“When the spot come in you, first scale and gut them and then remove the heads. Some people do not, we do. Next you split the fish and sometimes we remove the bone and sometimes we leave it in. Wash fish good then cover fish with ice to which salt has been added. That draws all the blood out of the fish. Let them set for a while and then drain. Take each fish and completely cover in plenty of salt. When that’s done, cover bottom of bucket with salt.
We used to use lard tins but you can’t buy them anymore (prior to lard tins crocks were used). Layer salt-covered fish in bucket and then cover top with more salt. You can’t use too much salt. I guess we use about 20 pounds for one bucket of fish. We sprinkle black pepper over the top. That keeps any flies or bugs away. Then the bucket is stored in the garage.”
This longtime tried-and-tested way to preserve fish is what might be called a brine method. The fish, as they set in the salt, will make a brine and are wet, not dry, when removed from the bucket. With codfish, you find the fish salted and then dried.