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5,000,000 Trout Deserve Better

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5,000,000 Trout Deserve Better

Every year around 5,000,000 trout get caught in the UK.

Now that's a lot of fish. And how many of us can truthfully say that we put much thought and care into preserving the superb quality of a freshly caught fish?

In my case I can honestly say that I didn't use to think about it that much. After all, the reason we go fishing is to enjoy the outdoor scenery, the fresh air, the challenge of catching a fish, maybe even the company. How far down the list do we have to go before we start to think about the question of keeping the fish we've caught good and fresh?

And yet, truth be told, most of us enjoy eating a well cooked trout. They taste delicious, are high in protein (and Omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the brain) and are free from artificial flavourings and preservatives.

Looking after your fish once you've caught them isn't very complex and doesn't take a great deal of effort. All you have to do is follow these four simple rules:

1. Use a Bass Bag to keep them cool

On a hot summers day a fish will start to spoil within 3 or 4 hours. Using a bass bag will help to keep them cool from the combined effect of evaporation and the regular dipping in cold water. As a result, a good bass bag will keep fish fresh for up to twice as long as other methods.

2. Always clean and fillet the fish on the day you caught them

The sooner you clean them and get them in the fridge or freezer, the better they'll taste after cooking.

If you're like me, the last thing you feel like doing after a day's fishing is cleaning the fish, but a good, sharp filleting knife and a little bit of practice makes short work of this particular task.

3. Always use Plastic Bags when freezing fish

Because game fish like trout and salmon are high in fatty oils, they tend to go off quicker than other fish or meat. This is because oxidation of the oils makes them go rancid, giving the fish a nasty rancid taste.

The way to stop this happening is to prevent the air from getting to the fish in the first place. There are two ways to do this. One, by using a plastic freezer bag and squeezing out all the excess air, and two, for extra freezer life add a little water to the bag to create a glaze around the flesh of the fish. This, by the way, is why commercially frozen seafood comes in a water glaze.

4. Try some new recipes

Whether you like your trout grilled, fried, barbecued, pan roasted, smoked, baked in a pie, or as pate on toast, there are thousands of different recipes for you to try.

Over the next few months we'll be adding as many recipes as we can find to this site for you to try. If you have a favourite you'd like to share with others, please send it to us at recipes@toptrout.co.uk