Do you love big bluegill?
My girl always gets on my case for not killing the BG before I clean them. When I asked her how I'm supposed to kill them, she offered "I don't know, with a spoon?"
So, how do you guys humanely save your BGs from an agonizing death and make it a quick/clean/painless one instead?
I've heard of people driving a nail through a board, and out the other side, then impaling the catfish on the nail to skin them.
Honestly, I don't bother. I fillet them, then skin them after they're filleted, just like I do for all fish.
The nail in the tree is what I do with small-ish catfish. I hammer a big spike nail into the tree, about chest high, and cut off the head. The fish is forced onto the nail so it pierces the brain. Then it is cleaned as usual, meaning not filleted.
Its just what Ive been taught. But its dead, with that nail through it's head.
I have for several years used a classic Igloo cooler (approx 16 qt size =14 1/2 L x 10 1/4 W x 13 1/2 H)
and with a plastic quart and 1/2 bottle of frozen water to transport fish home. Fill the unit upon arrival at lake, this will ice down the lake water for receiving fish later. I place catch in the live well of the boat, check periodically for any gills that may be floating, place those over into cooler. Place all gills in cooler at departure from lake time. It may be a couple hours or so before I get to fillet fish, at which point they are usally well tempered which helps the fillet task. Unit cleans out easily and plastic bottle after rinse can be refrozen to be used over and over. Never worried about filleting fish which are still alive, first cut is back across gill line which would sever nerve anyway.
Good method of reusing. I normally use either a milk jug with the cut top and plugged handle to prevent the C-ice ring from open, and shove the bottle to make a huge block of ice in my garage freezer. I also use a tray that fits perfectly at the bottom the old 24qt cooler I normally use, creating about 3 inches of height for the ice. I can use the ice sheet as an ice cap to prevent the fish from bouncing around during transport if I'm fishing nearby, or keep them cool so I can get them to the prepping station during hot days when the lake provides fishing cleaning areas.
You did exactly what I normally do. Cut the brain stem, or nervous system running from the brain to the body. Less than 10 seconds, the fish ceases to move. However, if you cut the knife directly into the brain cavity directly, the fish cease to move all function in less than 5 seconds. However, I have to try out that wack on the forehead method. I'm really curious about this now.