How to Keep Fish Fresh While Fishing: Smart Tricks that Go a Long Way

Imagining being out fishing for a whole afternoon. Won’t your fish lose their freshness when you get home? Yes, it happens even to the best of us. Luckily for you, it doesn’t always have to be this way.

There are many ways that you can opt for to keep your fish fresh until it is cooked and served. That’s just how you get that tasty meal.

In this post, I will share with you some of the smartest tricks that you can use to keep your fish fresh without having to return your catch in the water. Take a look at the best ways of how to keep fish fresh while fishing.

Kill and Dress Your Catch Immediately

The best way to keep your catch fresh is to kill and dress your catch immediately. Once dressed, you can set the fish in a freezer so that it retains its freshness for the time that you will be out fishing.

However, this can interrupt a rather awesome fishing experience. That’s why for the seasoned anglers, people who love to fish, and the newbie that doesn’t want to lose the good luck charm, the next options will be the best.

String the Catch and Lower in Water

Another trick that works miracles is putting your fish in a stringer and then lowering it in water. If you do this, the fish will stay alive for as long as it is underwater. Because the water is their natural home, fish will find it easy to breathe and keep alive.

Whenever you catch a fish, you should string it with the rest and lower it underwater. Make sure the string and the knot hold, or else you will lose your catch at a go. Take your time to secure the stringer too.

Put in a Basket and Lower in Water

Again, the next best trick when looking at how to keep fish fresh while fishing is to put your catch in a basket and lower it in water. This trick works in the same way as the stringer. Only that when it comes to this, the catch is set in a pool inside the basket.

It is important that your basket is also secured with a good lid so that the fish doesn’t have a way to slip through. You can always keep the basket on the shallow edges of the bank if you are around the reefs.

Make a Live Well around You

For the guys who love the reefs or the piers, sometimes putting up shallow well around the fishing area will be a great tip. You just dig a shallow well pour some water in it and then keep all your catch in the well.

A live well is a great option for newbies who are looking for fun ways to keep their catch alive and fresh before they learn how to dress. Personally, I have used this trick over and over again and had some of the best experiences with it.

Using a Pail with Shaved Ice

Finally, you can also use a pail with shaved ice to position your catch. This may not guarantee that you get all the fish alive. However, it will only make a few fish to go dormant. It is a great trick that you can use if you intend to make your work simple.

The model that’s often used here is this. The shaved ice keeps the fish cool, and as it melts into water, it gives them some form of the natural environment to stay in.

Bonus Tip: Keeping the Right Temps

Once you have understood how to keep fish fresh while fishing, the next big thing that you have to learn is how to preserve your fish until you get home. Fish is highly perishable and will easily go bad.

As such, you must ensure that you maintain the right temperature on your way home. A great way to do that is to put it on ice or chill it, and once you get home, you will refrigerate your fish immediately if you didn’t plan on eating it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you have understood how to keep fish fresh while fishing, it is probably time to look through some of the most frequently asked questions. Please take a look at what I have prepared for you.

How long can fish be kept fresh after catching?

If you want your fish to stay fresh for long, you should refrigerate it. To refrigerate the fish, first, wash the fish in cold water and then dry it up with some clean cloth or even paper towels. Follow this by wrapping your clean fish with a waxed paper or a plastic wrapper. You can also use aluminum foil.

Then store the fish on ice or put it inside your refrigerator. Do not let your fish exceed two days in the refrigerator as that will interfere with its taste.

What do I need to return my catch to the water safely?

Some of the fishing tools that you can use if you just want to fish for sport include; fish-friendly hooks or the self-release hooks. You can also keep your hands wet or use the fishing gloves if you must remove the fish from the water.

How do you keep your fish fresh if camping?

Work with the stringer and then, later on, use a cooler of ice water. This should keep your fish fresh until when you’re ready for the cooking. For camping purposes, though, most fish that you catch will be cooked within the day.

Must I have a permit when fishing?

Yes. Most of the states that you fish in will want you to have a fishing permit. You can always check with the responsible departments to ensure that you have the right licenses to fish and also to catch some specific types of fish. Fishing without a license in these areas will result in fines and jail terms.


Now that you know how to keep fish fresh while fishing, the next big thing that you should look at is how to cook the best delicacy out of your fish. Nonetheless, fish is one of the most nutritious meals that you can have. Make sure that you keep your fish fresh so that you have a tasty meal.

More importantly, it would be best if you also took your time to find the right fishing tool to make your work easy. Tools and equipment will make your fishing experience an awesome one and leave you with limited or zero hitches.

Most people who are learning to fish might not get the right tools easily. It is recommended that you ask the seasoned anglers for help.

When going fishing too, make sure that you find a group to go with. Waters can be very dangerous, and that’s why it is important to find someone who will always help you to look over your shoulder.

Good luck with your next fishing trip.

Meta Description

Do you know how to keep fish fresh while fishing? Learn the best tricks that you can work with anytime. We have complete tips for you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top