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?? about bleeding out tuna

Old 09-19-2008, 07:34 PM
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Default ?? about bleeding out tuna

I always read that you have to bleed out and gut tuna within like 20 minutes of catching them or they will spoil. So why do I always see pictures of peoples catches of the day back at dock that look whole to me? Unless they caught it at the dock, won't the meat be bad by the time they get back? Or is it you just have to bleed out but not gut?

Just trying to figure out whats what before I catch my first tuna.
Old 09-19-2008, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

You only really need to bleed them. Gutting a tuna at sea is not always the safest thing to do. It's best to cut them while they are still alive so that their heart pumps out the majority of their blood for you. Then pack them in ice.
Old 09-19-2008, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

It will not spoil...but the quality of the meat is certainly better if you bleed them out.
Old 09-19-2008, 08:13 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

Agree with the above; bleed and ice them. Never gutted a tuna, and never had one spoil.
Old 09-20-2008, 02:50 AM
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Default RE: ?? about bleeding out tuna

Bleeding and gutting does make a significant difference in the quality of the meat .
To bleed and gut should not take more then a few minutes pack the cavity with ice and your good to go. Another benefit is to see what they are eating so you can match the hatch
Old 09-20-2008, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

I gut and bleed the first fish like the edge to see whats inside but only the 1 fish. After that I just bleed them and have never seen any difference in quality of the meat between the 2.
Old 09-20-2008, 05:21 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

I had a couple of comments for ya.... I got my commercial permit a few years ago because i fished nearly everyweekend and i had so much fish when i came home... So i started dropping off all of my fish at the Auction block... Having seen first hand hundreds of tunas each morning and the different conditions... trust me... the commercial guys have this down pat for a reason... The huge tunas, the run a spike between their spinal cord so they don't flop around PERIOD (that bruises the meat) , then they bleed the fish, (make an incision in the gill plates both sides so they bleed out) ... Reason being, the tuna's blood pumps so fast that they want all of the heat out of the fish as soon as possible... so, pump all the blood out... they only gut the fish if it is gaffed in the stomach cavity... if you penetrate the belly and have all that bile and stomach juice get in the meat, that causes it to spoil.. so, what i do is this... as soon as i catch the fish, i put them in a 240 qt cooler with a mixture of saltwater and ice... super cold... once they chill down as much as possible (remember, if you're really into the fish, it's all about time... so i don't have time to treat EACH fish at that moment (unless gaffed in the stomach) so i throw them in the brine mixture, let them cool down super fast, then once the fishing slows down, i take them out and bleed them... then pack them on ice... if's its a big toad, say 100 Yellow fin or larger, i will gut it and pack the stomach cavity with ice just to keep the meat the coldest... it usually takes me about 8 hours to get that fish to the auction block...

i've had really good luck with the price i pull for my tuna just by changing the icing technique.... it's all about ICE... keep em cool, and it slows down spoiling... but they all go through rigormortis, so, it's how cold you get them right away...

mahalo
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Old 09-21-2008, 12:55 PM
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Default RE: ?? about bleeding out tuna

That clears it up for me.

Tnaks for all the good info guys. Now I just need to catch one and try it out fo rmyself.
Old 09-21-2008, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

The reason it never looks like it is gutted is because you gut them through the gills. Take out the gills/rakers and get it out that way.
Old 09-22-2008, 04:28 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

Here in Hawaii we call it G&G or gut and gill. As soon as its up... we bring 100 pounders up in less than 20 minutes and after a few bats to the head we slice the gill rakers and yank it out along with the guts. Then we slice a small opening in the belly to pack in some ice. We let it bleed on the deck for a couple of minutes then throw it on ice.

Meat does not spoil but the fight time and handling affects the quality of the meat. We have grades for them at the auctions. A burnt ahi will get a dollar or less a pound.... even if only one tiny tested section of the fish is burnt. If its completely red throughout the probe... its grade A and gets upwards of $6 a pound.

With the cost of gas, tackle, and bait, it makes a big difference in how we want to get paid. So we do all the necessary precautions.
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Old 09-24-2008, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

Below is from another site but the info is as detailed as it gets...if you care.

