Bleeding Out Walleyes
Crestliner Pro Staff
If you plan on keeping a few fish for the dinner table, you may want to consider the method of bleeding out your catch while you are still on the water. The benefit of this method will be whiter fillets, better flavor, reduces any strong fish taste, and there will be less mess when cleaning your fish.
It would help to bring along a cooler with ice to store your fish, especially on warm days. I like to freeze drinking water bottles and isolating them with a divider in the bottom of your cooler. This provides the cool temperature needed for storing your fish and gives you available cold drinking water when desired. You may also want to bring along a plastic coated stringer to help keep your boat clean.
Once you land a fish that you plan on keeping, take a pair of meat shears with a cured bladed and snip between the gills. It works best to put the fish on the stringer first and hold it over the side of the boat because this will cause considerable bleeding and it could make a mess in the bottom of your boat. This method also is better than bleeding them in your live well which is also very messy and can clog your drain. After attaching your stringer to the boat cleat, throw it behind the boat and let it bleed out for 5-10 minutes until it bleeds clean. You need to remember to bring the stringer in and put your fish on ice before running to a new location.
When you clean your fish, you will be surprised on how much less of a mess there is. Be sure to wash your fillets in cold water thoroughly and they will turn out snow white. The fillets will have zero blood on them and will be ready to batter and drop into hot oil or pack for freezing.