Caring for pinks on the beach


turns all year
Just curious of people's methods for caring for your fresh catch while on the beach without having to go back to the car with the cooler and ice in it, which for some beaches could be a trek. I've always carried a burlap sack that I slide other salmon species into after a prompt bleeding, soak the sack in the salt until saturated, then lay on the beach. I resoak the sack every so often. It also keeps the birds away. This works for a few hours. Will this do for pinks or do I need ice in the equation?


MA-9 Beach Stalker
Bleed immediately and remove guts and kidney immediately. Wash fish in saltwater, remove tail & head to complete the bleeding, place cleaned pink into a 2 gallon ziplock bag, pack pink into crushed ice in your wheeled beach cooler (immediately). Only keep pink bucks (IMO).
If you can't bring your wheeled beach cooler, keep your gutted pinks in the cold saltwater in a clean garbage bag to keep them chilled until you return to the car. I tie the bag around my waste so they don't drift away.


Saved by the buoyancy of citrus
For primo pink-meat i would recommend getting those puppies bled and cold ASAP. I always get mine on ice fast, and never have mushy fish when I get home.
Also, I haven't nutted up and bought one, but those katch koolers look pretty handy; and if you use those blue ice freezer thingies you wont have to deal with ice melt. On the rare occasion that I actually catch something, I usually have to hump back to the car to get my cooler that I forgot.

Jay C

Active Member
Do any of you beach guys use the catch cooler bags with a bag of ice inside? I think they would be a lot easier to tote around than a cooler, but I agree with bleeding gutting ASAP.
I got a pink earlier this week (Tuesday). Hooked about 7 am or soon after. Bled and gutted it, then put it in Porterhaus's Katch Kooler bag. It stayed there for a couple hours in the shade (it wasn't a super warm morning, if I remember).

Anyway, cooked that fish up on Wednesday night and it tasted great. Not as flavorful as the coho that I also cooked (which I had caught weds morning), but I was surprised. Had some folks over to BBQ and everyone thought it was nice and tasty.



turns all year
Thanks for the responses. Looks like I'll be using my burlap sack and leaving it in the water in the short term and then looking for a cooler bag. Maybe they make a Hello Kitty tote that I could line with insulation. I hear that helps reverse banana stink and is a good attractor.


Active Member
Trader Joes and Costco both sell insulated grocery bags for under $10. Throw a couple ice packs in and they stay cold for a good 5-6 hours on a hot beach. Leave the cooler in the car!

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