Soaking fish in Salt Water?

Since I have been a kid, after I fillet fish I have thrown the fillets in a bowl of salt water for a day or 2.  Done it cause my dad did and really never asked questions.  Heard it draws out the blood but just curious how many of you or if any of you soak fish before freezing them?

Joined: Thursday, November 25, 2010 - 7:35pm

We do it with all our fish . soak them over night , rinse and freeze

sig357's picture
Joined: Wednesday, January 7, 2009 - 12:04am

Same here. I have even done milk the night before we cook em up for people that don't like that really fishy taste..... as weird as it sounds

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Redrivermuleys's picture
Joined: Monday, November 7, 2005 - 8:55am

 I got all my geese from this morning soaking in salt water right now. I have never done it with fish tho. 

twitch's picture
Joined: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 11:01pm

 I've never used saltwater but always soak my fillets overnight in ice water... Seems to do the trick


mdart90's picture
Joined: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 7:56pm

 I do it with all my fish and pheasant.


Allen's picture
Joined: Wednesday, January 9, 2002 - 12:00am

The saltwater thing for drawing blood out is kind of a misnomer, the best excuse for soaking in saltwater is to kill off bacteria on your meat, fish, whatever. 

It also helps ensure you get your daily dose of sodium.  Just in case you suffer from low blood pressure.

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

johnr's picture
Joined: Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 12:00am


I do this salt bath with all fish and birds. And so far my blood pressure is holding its own


bobkat's picture
Joined: Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 12:00am

 The rare time I manage to catch a fish, it doesn't even slow down till it hits the pan or grill!  It doesn't,t collect 200 dollars, either!  

I often soak grouse or doves overnight in brine, but I never really know why, either.  I,m a sheep, I guess.

Sum1's picture
Joined: Saturday, January 12, 2008 - 10:45am

Have never soaked my fish in anything before freezing them. Then again I only really eat walleye and perch. May have to try it with my salmon this year.

 "Play it Mr.Toot"

willhunt4food's picture
Joined: Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - 12:00am

I use salt and milk bath and it makes for a nice mild flavor with any wild game or fish.  Even your upscale restaurants that serve pheasant or quail will do this to reduce any wild taste.

It's really me
Joined: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 - 6:31pm

willhunt4food Said:
I use salt and milk bath and it makes for a nice mild flavor with any wild game or fish.  Even your upscale restaurants that serve pheasant or quail will do this to reduce any wild taste.

If you don't like any hint of wild taste, eat a chicken.  Save the wild game for those of us who actually enjoy the flavor.

Kaptain's picture
Joined: Monday, November 6, 2006 - 9:56pm

I have been told that soaking fish in water reduces the quality. I never soak fish in anything but hot grease. Unless making pickled fish of course. I do not freeze fish submerged in water either.


twitch's picture
Joined: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 - 11:01pm



guywhofishes's picture
Joined: Friday, May 4, 2007 - 7:41am

Squirrels and pheasants get brined in a mix of salt, sugar, etc. Almost any chicken, turkey, or pork in your grocery store has been brined. It flavors, plumps, tenderizes.

My fish never get brined, nor soaked even in water. Quick rinse and into the bag - I want to retain all meat juices (keep in mind this is eyes and panfish we're talking about).


WormWiggler's picture
Joined: Saturday, August 29, 2009 - 10:45am

I used to freeze fish in water, but noticed the quality after thawing was poor.  i had read an article where some guy claimed fish meat should not be put in contact with water much at all,  after all the lake is on the outside of the fish.  So I started doing a quick rinse and then above ice cool down.  freezing is done bur putting the individual pieces in saran wrap and  forcing out any air then into a freezer bag.  i liked the results.


JLDII's picture
Joined: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 12:00pm

I only soak my walleyes in a brine when I plan on either smoking or grilling them. The brining helps firm the filets up so they don't come apart when being turned.

I'll soak ducks, geese, and upland birds in a salt water bath for a couple hours just to draw as much blood out of the pellet holes as I can.

Jack Dunn

Life is like sex, you can either lay back and let it screw you, or get on top and ride the hell out of it!

Dead Sea Cuffer's picture
Dead Sea Cuffer
Joined: Saturday, April 2, 2011 - 9:16pm

I soak my carp in saltwater before I smoke them. turns them into tasty little morsels

   " The cuff is strutting his stuff  "  

eyexer's picture
Joined: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 - 4:42pm

I read in a rag one time that soaking in salt water diminishes the quality and flavor of the meat/fish.  It tends to dry them out more when cooking. 


fishfinder97's picture
Joined: Monday, June 14, 2010 - 10:34pm

I do that with fish as well. I use milk to soften up fillets that are tough

 "If you're too busy to Hunt and catch Fish, then you're too busy"

" The greatest feeling in life is doing what others say you can't"

Joined: Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 12:00am

I don't remember where I saw it, but it was an "ASK THE EXPERT" kind of Q&A.    Somebody asked the "expert" if they should soak their fish overnight in salt water, and his response was "Would you soak a 16 oz T-Bone steak in saltwater overnight before you eat it?  If not, why do you think fish is any different?"  

Maybe the salt water soak would be a good idea for the Carp Recipe thread.