After catching your limit of fish, how do you prepare them for the freezer? If you are planning a shore lunch, then this article may not be of interest. If you plan to freeze and keep your catch for later, then here is how to do this properly.
Generally, I would recommend that you freeze fish no longer than 6 months. 3 months is better yet. Keeping fish filets in a freezer for longer simply means guaranteed freezer burn, loss of texture, and flavor decline. If you insist on keeping fish longer, consider canning.
To properly freeze fish, use a quality plastic wrap. You will want to wrap the fish with a minimal amount of air inside. Try using them on a clean Styrofoam meat tray. This will support the fish and insulate them. I have wrapped filets just in plastic wrap, then placed them onto a tray for an additional wrap or two. This will certainly reduce air. If the filet tray is rather full, it is not necessary since the plan is to use them within 3 months or so.
The plastic wrapped tray stacks nicely in the freezer. You can also write on the plastic wrap using a Sharpie pen. Mark the quantity, place caught, and date. This makes for a nice presentation when sharing your catch with others. I also suggest that you include a few recipes to give with the fish. Now this store friendly treat is more inviting and will not get wasted. You can sandwich the filets between two same sized trays, then wrap them together. You lose the ability to see the filets but you double the insulation.
Plastic Wrap is a nightmare to use. Tearing it along the box edge always screws up. If the wrap sticks back onto itself, its worthless. Try getting a Plastic Wrap Cutting Box to simplify this process. Once you buy this box, you can simply place the new roll of wrap into it. A slot allows you pull out the wrap. Once you need to cut it, simply slide the cutting knob across. You now have a perfect sheet of clear wrap.
Plastic wrap sticks to itself. No tape is needed. I usually go 3 layers. Permanent marker lasts for the life of the packaging. The clear membrane allows you to see the fish, and any potential freezer burn. If you see some circles of burn, its time to use them up.
There are other ways to wrap your fish for freezing. A Vacuum sealer works great. You can also freeze them containers filled with water. I have found the method described here as cost effective and practical.
Sharing your catch with others is a real treat. Try using this wrap method to improve your presentation.
For more Montana Grant, find him tightly wrapped at www.montanagrantfishing.com.