The Ultimate Way To Harvest Your Catch (Ike Jime Method)


As anglers, if we are going to harvest fish then we should honor the catch.

And the method of ike jime is a humane way of killing a fish while preserving the meat.

So in this new video from the floor at ICast, you’ll learn:

  • The process of ike jime
  • Why this process is important
  • The tools you’ll need for ike jime
  • And more

Check it out!

The Ike Jime Method [VIDEO]

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The Ike Jime Federation is dedicated to improving the quality of your harvest while giving the utmost respect to your fish.

Ike jime tools will allow the commercial fishing industry to deliver a superior product to the market.

These tools allow you to preserve your catch, prevent degradation of the meat, and give the ultimate honor to the fish that you harvest.

Essentially your harvest will have biochemical superiority because ike jime allows a fish not to experience the chemical consequences of suffocation.

And that stress on a fish has negative effects on the quality of the meat.

The Process Of Ike Jime

Step 1: Stop the release of lactic acid and cortisol by inserting a brain spike into the brain cavity.

This allows a fish not to experience stress.

Step 2: Cut the membrane by the gill plate to bleed and place the fish into water while it bleeds (but not cold water).

This is going to pump out all of the chemicals and bacteria in the blood.

If you leave the blood inside of a fish (any fish), it will begin to rot from the inside and bacteria will start to decompose the fish.

Step 3: Use the wire (circuit breaker) to paralyze the fish by disconnecting the muscles from the central nervous system.

Step 4: Then put the fish into an ice slurry and fully submerge.

Performing the ike jime process makes a world of difference.

As an angler, you are there at the death of the fish and can create a biochemically different product.

To learn more about the Ike Jime Federation, click here.


ike jime

Respect the catch.

That’s the whole principle behind ike jime.

If you honor your harvest and preserve the meat, you’ll end up with a superior product.

Do you have any questions about ike jime?

Have you tried this process before?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who wants to learn more about ike jime, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Peter Kalbach
4 months ago

It’s not clear what the spinal cord disruption adds to the quality of the fish. The video states it delays the onset of rigor and you break muscle tissue of the fish is man handled after rigor has set in. I’ve always spiked the brain and bleed the fish immediately and then filet usually before rigor sets in. What does spinal cord disruption add and what is the time span after the minimum of 10 minutes of bleeding?

1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Kalbach

Destroying the spinal cord prevents the undead fish thrashing behavior sometimes seen in fish. (Such as this hilarious example: undead bowfin refuses to be scaled) The continued nerve impulses results in the build-up of metabolic byproducts which make the fish decay faster, according to this page from the Kyushu fishing information group, down in the infographic on how the conversion of ATP to AMP to IMP in the muscles leads to rigor mortis, while those chemicals then convert into unpleasant decay products.

This is taken so seriously in Japan that there are tools for hydraulically purging the entire spinal cord and all the blood right out of the fish using a pointy hose attachment to spray water up the spinal canal and up into the main artery and vein of the fish. Fish prepared by the nervous system and a total blood purge even gets cold aged for up to a couple of weeks for fancy sushi, and the flavor improves during that time, but not without purging both the blood and the nervous system. (Since sushi fish is served raw, there’s no hiding any decay or unpleasant odors, so it demands the highest standards of fish handling.) Fish that hasn’t had this kind of purge will rot during the aging period, so they only age fish prepared this way.

Last edited 1 month ago by Berkana
4 months ago

Another good use for my used guitar strings.

stephen marsden
5 months ago

Really cool, When I Was little and learning how to hunt my Uncle instilled into me the Morality and respect of quickly putting out of its misery the game we would shoot. I had seen something similar to this on YouTube “Youngbloods” Aussies who spear and line fish that brain spike fish sometimes as soon as they are ascending with the fish. I haven’t seen people do that here in the US and wondered why, but getting better meat is the icing on the cake, I’m all in on this one.

Kumar Sukhdeo
5 months ago

Great video – will be investing in a kit. Future videos with demonstrations on where to place the spike to hit the brain. Also, are you suggesting to have a separate bucket to bleed the fish then put in another bin with ice? I guess a full demonstration with how this is all done on the water with several fish types would be helpful.

Blood in the vasculature likely is detrimental to the quality of the meet, but I doubt that there is bacteria inside the blood system. Blood (at least for humans) is sterile and likely the same way for fish.

Dave Frymier
5 months ago

I’ve been doing this for a couple years with flounder and trout. Redfish – a different story. They have really hard heads – where is the brain? We need a video. And – you don’t need the $100 kit. A small Phillips head screwdriver and some wire from Home Depot will do the trick.

5 months ago
Reply to  Dave Frymier

Redfish do have very hard heads! And, they’re not alone. There’s a diversity of skull types out there. More detailed videos are forthcoming, and we hope that will help folks develop the skills and the confidence for the array of species we may encounter. In the meantime, screwdrivers are made of tooling steel, which will rust quickly in salt(strong?) environments. That’s not ideal for sharp instruments we rely on for things we intend to eat. Look no further than the beef industry or your home kitchen. Further, conventional wire in hardware stores will bend, kink, or buckle (esp at small diameters), which is why, like any serious undertaking, we use application-specific materials. We certainly wouldn’t apply the logic that because using monofilament line may also “do the trick,” we therefore eschew braid. Innovation and true, application-specific equipment help us all achieve the best experience while we’re on the water. Like $200 polarized sunglasses. And we believe that approach is consistent with having the right tools to harvest the fish we or our families may eat as well. And long overdue here in the US!

