How to Bleed Ocean Fish

When out on the ocean in a charter or head boat freshly caught ocean fish can be hard to handle once pulled on deck and using the Ike jime method to bleed them out or any method may be impossible to do because of the crowded, hot environment of still you need to kill and bleed out a fish until you get back to shore or you’ll ruin the meat. How Do You Bleed Ocean Fish?

  • Land the fish as soon as you can
  • Hit fish in front of his gill plate above nose & under the forehead
  • Cut artery that runs along the bottom of the area between gills
  • Flip the fish over to the other side & repeat your cut on other sets of gills
  • Bleed out for at least 3 min. in a bucket of ocean H2O
  • Ice fish

If you follow these steps for processing the fish you are going to keep even on the hottest day, the ocean fish you catch can remain the tastiest and freshest from the ocean to your dinner plate.

How to Bleed Ocean Fish


If you decide you’re going to keep a fish, you want to bleed them right away. This will ensure you get the cleanest fillets and kill the fish quickly and humanely. To bleed them, all you need to do is cut the artery that runs along the bottom of the area between their gills.

You can bleed a fish in your boat or on shore, long as you have your bucket and shears or knife – and clean saltwater nearby.

How long does it take to bleed out? It turns out that most of the blood in the main arteries is emptied out after three minutes if the fish is left to bleed out into the water. Almost the same amount of residual blood is found in the fish whether it is left to bleed out for 3 or 30 minutes

You’ll know you cut through the artery if there is a lot of blood loss or blood on the knife. If there’s no blood, then try again a little higher. After you’ve cut through the artery, place them in ice. As you can see in the video, all species of fish have this artery between their gills, even flounder.


What is The Quickest Most Ethical Way of Killing a Fish?

Brain Spiking is the fastest, most painless, for preventing a fish from stressing & suffering before its death, by driving a sharp spike or screwdriver into the brain of the fish. The spike should be placed in a position to penetrate the brain of the fish & then pushed quickly & firmly into its skull …………………………………………..Read more

Clubbing an Ocean Fish


Hitting the Fish on the head or Clubbing

  • Once the fish is hooked on fighting and even when it’s out of the water, his adrenaline glands along with stress levels secrete fluids that also ruin the taste of the meat
  • Land the fish as soon as you can
  • Hit the fish in front of his gill plate-above the nose and under the forehead with a fish bat or something heavy and solid.
  • Don’t smash his head all over the deck just give it one or two direct hits that will stun it and knock it unconscious
  • The size of the blow depends on the size of the fish
  •  The blow should be aimed just above the eyes to impact the brain. The effectiveness of the stun should be checked and another blow applied if the fish is not unconscious.
  • Bleed out in a bucket
  • ice



What is the Ike Jime Method?

Japanese Iki Jime Method is the fastest, most humane way of euthanizing fish, eliminating stress & lactic acid & maintaining quality by:
inserting a spike into the brain

  • Cutting gills to bleed out
  • Inserting a thin piece of wire into the spike hole & down the spinal column …………………………………………………………………………Read more


One way to kill a fish you just caught is to render them unconscious. Large predator fish like Striped Bass and Bluefish that are freshly caught can be hazardous to the person that is trying to handle them, especially bluefish.

The more they move the more dangerous not likely they catch a row of teeth on your hand is very possible. There is plenty of salt and freshwater fish that are capable of this. So the quicker you end this movement the better, for you and the better for the fish.

I’ve seen guys who during a bluefish frenzy on a Head Boat will slam the fish on the deck of the boat and most of the time this doesn’t work. In fact, all it does is add more blood to the white meat that should be filled and enjoyed. If you beat the crap out of any fish it will add blood to the filets and make the meat taste gamey.

That gamey taste that ruins the flavor of the fish is the blood and lactic acid brought on by stress and trauma that should have been cleaned out of it. It can ruin the taste of any fish. So an even timed hookem-landem-killem-cleanem approach should be used. There is less stress on the fish that’s hooked. It is better for the fish and better for the plate.



What Are the Best Ways to Keep Fish Fresh While Fishing?

Poke a hole through the fish’s lower jaw
Run stringer through the hole & out his mouth
Keep fish alive in H2O
Spike fish-dig a hole in the beach below the waterline put fish in & cover-up
Bleed them out in a 5 gal. bucket
Keep fish out of the sun/covered with a wet towel.………………………………………………………..Read more


JimGalloway Author/Editor


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