Fishing for Bluefin Tuna is one of the most rewarding, yet financially demanding forms of the sport. They are a very time and labor intensive fish to target. So what keeps anglers chasing schools season after season? They’re some of the highest quality and delicious tuna you can catch. After going through the painstaking process of hunting down, fighting, and catching a Bluefin, what steps should you take to assure the freshest meat possible?
A commonly used golden rule is approximately 3lbs of ice for every lb of fish. Bluefin are notoriously massive and warm blooded. This makes them hard to cool down and experts at melting ice in your kill bag. Given this standard, many vessels cannot accommodate such amounts of ice. A work around this rule is to use saltwater to make an ice slushy in your bag. This will allow your temperature to stay much colder than ice can provide alone. Having a leak proof bag that can maintain the cool mixture is essential. Our larger sized Fathom Fish Cooler Bags are perfect for these larger Bluefin and made to chill your fish and keep it on ice all the way back to the dock.
Getting all the blood out of the fish is a key way to cool it down and assure your meat stays fresh. They carry organic waste and other oils within their blood that can affect the flavor of your filets. Much of the “fishy taste” some tuna has is due to improper bleeding. Bluefin have arteries at the backside of their pectoral fins toward the base. A small cut in on each side is enough to sever them and empty all the blood.
When back on land and beginning to cut up the fish, make sure not to dump out that cold slush. Cut the loins and place back into the mixture to keep at the frigid temperature. Take them out when it is time to deskin and cut your steaks. By not allowing the meat to warm, it is much easier to cut and remains fresh for much longer. Never rinse the meat under freshwater at any time. Once finished processing, place directly into the fridge or freezer until it is time to enjoy!
Bluefin tuna is a luxury to have stored. It signifies not only a great meal, but also a reward from difficult work. Properly caring for your catch is the best way to maximize the entire experience, easily justifying the dedication and costs that accompany this passion!