Whether you visit the local seafood market or head to your favorite fishing grounds and fill the cooler with fish, it is essential to store them properly to preserve freshness. While yes, keeping freshly caught fish on ice until they are filleted or traveling home from the fish market with a cooler is essential, more must be done with the fillets once they hit the fridge. What are the best methods for storing fish?

The best way to store fish will vary depending on whether you will keep them in the refrigerator to cook within a short period or freeze the fillets for down the road. Storing the fish properly will allow you to enjoy the best flavor and texture that the fish has to offer. 

How To Keep Fish Fresh 

What is needed to maximize freshness when refrigerating or freezing a fish?

  • Ziplock back or other airtight methods such as a vacuum sealer
  • Ice cubes
  • Large container full of water
  • Paper towels

Not much is needed to prepare a fish for safekeeping in the fridge or freezer. Make sure you have plenty of ziplock bags on hand. 

Tip: If you are freezing fish, keep fillets in small ziplock bags for smaller portions to pull out one at a time rather than thawing and refreezing a bag full. 

How Long Do Fish Last In The Fridge? 

Many people ask, how long does fish last in the fridge? By following these steps, your fillets will last longer.

The first step is to have everything ready before leaving the fillets sitting out on the counter warming up. Once all the supplies are on hand, and the container is filled with cold water, rinse each fillet with cold running water. Pat each fillet completely dry. 

Have the zip lock bags ready and slide the number of fillets you would like in each bag but don’t seal them off. Without submerging the bag’s opening, dip the bottom of the bag up to the seal in the container of water to remove all of the air. Once the bag is nearly completely submerged, seal off the top. 

With each bag of fillets prepared, decide whether you will freeze the fish or keep them refrigerated. If they are going in the freezer, you may want to date them with a marker; the longer they are frozen, the more taste they will lose. 

If you plan to use the fillets in a short period, fill a ziplock bag with ice. Take a container large enough to hold the bags of fish and ice. Place the bagged fish in the bottom of the container and lay the ice bag on top. Once the ice melts, replace it with fresh ice. 

Now that the storage process is correct to maximize freshness, how long can fish stay in the fridge?

How Long is Fish Good In The Fridge

  • Refrigerators should be kept below 40 degrees to maximize the length of storing any meat, poultry, or seafood.
  • When freezing fish, the freezer should be run at zero degrees or lower.
  • Follow all of the methods above to maximize the life

To answer the question- how long is fish good in the fridge? It can be kept for three to five days when packed in ice. 

How Long Does Cooked Fish Last In The Fridge

After the fish has been cooked, it will last for three to four days but does not require being surrounded by ice when placed in the refrigerator.


Fish is an extremely healthy and tasty meal. It can be both cooked and sourced in a multitude of ways. They can be entertaining to catch and just as enjoyable to buy from a local fish market. One benefit to the fish market is that you can purchase fish not available in your area. What is important now is that planning can be done ahead of time for the next seafood meal because of how long is fish good in the fridge.