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Jan 6, 2011 07:58 AM

Fish: Ocean to Table

Growing up in Rhode Island, I have always been blessed with some of the freshest local seafood available. I have decided that once fishing season comes around, I would like to see a fish from ocean to table to gain a greater appreciation for my seafood, and just to try something new.

Does anyone know how to tell the optimum time to let the fish rest before cooking? Is this waiting until it has passed through rigor? If so how do you know when this has occurred? I can't seem to find much information about this.

P.S. Has anyone tried Ike Jime technique?

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  1. I have caught (and bought) both freshwater, and saltwater fish....Cleaned it, cooked it, and be eating it 30-45 minutes later...Never thought about any kind of 'optimum resting time' ~~ You certainly must try fresh river catfish..taken off the hook, cleaned, and fried up in a cast iron skillet on a Sand bar....Cold beer is a must!! HTH


    1. I have had fresh fish on the boat less than an hour after being caught.
      I am intrigued by the Ike Jime technique-I had not heard of it specifically, but knew generally that the Japanese had a special method of bleeding. Something I will definitely study up on (even thought the darn rugrats have seriously cut into the fishing time)!

      5 Replies
      1. re: AdamD

        This is where I got most of my information on Ike Jime. This is the third article that I think best describes all the steps, but all four of the articles are really good in explaining how and why the Ike Jime technique works. I'm completely new to any kind of killing/bleeding technique so any tips you have would be greatly appreciated!

        1. re: AdamD

          After you've studied up, and have time to get away from the rug rats, i would be interested in you performing the procedure, and maybe doing a blind taste test of the fish just cleaned in a regular fashion.


          1. re: Uncle Bob

            It seems to me that this procedure is only needed for larger fish exceeding 10 pounds and for those fish that are particularly oily-like blue fish or mackerel.

            Personally, I gut my trout or stripers right after I catch them and have never had an issue. Being an east coaster, I could only see this technique being necessary if I were to catch albacores or yellowfin up here or yellowtail down south. All of which I catch maybe once or twice every couple of years.

            I guess the question is-is this a technique that should be employed when you catch a medium sized cod, fluke or blue fish on a party/charter boat. I dont see this as necessary for most freshwater fish other than perhaps a large salmon or steelhead.

            1. re: AdamD

              Thanks for that information Adam!

              1. re: AdamD

                Yes thank you! Makes sense that it would work better on oily fish.

          2. If you are going to bleed a fish which can be done to all fish is typically while the fish is still alive once you catch it by cutting a small slit right behind one of the pectoral fins. The blood is still pumping through the body of the fish and once you sever the main artery it will pump out itself. the benefit to bleeding a fish is that it will give less red meat.

            I have heard of some guys letting whole bled tuna sit in a brine for a day or two of mostly ice and saltwater. I have tried fresh tuna both ways and it does make much difference in flavor in my opinion.

            the japanese way of bleeding out a tuna is pretty involved and when you are on a boat and it rocking it is pretty tough to do. here is a link which describes it in detail


            2 Replies
            1. re: astark

              Personally, It seems that Ike Jime is a highly efficient way of bleeding the fish. It doesnt strike me as any more complicated that the traditional cleaning methods. A spike to the head behind through the gills. The question to me is when is this technique more beneficial than a simple quick, traditional cleaning after the fish is caught.

              My guess, larger fish and those with oily skin and flesh. Is my 1.5lb rainbow trout, that 3 lb. walleye or even that 10 lb. lake trout going to taste better if I impale the brain as opposed to whacking over the head and cleaning out the guts? Doubt it.
              But is this a good technique for a 100lb. yellowfin or a big wahoo-my guess is yes.

              1. re: AdamD

                From what I have read, Ike Jime refers to destroying the spinal column (usually with a sharpened piano wire), thus stopping the autonomic nervous system from using ATP faster. The theory is that fast ATP depletion creates a harder rigor mortis and poorer meat quality.

                Anyone feel free to correct me, I'm still trying to figure this out for myself.

            2. My husband used to go ice fishing on Lake Champlain during the winter and would come home witha big catch of little perch. That's the only time I can remember fresh caught fish that were better with a 12 to 15 hr. resting period for them to relax enough to lay flat in the pan. He doesn't go anymore and I truly miss those sweet tasting little fish.

              1. Never heard of bleeding a fish other than tuna. Letting them rest is also unheard of. I will read the Ike Jime link. My approach is the faster it is in the pan/oven/grill the better. I know shellfish does not apply to this post but I remember still standing the water while eating oysters. No waiting or resting there. I wish I had hot sauce in my pocket at the time.

                2 Replies
                1. re: CCSPRINGS

                  I bleed every fish I catch now. I usually just cut the throat/gills and put them down into the cooler head first. I started doing it with blue fish, but now that I do it to every species and every size I haven't found one fish that didn't improve. It also helps on the filet table, since there is less blood oozing out.

                  1. re: slopfrog

                    Bluefish do a good job of bleeding themselves out. They make a huge mess. Makes sense on the cutting board, less blood - cleaner, fresher meat.