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Vacuum sealer

BPappas

Well-Known Member
Curios, do many of you use a Vacuum sealer to package your catch prior to leaving the lake?
Thanks in advance.
 

svivian

Well-Known Member
Yes I used one for the past few years so I can package and put in the cooler without any mess. I prefer this over the ziplocs unless I am not able to clean and cut my fish to table ready standards.
 

RYCO13

Well-Known Member
I filet mine then put the filets in a plastic zip lock and fill it with lake water covering the filets. Purge all of the air out and freeze it till I am ready to cook it. Later, it tastes as fresh as the ones I eat the day I catch them. Not sure if the lake water has any effect on the fresh taste or not, but thats how I do it.
 

Keith Stockman

Well-Known Member
Yes. We started doing this years ago and it really changed the way we handled our fish. It helps that we also have a 48qt. 12V powered freezer to get most of the catch home to Colorado Springs completely frozen.
 

Ryan

Well-Known Member
I brought our vacuum sealer for our trip last weekend. It worked great - on the two fish that went home with us :(

I know there are lots of school of thought, but to me one of the biggest advantages is that it reduces the amount of space they take up in the freezer. It doesn't matter with two fish, but it would if you were able to get into them.

The sealer I bought is a FoodSaver V2244. It is highly rated on Amazon, but not in our household. I think it is a PITA to use, and wouldn't buy the same one again.
 

Coho975

Well-Known Member
I brought our vacuum sealer for our trip last weekend. It worked great - on the two fish that went home with us :(

I know there are lots of school of thought, but to me one of the biggest advantages is that it reduces the amount of space they take up in the freezer. It doesn't matter with two fish, but it would if you were able to get into them.

The sealer I bought is a FoodSaver V2244. It is highly rated on Amazon, but not in our household. I think it is a PITA to use, and wouldn't buy the same one again.
Take a look at the Weston 2300 model, very robust and reasonably priced. We have one at the house and one at our cabin in AK. Usually have a six man group up there and we will package 500-600#'s of fish on our yearly trip. I think this is it's 8th season and it has held up well. You can actually get replacements parts and repair it if needed. Seals, heating element, etc are all easily replaced. We have thrown away at least a half dozen of the Food Saver style ones over the years. https://www.amazon.com/Weston-Pro-2...ywords=weston+2300&qid=1613675816&sr=8-2&th=1
 

Dorado

Well-Known Member
Take a look at the Weston 2300 model, very robust and reasonably priced. We have one at the house and one at our cabin in AK. Usually have a six man group up there and we will package 500-600#'s of fish on our yearly trip. I think this is it's 8th season and it has held up well. You can actually get replacements parts and repair it if needed. Seals, heating element, etc are all easily replaced. We have thrown away at least a half dozen of the Food Saver style ones over the years. https://www.amazon.com/Weston-Pro-2300-Commercial-Stainless-65-0201/dp/B001GP81R2/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=weston+2300&qid=1613675816&sr=8-2&th=1
X2 on the lack of durability of the Foodsaver vacuum sealers. Had several, and the Cabelas commercial model, all crapped out with heavy use. I currently have the “Avid Armor” A100 commercial model, it works great. I really like that the bar across the top is thick plexiglass, you can see the end of the bag when you are sealing. $300 That Weston looks very well made as well....
 

kokanee64

Member
Since we typically camp on the boat for a week on LP trips, we vac seal our small, SMB and walleye from the first 4 days or so and freeze them in a 15 qt Engel. Fish caught in the last three days go home vac sealed but not frozen because we lack freezer capacity. All our home bound fish are frozen within 3 days, which a really smart chemist once convinced me was the max for bringing unfrozen fish home. It helps that we can still partially freeze a bottle of water by putting it at the bottom of the ice chest on day 7, so unfrozen fish get fairly firm. Three points to consider:

Package for consumption. Our packages weight 3/4 pound, just right for the two of us or one person with leftovers. We guess how many fillets should go into a vac bag, put the vac bag unsealed in a grocery store bag and weigh it with the fish scale. You get pretty good at guessing 3/4 pound. I make bags at home to save time on the water.

Work fast in hot weather. We clean fish at least twice a day. We knock them out, cuts a gill and lets them bleed out. We fillet the fish and have them in zip lock bags within 10 minutes. Once we are anchored for the night, we vac seal without the fillets warming much. The better we handle our fish, the better they taste.

Spring for the best vac sealer you can afford. Over several years we worked our way from the cheapest to the most expensive "commercial" Cabelas sealer. We go through about 12 rolls of bag material a year, and the cheaper units just didn't last and some didn't seal reliably for us. We've been satisfied with the current unit but when it goes, and I'm expecting to outlast it, we'll check out the Weston.

Like in the Spanish Inquisition, there is always another point to consider. If you are buying a freezer and have the space, power and money, get something bigger than 15 quarts.
 

KYKevin

Well-Known Member
I'm with RYCO13, I just use Quart zip lock's, only thing I do different, is I don't use lake water. And I have two freezer's so I can put up a lot of fish when I have a good trip. And I give a way way more then I could ever eat. I never let fish stay in my freezer for over a year, I'll start giving them away to my kid's and neighbor's and friend's. And my wife and I eat a lot of fish, but you can only eat so many. So storage space is not an issue with two freezer's. The biggest reason I bought two freezer's, I make a lot of my ice block's with gallon bucket's, and for my minnow's that I use for Trout and Crappie fishing. The extra freezer will pay for it's self with the ice and bait. I don't like paying for the frozen water, the high price that they want for it, but in the warmer month's I am forced to, but I have thought hard about a huge freezer, just for ice. And never have to buy ice again:p
But I do have a sealer, that I use for my smoked fish to keep them year around.
 

cfulton

Well-Known Member
Another way to get the air out of a bag of fish if you do not have a vacuum machine (I camp without a generator) is to put the filets in a baggie and zip it 3/4 closed then dip the bag in water (bucket or lake) holding the opening left in the baggie above water. Water pressure exerted on the outside of the baggie will force 95% of the air from around the filets and from within the baggie. Zip the last quarter closed and you essentially have a vacuum packed bag of filets....little to no air which is the spoiler even in the freezer. Lots easier and quicker than using a vac pack machine and basically does the same thing. Chuck
 

svivian

Well-Known Member
I'm with RYCO13, I just use Quart zip lock's, only thing I do different, is I don't use lake water. And I have two freezer's so I can put up a lot of fish when I have a good trip. And I give a way way more then I could ever eat. I never let fish stay in my freezer for over a year, I'll start giving them away to my kid's and neighbor's and friend's. And my wife and I eat a lot of fish, but you can only eat so many. So storage space is not an issue with two freezer's. The biggest reason I bought two freezer's, I make a lot of my ice block's with gallon bucket's, and for my minnow's that I use for Trout and Crappie fishing. The extra freezer will pay for it's self with the ice and bait. I don't like paying for the frozen water, the high price that they want for it, but in the warmer month's I am forced to, but I have thought hard about a huge freezer, just for ice. And never have to buy ice again:p
But I do have a sealer, that I use for my smoked fish to keep them year around.
This is a discussion for another thread but if you have not converted a freezer into a commercial ice maker you are missing out my friend.
 
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