the last couple days of vacation. Much fresher than something five days old. Leave skin and scales on and put one fish per property labeled freezer bag. Freeze if you can!!!!! Also remember this if checked by customs. You never eat walleye the last day of vacation. Don't corner yourself into this trick. If you admit eating walleye the last day and bring back your limit you're in violation of over limit. Spaghetti Friday for the guys. If you do eat fish on Friday it wasn't something that you're bringing back!!! Have a blast!! Shrubby
     
  12. storman

    storman

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    We left a 2" piece of skin on like you mentioned but when we skinned them we took the knife to the point that the skin was just barely hanging on then just cut eh skin so it could be identified leaving the small patch attached. When we get home just grab the "tag" of skin with your fingers and pull free. We put two fish per gallon bag depending on there size, labeled with length kind if fish and license number. 18 years in row we have never had to pull fish out at the boarder for a check but always ready if needed loaded in the truck for quick access.
     
  13. junior4x4

    junior4x4

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    I know the spaghetti trick but good heads up anyways. We will hopefully keep catching walleye and can replace the oldest fish with new ones. I'm more concerned about perch and pike. We didn't catch many keeper pike last year and we worked all week to bring a few perch home per guy so some of those could get to 5 days in the fridge.
     
  14. junior4x4

    junior4x4

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    Oh and heading to hornepayne
     
  15. storman

    storman

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    I made a live cage that we used to take up with us and put together with thumb screws to keep our fish till the last day. The outfit now has fridge and freezer we just keep the larger ones and freeze them and keep all the smaller ones the last day. We add to the perch bags daily. Propane fridges we're all replaced and work great now before that we kept them alive as long as possible.