How many times have you heard someone braggingly say, “That fish I caught weighed ___ pounds”? Chances are, if you have been out on the lakes, rivers or saltwater of Alaska or just sitting around the campfire after a long day on the water, you have probably heard that statement made a lot! In true fisherman fashion, the size of that fish typically grows a little each time the story is told. The crew at Custom Seafoods loves to hear your fish stories and we also enjoy telling a few of our own. However, when it comes to processing your fish and ensuring the accuracy and quality of the product we return to you, we are all about the facts.

Some of the many questions and comments we receive here at our processing facility include, “Why did the processed fish I got back only weigh ___? I thought it weighed ___” or, one of our personal favorites, “The guys I were fishing with told me that my fish would weigh ___, why did the weight of the fish you returned to me weigh so much less?” The truth is, the correct answers to questions like these can vary based on several different factors. One of these factors is the type of fish (Halibut, Cod, Rockfish, Chinook, Sockeye, Cohoe or Pinks) that you dropped off for us to process. Another factor is the condition in which you brought your fish into us. Halibut, for example, are usually brought to us as either the whole fish or in large whole fillets. In situations where customers bring us the entire fish, we are then tasked with filleting the fish and removing all of the unwanted and inedible parts. In doing so, we generally remove and discard approximately 40-50% of the fish’s total weight. In a situation where the customer dropped off a 19lb. halibut, for example, the customer should expect to receive approximately 10-11lbs of fillets in return. Similarly, we often receive halibut that has already been filleted. In these situations, we will look to trim or clean-up any areas of the fillet that may have been missed when the fish was initially cut. For halibut and some of the other whitefish, we will also ask customers if they would like to have the skin removed. Depending on what they request, the final weight of the filets could be approximately 5-10% less than the initial weight when they dropped them off. In this scenario, a customer who dropped 10lbs of fillets and wanted us to remove the skin, should expect to receive approximately 9-9.5lbs of fillets in return. It’s important to note that these calculations and percentages vary by fish species, so always ask if you have questions about the fish you have caught.

To help you determine what the actual weight of the halibut you caught is, you should always measure its length or ask for it to be measured for you. Once you have this piece of information, you can use this handy chart that we’ve put together for you to determine what the approximate weight of your whole halibut (Live Weight) and the approximate weight of the fillets returned after processing (Fillet Weight). Keep in mind that this number may vary slightly, depending on whether or not you choose to keep the skin on or have it removed.

Do you still have questions about our Halibut or other seafood items? Are you looking for a delicious Seafood Recipe or are you ready to purchase your favorite seafood from Alaska and have it shipped straight to your door? If so, Shop Here on our website or Call Us today at 907-931-5992 and one of our knowledgeable seafood representatives will be happy to assist you.