You are what you eat, and the quality and edibility of the fish you bring home says a lot about you. Treating the fish so that it tastes as good as possible, and stays fresh for longer, displays admirable skill and shows respect for the fish. And when you consider all the time and effort you put in to catch a few keepers – and the strict bag limits in force these days – proper fish care is just plain common sense.
Fortunately, the basics of fish care are pretty straight forward. In this article I'll explain the science, the law and address a furphy or two.
ICED OR ALIVE?
The traditional method of processing a fish is to bleed it (depending on the species) and immerse it in a brine slurry. However, more anglers are now opting to keep their fish alive in a livewell so they can process their catch later. This can be a good option, but there are some regulations to bear in mind if you want to do this.
First of all, it’s illegal in Queensland to retain live coral reef fin fish. The only exceptions are if you’re planning to put the fish in an aquarium, or if you intend to immediately return it to the sea.