Join Date: Feb 2004
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Just to make it celar, you need to do the drying on land. A boat never ever gets dry enough inside or out to allow proper dessication.
Catch em, gut em, salt em, bring them back to land and dry them.
COLD dry and windy climates are much better then hot ones, but the dry and windy is essential, as humidity will spoli the fish before the moisture can be removed.
In humid climates the preservation method was canning/jarring the fish in oils, pickle brine and other liquids.
choose whether you want to dry the whole fish or just fillets. Fillets are especially good for smoking, and the result takes up less space, but whole fish drying tastes "better" to those that enjoy dried fish (the bones release gelatin during the drying process and this richens the meat taste)
Experiment, but BE SAFE, some areas need insect screening, some have other airbourne contagians that will spoil and harm the result....
finding someone with local knowledge is always a good idea for your area.
Remember, if you are going to try smoking the fish, avoid resinous woods like pine, and be aware that the fish will still need refrigeration after smoking, it will just last much longer in the fridge.
If you are going to dry fish, it makes sense to ge one of those vaccuum sealer systems. They are great for all sorts of things around the boat anyway...and they are a must for keeping atmospheric moisture out of dried meat products. Otherwise one humid day, or someone having an espcially long hot shower at your house can spoil an enitre pantry worth of dried fish by rehydrating it
.It won't technically spoil, you will just have to A) notice it straight away and B) eat the whole supply within a day!