Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

I just need to know...  Is it just me, or do you guys put your fish on ice before you clean them all?  A buddy of mine keeps them in the live well and just filets them up right from there.  

Two things... I feel bad about fileting a living fish lol...  Maybe that's just me.  But I find it easier to filet them if they're stiff.

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Interesting topic.  A neighbor offered me a cooler full of red snapper and grouper caught on a party boat trip the previous day while still plenty cold the fish had lost their firm texture being submerged in ice water; and were not tasty at all.  I guess I got a mental block from the experience and now try to fillet my fish alive as soon as possible.  I mainly fish from a boat with a live well if I am not looking forward to the cleaning part they go back in the river instead of the live well.  For fish that didn't survive the trip home if rigor mortise is set in or the gill filaments (the red part) have lost their color (turning white/yellow) the fish is composted.  This occasionally happens when the fish has received a more grievous injury from hook removal.  If I notice that the fish is going to have a speedy demise I would put it on ice if available but still not delay the cleaning process.  

I like mine to be  about half frozen. To me they are easier to fillet.

To those that have problems dispatching fish before cleaning them just  bash them in the head with a fish billy,  , thats how they do it at the catfish farms down here, these are not Disney fish they are real fish , read  Genesis  1:28  in the Bible, you dont have to personify fish, they are here for us to eat , next thing you know you will feel bad about  sticking a hook in a worm, Buck up and clean those fish before you lose your Man Card !     LOFR

LOFR I always got a small ball ping hammer for the live ones. I'd rather in-compassionate them that the humane thing to do. Only take a second.

LOFR I always got a small ball ping hammer for the live ones. I'd rather in-compassionate them that the humane thing to do. Only take a second.

@Mark Stine - that's why I try not to let fish soak in water for any length of time.
Gut and clean at the waters edge, then into a dry plastic bag...THEN into ice.

Gel ice packs will keep the fish cold, without watering them down.  I get mine from the boxes of fish that come into the kitchen, but you can get them at Wally World in the camping section.

I see that very few use a priest to dispatch of them. To me it's the quickest, most humane way to do it. I then lay them on ice until I get home to filet.

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