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  1. #1

    when is it best to eat fish?

    A couple of years ago I saw a programme on TV (can't remember exactly which one) about catching & eating fish. Now they had a bloke from the CSIRO who had done tests claiming that a fish was best eaten (more tender) after having been on ice for at least 12hrs after catching apparently to allow the flesh to 'relax'.

    Now my question is: Is anyone aware of this & does anyone adhere to this philosophy?

    I realise most anglers wouldn't give 2 hoots because fresh fish is bloody good at the worst of times but I would like to hear opinions of people who can back it up one way or another because since seeing that show I've been telling my fellow fisho's about it & they give me this look of 'what are you smokin' & I'm beginning to doubt myself.

    Last edited by Mattg68; 22-03-2007 at 01:39 PM.
    c'mon, take the bait....

  2. #2

    Re: when is it best to eat fish?

    Matt i did a seafood handling course for my master fishermans licence and they say that its best to eat your fish up to five days after it has been caught there reasons for doing so were that when a fish dies it gets rigamortis and there for it is tougher to eat and tastes more like meat but after a few days it gets post rigamortis and the muscles relax making it more tender and flavoursome and tastes more like fish, i beleive they do a similar thing for meat but they hang it for longer periods to improve its quality.

    I don't tend to follow this rule though i like to eat my fish as fresh as gets as leaving it for a few days just doesn't seem right.

    Cheers Samson

  3. #3

    Re: when is it best to eat fish?

    Personally, I think Samson's probably correct. The deckie took a week to finish eating the last flake I caught. I filleted it and she placed it in tubs in the fridge. She swears that the older stuff tastes better. I like it like that but I can't eat it on the same day as it has a rather strong taste and is tougher. She reckons this for all the fish I catch and she should know as once there's some in the house, she'll eat it for lunch and dinner until it runs out. For work, she takes a salad with cold cooked fish on it. I like fish but i ain't that game

    The same for meat. I'll buy cryvac in bulk and on the day of the sell by date, I'll open it, slice it and freeze it. It's always tastier and more tender.

    When I was a kid, I worked as a butchers help and the sides of beef used to hang in the shop for a week before he jointed 'em. I also remember the inshore trawlers landing fish and they'd been at sea a week and the fish was just on ice not frozen so if it spent a week in wholesale/retail then I reckon it was going on 2 weeks old before we ate it. It may be nostalgia but I swear fish tasted better back then.

    Offshore/deep sea trawlers could be away for 6 weeks and their fish was also on salt ice. I never saw fish frozen.


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  4. #4

    Re: when is it best to eat fish?

    We leave ours for a day or so

  5. #5

    Re: when is it best to eat fish?

    here comes some more biol Finga

    rigor takes 6-12 hours to complete its cycle in in the skeletal muscle of mammals, less in the fishes. There are several other factors at play not the least of which is the fact that the metabolic processes of the species are notable different (warm v cold blooded) and the muscle fibre arrangement is different. To compare beef to fish is like comparing a tomato to a potato.

    Tenderising by aging allows enzymatic processes to alter proteins in the flesh - basically initiating digestion - in a similar way a croc stores its prey so it can start to rot.

    There is a trade-off though against oxidation - oxidation makes flesh go rancid (rot) and taste like crap - that's why beef gets cryvaced to age OR doesn't get broken - expose it to the air and oxidation starts.

    Because fish have a signifigantly higher surface area to volume ratio oxidation affects them more - this is increased with increased temperature. The same way fish will dehydrate more rapidly - also a factor in the whole tender thing.

    If you like fishy tasting fish - let it age a bit - keep it whole in a salt water ice slurry. Personally I like the fresh taste of the sea - I ice slurry immediately and eat as soon as possible. Freezing removes moisture from both beef and fish so I try to remove as much air space as possible if I'm going to freeze it.

    Last edited by CHRIS aka GWH; 22-03-2007 at 08:31 PM.

  6. #6

    Re: when is it best to eat fish?

    i normally take two days to eat the fish.
    But i did have whiting straight from the surf once. i mean caught half a dozen fillet and skin them on the spot straight into the frying pan all within half an hour. IMO that was the best ting i have ever had.


  7. #7

    Re: when is it best to eat fish?

    well that's interesting, I'm glad that it's not bullsh*t then. sounds like it could be a case of 50/50 on the taste side of things. it's probably a minute difference & could vary with species vs time left. Next time I might try testing with eating some now vs leaving some & see if I can pick up some differences.

    Anyway, thanks for the feedback fellas, was courious to know all that.

    P.S. Chris - 'what are you smokin'.

    c'mon, take the bait....

  8. #8

    Re: when is it best to eat fish?

    With some larger species such as tuna, when it's being used for sashimi they say it's better after 2-3 days rather than same day caught. That's for sashimi though last lot of spotties we caught we ate some whilst filleting and it tasted pretty damn good to me.


    P.S. Chris tomato and potato are from the same family The Nightshades.

  9. #9
    Ausfish Addict disorderly's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    In the Jungle

    Re: when is it best to eat fish?


    Thats interesting about "aging" the tuna .

    My missus makes great sushi.We use spanish mackeral,when I catch one,but after more than 24-36 hours the flesh starts to go a bit mushy.
    Although if you were to cook it,it becomes firm.

    It may just be in my mind but when I,m eating raw fish,the fresher the better.

    cheers Scott
    Last edited by disorderly; 23-03-2007 at 10:03 PM. Reason: Cant spell

  10. #10

    Re: when is it best to eat fish?

    One of the reasons i Fish is cause i very much like eating Fish ...Now, whilst i'm out fishing my catch goes straight into an ice slurry and from there onto ice..
    I could be out for a day or overnight..
    So long as i have a feed of my freshly caught catch the night i get home from my trip i dont care whether i eat it every day or every second day..
    Also i like to spend some time around the local marinas or bund walls chasing a coupla fresh Bream for tea and being fresh i like to eat them that way too as i dont think the ole bream tastes too shyte hot after its been frozen...
    But to the main point of the question??. I think reef fish should spend a wee bit of time on the ice or ferfrigerator prior to being eaten ...
    Cooking a feed on the rig if the weather permits is another favourite way of eating the catch...

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