January 31, 2012
"Bleeding" is a culinary tactic performed right after a fish is caught and landed. It mostly relates to species of fish that are fast moving and highly oxygenated, such as tunas, mackerel, sharks and wahoo. (Though bleeding can be useful on all species of fish.)
It's as simple as making a cut right underneath the gills of the fish, either straight across or toward the tail. The bleeding practice preserves the meat from saturating with blood after the fish is placed on ice. Bleeding goes hand in hand with the proper icing technique as well, usually a cold mix of ice and salt water.
Based on Florida Sportsman members responses on a recent forum thread, it seems that most agree that bleeding is good practice. Most anglers, inshore and offshore, have noticed cleaner fillets. So, do you bleed your fish? What technique do you use? Check out the forum thread and post a response.