Has anyone heard of anything negative concerning freezing fish before scaling, gutting, etc. I recently went Porgy fishing on a party boat out of New Bedford MASS. I caught 45 porgies and 6 Sea Bass. It cost $ 50 bucks just to scale and gut them! Next time I would rather just freeze them! Plus I am so tired after the trip, who wants to clean fish!
I would imagine that the problem would be that if you freeze a non-gutted fish, the contracting and expanding caused by freezing and thawing might cause the stomach and other organs to rupture. Any bacteria in these organs could then get in the meat of the fish and make you sick. I have never heard of anyone freeing whole fish and I'm just assuming this is the reason but in any case I think this is a better safe than sorry situation.
Absolutely gut the fish, bleed the fish and make the most of the quality of fresh fish! If you aren't going to maximize the quality and enjoyment of your catch, practice catch and release or give the fish to another angler who wasn't so lucky. Just expressing my opinion, but I'd not look forward to a Popsicle that hadn't been cleaned, or a fish thawed out with the innards festering...yuck!
You owe it to the fish to take good care of it. Gut and gill immediately, then vacuum pack if you are going to freeze it. If you can't do this, catch and release or give the fish away to someone who can. But my pet peeve up here in Alaska is people who freeze more fish than they can eat and then end up using frozen halibut for crab bait. That this is illegal bothers me only a little. That it is immoral bothers me considerably more.
Lets just pay more and more, Isn't that what fishing is all about? pay someone to make bait, drive a boat, find fish, gaff fish, clean our fish, cook our food , make coffee, and wash the boat. The last thing we want is to overpay some guys for having all the fun.