Rex Russo
5 months ago

Jeeezzzzz! Have you seen the price of the Ike Jime set? $100 for what is essentially an ice pick and a piece of piano wire.

5 months ago
Reply to  Rex Russo

We aren’t a big company, so we don’t have the resources right now to manufacture overseas and produce at massive scale :/ We are trying our best to keep costs as low as possible for these wires that are literally each handmade. Our hope though is that folks will agree that the investment is worth the return. No one but the angler has the ability to control the end-quality of a given fish because quality will be determined at the time of death. In this way, if you harvest your own fish, we want you to have the best tools available to be your own seafood supply chain, trafficking only in premium-grade fish. Right now, the level of quality that an angler can produce isn’t otherwise available at ANY conventional seafood market in the US. That’s a type of access that we hope anglers won’t take for granted. We’d love to eventually grow and find the level of scale and automation to make our tools all but free. But for the time being, we hope we can earn your trust that you’re buying serious products from an American company that has poured over a decade into the research, development, and advocacy needed to make these tools available. Thanks for your support and understanding.

5 months ago

Totally with you on this!! The biggest inconvenience for me is the “old guard” at fish camp who mercilessly ride anyone who tries to introduce anything their dads didn’t do. “Sushi-grade” regs require Ike jime. What else would anyone need to know?? If it’s that important for tuna, it’s gotta be good for my flounder!!

Matt McKinnon
5 months ago

My background is physiology/biochemistry so this method makes clear sense to me. With some practice it seems this could be done rather quickly. One question though, is it recommended the wire be left in the spinal cord the whole time your fish is in the slurry until you get back to the cleaning table? If so, better have a few wires on board.

Kevin Brown
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt McKinnon

This method is new to me also, so this is based solely on my assumptions and limited knowledge of anatomy & physiology, but I don’t believe that the wire would need to stay in the spinal column. I’m pretty sure that the idea is to use it almost as a “circuit breaker” of sorts. The spinal cord itself is extremely delicate, with millions of tiny connections between the central nervous system and the fish’s musculature. The simple act of inserting and removing that wire along the spine’s length should effectively break/render useless nearly all of those connections, paralyzing the fish.

Again, this is only my assumption. If someone comes along who is more experienced/educated on this technique I would love to learn more. It really is quite clever. I will definitely be trying it out soon, as it makes complete sense that it would make a noticeable difference. Basically, it’s the same reasoning used in modern slaughterhouses for cattle, etc. Reducing stress as much as possible around the moment of death makes an enormous difference in farm animals, why would that not apply to fish as well?

5 months ago
Reply to  Kevin Brown

Sir, you are not only correct, you point out another critical point re: domestic animal slaughter methods—these are highly regulated by both statute and a host of federal regulations. Fish and seafood? Nothing. This is why American fish are almost categorically discriminated against in overseas markets (and fine dining here in the US too), but our beef/pork are not…

Martin J
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt McKinnon

I’ve seen a few videos on ike and usually after destroying the spinal cord the fisherman will take the wire out and place the fish in a slurry

Last edited 5 months ago by Martin J
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt McKinnon

Im not 100 percent sure, but I have seen a lot of Japanese fish butchering and stuff. What they do is push and pull the wire a couple of times until the muscles stop moving erratically, then remove the wire

5 months ago
Reply to  Wyatt Parcel

Exactly right, Wyatt. You’re just reaming the wire in and out of the neural canal until the fish is paralyzed. Sometimes, the entire spinal cord will come out with the wire, which is sort of a soft, fleshy, white “cord.” Just make sure to run the full length of the spinal cord and then take it right out!

5 months ago

How do you pronounce the ike jime? Why weren’t real fish shown in the demo?

5 months ago
Reply to  Wyatt Parcel

We would have loved to have done a live demo at iCast! But it’s hard to bring live fish into the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando!

Rex Russo
5 months ago

For those concerned about cutting into the fish, the following is from the FWC (obviously does not matter whether coming from the Bahamas or not) and can be fount at Bringing Fishing Back from the Bahamas ( .  “In general, . . . , federal and state regulations prohibit anglers from filleting their fish until it is landed (fish must be landed whole but may be gutted). The reason for prohibiting filleted fish is to enable law enforcement to verify angler compliance with fishing seasons, recreational bag limits, size limits, and other regulations.” Seeing as how filleting is allowed, I don’t think the Ike Jime method as explained in the video would be a violation. The man from the Ike Jime Federation did not say to cut the tail off, but rather cut it past the bone so you could fold it over and insert the circuit breaker line. Most FWC folks will be well aware of Ike Jime and would understand that what was done to the fish was not to circumvent the rules, but a kind explanation might be required for some of the newer ones. All this does is lead me to inquire whether gutting the fish right away would not be a good extra step in the process before tossing it into the slurry.

Rex Russo
5 months ago
Reply to  Rex Russo

Man I screwed that up. Seeing as how gutting is allowed not filleting. It’s my wife’s fault.

Walt DeWitt
4 months ago
Reply to  Rex Russo

To error is only human. To blame it on someone else shows management potential.


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