Tuna should NOT be iced before they go into rigor UNLESS they have been spiked and spinal reamed.
to understand this we need to go into some basic tuna physiology.

Gunna be a longish post, so bear with me ,the detail is important.
There are 2 types of fish.
Cold blooded fish & 'warm' blooded fish
Tuna are 'warm' blooded fish........... not so warm as you & me but none the less.
Tuna have the ability to generate a body temperature higher than the water they are in............ this is achieved by a heat exchange in the bloodflow between the blood flowing back to the heart from the body and the blood flowing from the heart thru the gills & into the body...........this is that mass of blood vessels in the lateral line ( the dark red "meat" ).
Now to the nervous system:
There are voluntary muscle movements & autogenous muscle movements
The voluntary ones are go fast/slow swim right or left etc
The autogenous ones are heartbeat & shiver etc
Yep SHIVER...........same as you & me ........when experiencing cold.........shiver to generate heat & warm up.
Now to nerves & muscles & rigor Simple version )
muscles work from the action of stored energy compounds held in the muscle cells & released by the nerves attached to them ( either voluntary signal or autogenous ).
In the living fish ( and you & me ) these compounds are regenerated from the blood
The muscles when working create lactic acid which is taken away by blood flow & disposed of by body organs.
We will not go into the scientific details of what compounds or how they are regenerated or the chemistry of muscle contractions & relaxation ( another 1000 words to do that )
I'm sure you understand the term " brain dead"
brain is dead but body functions are still alive.
When the fish is brain dead the energy compounds in the muscle cells are still available and controlled by the nerves. The nerves are still working for quite a while after the brain is dead.
The muscles can & do work autogenously to shiver even when the brain is dead ( if the tuna is exposed to cold ).
The muscles will work until the stored energy compounds are used up.
fish (& every other animal with muscles) go into rigor when the muscles have depleted the compound required to relax the muscles.
In death the energy compounds leak away and the last muscle action is contraction of every muscle cell in the body & the fish goes hard ( its in rigor ).
Fish stays in rigor until biological enzyme actions start to break down the muscle tissue itself.( ie the fish flesh is starting to deteriorate - not rotten........just starting the process ).

OK ..........now the answer to what should be done with the tuna on the deck:
1.
every fish to be kept should be humanely dispatched immediately on capture as death starts the process of getting into rigor, and it stops the fish from thrashing about and bruising the flesh ( and maybe you ).
Brain spike or clubbed.
2.
The tuna should then be bled. Minimum action is to sever the gills. The best practice is to stab the fish immediately behind the pectoral fin on the lateral line on both sides & slash the lateral line at the tail on the lateral line on both sides.
Why ???
The tuna has been fighting you hard & has a high level of lactic acid in its blood from the muscle effort.
If left there it will eat thru the blood vessels and into the flesh.........this results in sour flesh exposed to the lactic acid.
Severing the gills is better than nothing , but the blood in the heat exchanger vessels is still trapped there ......... so severing the lateral line front & back & both sides drains these organs.
This should be done as soon as the fish is on the deck & killed, but the heart is still beating, to pump it out.
Gutting: ( added in edit )
Gutting should not take place until the fish has fully bled out.
You want the heart to pump as much of the blood out as possible , as it will continue to function autogenously after brain death until it no longer has any energy compounds in its muscle mass to keep functioning.( the heart will be the first muscle mass to go into rigor).
Only the gut & gills should be removed , leaving the membrane between the gut & the rest of the body intact as this is a natural barrier to gut enzymes and bacteria entering the flesh of the fish.
BTW
That really dark red stuff under the fishes spine in the gut cavity is the fishes kidney
No need to remove it in the gutting process and strip the gut cavity membrane away to get at it. Leave it there & deal with it in the filleting process down the line
This applies to ALL fish not just tuna.
When whole fish or cutlets are being cooked, the time to remove the kidney by scraping & brushing is in the prep immediately before cutting the cutlets or cooking whole.
Now to chilling practice:
2 choices;
best practice is to use a wad punch ( stainless tube ) instead of using just a spike and then running a flexible rod down the spinal cord as far as you can to destroy the nerve links between adjacent muscle groups in either side of the fish to prevent shivering
then straight into RSW or ice ( preferably as a slurry with water ).
The spinal cord runs from the brain cavity down along the top of the spine ( not in it ).
it runs in the bifurcated legs of the top spines of the backbone & whilst tricky to learn is easy once you have done it a couple of times. The big trick is to cut into the front of the brain cavity with the wad punch leaving the back of the cavity as a nice little funnel into the spinal cord track, to run the reamer into.
If you can't , don't, or don't have time to do this DO NOT PUT THE TUNA STRAIGHT INTO RSW or ICE.
the tuna will shiver and generate heat & cook in its core. The RSW / ICE cannot cool the insides of the fish fast enough & has no effect on counteracting the heat generated as the cold will not reach that area & depth of the fish for a couple of hours.
Yes HOURS.
IF you dont destroy the spinal cord , tuna should be left in a cool place with a wet rag over it or in a killbox with seawater ( not RSW ) running over it until the fish starts to go into rigor ( ie the fish is telling you the muscles have run out of energy compounds )
Then Chill.
If you take shortcuts to the above you are giving yourself a substandard product.
Hope that helps understand the what & why of tuna flesh care.
Your choice as to what you do & there are a lot of myths out there.........especially the one about chilling tuna ASAP.
I know what good tuna flesh looks & tastes like.

