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Fish Wrangling

Battle Ground...
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Fish Wrangling

My wife and I are going to the Kenai Peninsula 8/25-9/6. We've rented an SUV and will be doing the loop Anchorage-Homer-Kenai-Seward.

I plan on doing as much fishing as possible, and I'm wondering about the best way to store and move fish so I can get it home in good shape.

Should I take my 50-qt cooler? Should I buy something there? We'll be staying in hotels mostly (maybe a cabin or two). How can I keep my fish in good shape during such a long period.

Is it better to have the fish shipped?

Any help would be really appreciated!

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: Fish Wrangling

Hello there! Well, when we are fishing during the summer, we bring a cooler/ice chest to the fishing area, but then we have a chest freezer in our 5th wheel, so it's frozen as soon as possible. I am not certain, but I would think that you could either have your fish shipped out, or perhaps frozen and kept for you, to be picked up just prior to your flight out. I did note several places that process and ship fish while on the Kenai this summer - hopefully, one of these places could meet your needs. It probably wouldn't be difficult to keep it very cold for a few days, but any time after that, you would want that fish frozen or canned. I hope this helps - wish I could give you more info. Happy fishing! :)

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St. Charles, MO
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2. Re: Fish Wrangling

While in Homer, try the Coal Point fish-processing company on the Homer Spit. They will process, vacuum pack, freeze and box-up your fish. You can carry the boxes to the airport and check as luggage or have Coal Point ship them for you. Their web site is http://welovefish.com.


Los Angeles...
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3. Re: Fish Wrangling

My husband and I did a similar trip in late June/early July. What we found was that each town has places where they will process (vacuum pack, freeze or can) fish for you--the fishing guides we hired cleaned and fileted (sp?) the fish. Most guides have places that they use or recommend. We shipped our fish home and found that the larger the amount, the less cost per pound. The packaging service provider will hold the frozen order and ship it whenever you say, so you can receive the fish when you get home. So I say if you're going to ship the fish, then try to store it at fewer places so you can have larger amounts shipped if this is possible. I wish I would've checked into this before and will definitely do so next time around.

If you're going to take a huge cooler, make sure your fish is frozen solid and move it quickly to the next freezer. Sounds like a lot of work, especially if you're a good fisherperson ;-) I've found that the fish we shipped home defrosts incredibly fast--salt content maybe?

Good luck!