Find Fresh Fish

Catch your own Fish.

Now this is not as bizarre as it might sound. What can be fresher than live seafood on the end of the hook or in your net? Well virtually nothing. Fishing is one of the most popular hobbies and comes in various forms, all in the fresh open air. It is easy to start as a hobby with loads of help and advice readily available. Try netting for Shrimps, Prawns or Cockles on the beach. Clamber around the rocks for Mussels, Clams and Whelk. Go beach or cliff fishing. Try some of the great rivers and inland lakes and reservoirs. Spend a day out at sea fishing off the wrecks for the monsters of the deep. The choices are numerous and after the initial investment in equipment, and possibly fees for a licence or a boat trip, the ongoing costs are minimal, in most cases free. What are the benefits to you. Fresh fish and a great and satisfying time in the fresh air. That is, if you land a catch.

Barter with an amateur fisherman

How often have you been on a walk and seen somebody catching fish. Well it might come as a surprise, but lots of people who take up fishing as a hobby do not like eating fish. It is the challenge of the hunt for the fish, and time in the great outdoors, that attracts them. So be on the lookout for people who are landing catches. Ask them would you like to sell any of those fish. The worst they are likely to say is no. However be prepared. In your rucksack, have an ice pack and some plastic bags to keep your purchase cool. Along with the bait for the fisherman, a couple of cans of cold beer or soda. How could they resist the offer, and they might ask for your contact details so that you can be informed about their future fishing expeditions.

Buy fresh fish as it is landed

If caught on a day boat will still be very fresh when landed. Many professional fishermen will be pleased to receive cash in their hand on returning to port, rather than waiting for the auction or for the fish to be distributed through the wholesale and retail trade. Both the fisherman and yourselves will benefit, by the fisherman receiving higher prices than at auction, and in your case paying lower prices than in a retail outlet.

Trust in your food retailer to supply fresh fish

We are moving further and further away from the catching point. Take confidence from the fact that both your independent local fish supplier and the likes of the giant food superstores have their reputation to uphold, and will want to supply you with the freshest fish that they can purchase. However, consider how fresh is the fish. Some of the larger fishing boats are at sea for around eight days, catching fish from the first day. Whilst in most cases the fish is kept under the protection of ice, in some instances fish it is not gutted and cleaned upon being caught. The enzymes in the stomach of the fish, which were previously helping to convert the food into energy and tissue, will carry on working, helping the bacteria in the system to break through the stomach wall and break down the flesh. This bacteria is not harmful to ourselves but will result in poor eating quality and that unpleasant smell. The longer time that the fish is not cleaned or kept under cold conditions, the worse the problem will become.

Under perfect conditions where the fish is gutted and cleaned, as soon as it is caught, and then kept under permanent refrigeration all throughout the distribution chain, most fish will have a shelf life of up to twelve days. Some fish, notably those of the Skate family, have shorter shelf lives because of the ammonia created as a result urinating through their wings. Yes, it is true.

In some instances when one adds up the number of days from being caught, the time kept stored on the fishing boat, and the time to pass through the distribution chain the twelve days will be up when it lands at your fresh fish retailer. At this point of your potential purchase you should consider a number of factors. The primary one being that it does not smell, and it should have been cleaned. For whole fish the eyes should be bright and clear, not sunken and white. The gills, if still present after cleaning, should be bright red. The skin should shiny, and the flesh and tail feel firm. For fillets of fish the flesh should not be discoloured or broken, and they should be neatly trimmed. When one considers all these points the thought of going out to catch your own fish will become more appealing, even at dawn with the rain pouring down.