Chilling most fish ASAP is correct ( the cold blooded ones )............chilling tuna ASAP without the correct preparation is WRONG.
BTW
in decending order the fish with the highest ability to elevate their body temp , is :-
Blue Fin Tuna
BET
Yellow Fin Tuna
DenisB
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

well dayum. Thats a whole lot of work to get it right. I guess after some practice it gets quick.

I really appreciate the info and printed it for future use(hopefully)

THANKS TO ALL THAT HAVE REPLIED HERE!
Old 09-27-2008, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

Ok hopefully letskeepfishing, Dave, from out here in Washington chimes in. We fish an Albacore Tuna fishery out here in small boats. From California to Washington we have them

Not saying it is the right way BUT. The grand master out here have figured thigns out. Now mind you a big Albie is about 30# or so we get some pigs bigger than that but would say my fish probably averaged a little over 20# this year. SO what do we do.

Our fishery can get into a wide open bite where you can put 20 in the boat in an hour. So keep that in mind. I gaff all fish. Some guys don't. I try and hit the head, but hey still a novice at the gaff on fast mivin Tuna. SO when gaffed they do not hit the deck at all in my boat. They get brain spiked with a screwdriver then. After spiking I cut a 1" cut right behind the pectoral fin on them. They then go into a trash can of water that they are face down into. I can fit three fish a piece into them. After bleeding for 5-10 minutes under running raw water (59-62 degree) they come out and get gutted.

We cut a 1" cut in front of the anal vent. Reach in and snap the digestive cord. Then you go to the mouth. Rip your fingers around the gills and you can pull the entire gut sack right out there mouth. You have to be carefull that the heart and liver both come out and let me tell you. They wind up and start stinking in the damdest of places.

So from there they go in a "brine" solution. 1 box of Pickling Salt per about 50QT's cooler capacity of an ice and water mix. Give them about an hour there and they get iced. Do not leave them there extended. I have frozen them before. But let me tell you they really get the body temp down. Also all my regular ice in the boat is iced. Just layer it in with pickling salt. It is cheap. About a buck a box. Usually use about 10 boxes a trip. WAY cheaper than gas.

Next year I want to learn how to spine them Have read quite a bit on it. Put a piece of stainless wire and leave in the fish right through where you spike them. It detroys the spinal column. Supposedly this really defines sushimi grade tuna. But I digress. Takes a little while to get a handle on brain spiking so one step at a time.

Get them cooled quick and I have noticed a difference in table fare. Before I knew what I was doing I would get some speration in the loins. Now they are truely Sashimi grade. Taste great. I eat as much cleaning as at home. Where did I leave that damn Wasabi in the boat?

