I am not a chef, fishmonger or biologist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know a few tricks that will help you enjoy fresher and better tasting fish.
For me, a fresh catch is much better than any store- bought or restaurant- prepared fish. The primary reason for that is the way I take care of my catch to ensure it is the best it can be by the time it makes it to the table.
Here are five tips I use that make a real difference in the way a fish will taste.
First, any fish will taste better if it is cleaned and bled within 10 minutes of being pulled from the ocean.
Next, using salt ice (ice made with saltwater or brined water) is the best preservative, because fresh water ice almost immediately begins to change the texture and flavor of even the hardiest marine creatures.
Third, package your fish in freezer bags or, better yet, in vacuum packed bags prior to freezing.
Number four on my list is thaw your fish in the refrigerator to avoid any chance of the filets breaking down in warm temperatures.
Finally, do not overcook it. Fish is best when served medium to medium rare.
If you follow these steps, I promise you that your catch will taste fresher and better than ever before.
Offshore report: Go out to the 200-foot mark, find a reef, rock pile or wreck and drop a bait to the bottom. This is a simple recipe for a quick amber jack bite and has been working for the past two weeks. The forecast looks great for offshore fishing, but that can change with a bit of wind. Dolphin are being caught from 120- to 500-feet of water. Most anglers have reported trolling to find the schools and using big yo-zuri lures once the fish are located.
The sailfish bite has slowed, but will pick up as the summer schools of bait move in. Birds are the key to success this time of year. Terns, pelicans and frigates all mark schools of bait and can lead you to a great day of fishing.
Inshore report: Pompano are still migrating from the south, giving beach anglers the opportunity to catch their daily limits. Sand fleas are a staple, but frozen shrimp seem to be working better on a pompano rig or tipping a jig.
Bluefish schools were reported by several anglers from Lake Worth Inlet to Jupiter Inlet during the morning hours. The mackerel bite has also picked up along the beaches. A 2-ounce. krocodile is the best choice to entice either bluefish or macks.
Tight lines, crystal clear waters and sunny skies to all.
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Rob Fielding is an addicted angler and the owner of Sharkey's Tackle in Jupiter. For more information, call (561) 630-3100 or e-mail Rob.Fielding@SharkeysTackle.com.