But like I said this is for Albacore. Average trip for us puts about 20-50 in the boat. Worst day this year was 16 in my little NWern. Tin thing.


ON REFLECTION.

Stuck out here in Norfolk. Seriously wanting a off shore ride in a 24 to 26ft center counsel. Thinking of getting made fun of at home by dragging one back for next year. I got all the gas and will help clean. I want someone to show me what one of those things rides like in snotty conditions. So not a Cheasapeak Bay ride unless on a really crappy day. Anyone interested? Not wanting really to fish just see how a 24/26 Regulator/Contendor/Soutport/Keywest style CC with twin 150-250's does. Also would like to know fuel milage. See how cockpit is laid out. Look at fish boxes. See I'll get made fun of untill I race in with a 26 regulator and a 700qt fish box stuffed at 35knots.
Old 10-03-2008, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

Still new to this,,,but seems I better have an experianced hand with me!!
Old 10-05-2008, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

Thanks to all for the great info
Old 10-07-2008, 12:12 PM
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Default Re: ?? about bleeding out tuna

A good source of information regarding caring for you catch, specifically tuna, is http://www.spc.int/Coastfish/Fishing.../Sashimi_E.htm and the SPC site in general has lots of good information on oceanic fisheries such as tuna.
Old 10-12-2016, 08:25 AM
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Nice information. Some of this is over-kill for us recreational guys. Bleed, gut, spike & put in salty ice water for 30 minutes then on to dry ice is enough for me..
Old 10-12-2016, 09:47 AM
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Its called iki jime
you tube link

Old 10-12-2016, 01:39 PM
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Lot of great information here. I am a little more simple. When the fish is decked, we cut a two inch slice behind the starboard Pectorial fin and put a towell over it's eye. the fish will bleed out in a few minutes. it will struggle a little, but the towell trick works pretty well. After the fish settles down, we head and gut the fish and then put on ice making sure the ice gets in the body cavity. Heading may not be looked upon well by the game wardens, but we dont fly tuna flags to let them know we caught any. We catch primarily Yellowfins in the NE canyons, and in some seasons, not this, we've brought home plenty ( I limit to 3-5/trip) and cut off the rest. I would cut them all off if the White Marlin bite is hot, as soon as they bite
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Old 06-03-2017, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by navyaircrew View Post
I had a couple of comments for ya.... I got my commercial permit a few years ago because i fished nearly everyweekend and i had so much fish when i came home... So i started dropping off all of my fish at the Auction block... Having seen first hand hundreds of tunas each morning and the different conditions... trust me... the commercial guys have this down pat for a reason... The huge tunas, the run a spike between their spinal cord so they don't flop around PERIOD (that bruises the meat) , then they bleed the fish, (make an incision in the gill plates both sides so they bleed out) ... Reason being, the tuna's blood pumps so fast that they want all of the heat out of the fish as soon as possible... so, pump all the blood out... they only gut the fish if it is gaffed in the stomach cavity... if you penetrate the belly and have all that bile and stomach juice get in the meat, that causes it to spoil.. so, what i do is this... as soon as i catch the fish, i put them in a 240 qt cooler with a mixture of saltwater and ice... super cold... once they chill down as much as possible (remember, if you're really into the fish, it's all about time... so i don't have time to treat EACH fish at that moment (unless gaffed in the stomach) so i throw them in the brine mixture, let them cool down super fast, then once the fishing slows down, i take them out and bleed them... then pack them on ice... if's its a big toad, say 100 Yellow fin or larger, i will gut it and pack the stomach cavity with ice just to keep the meat the coldest... it usually takes me about 8 hours to get that fish to the auction block...

i've had really good luck with the price i pull for my tuna just by changing the icing technique.... it's all about ICE... keep em cool, and it slows down spoiling... but they all go through rigormortis, so, it's how cold you get them right away...

mahalo
Aloha bro, you make a really good point about icing em down.. most important thing.
Even better point is no flopping around. That's what ruins the meat and gets "burner" grade at the block.
Tight lines .

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