This article has been viewed 371,628 times. Newsprint laid out on the cutting surface is helpful for soaking up the inevitable liquids that will spill out of the fish. Once fish are dead, it's best to clean them within two hours and eat them within 24 hours. Anglers often keep fish alive while fishing for as long as possible to avoid the task of keeping dead fish cold on ice. [11] Following the cut along the spine you made earlier, use the middle of the knife to make gentle strokes, follow the bones closely to remove the rest of the fillet. catfish), simply make a shallow cut along the pectoral fin and the length of its back, then use a pair of pliers to peel off the skin. Discard the organs in an appropriate trash bin. How to Clean a Fish: This is an easy way to clean a fish without dulling your knife because you never cut through a bone. What is the Safest Way to Handle the Fish I Catch? Now there's couple different ways to gut fish. wikiHow's. 1. Flip the fish over and repeat the same cut on the other side. Jiggle the spike or knife around in the head to ensure that you fully cut through the brain. Hold the head firmly in one hand and grasp the skin with pliers to pull it away from the fish. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. There shouldn’t be much resistance and you shouldn’t need to cut anything with your knife. Enjoy! For added safety, wear metal-mesh "fish-cleaning" gloves to protect your hands from sharp scales. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published, This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. "This information stopped me from thinking I might not know enough to do it, but right now, I am going to try out, "Instructions were simple and clear, detailing every action step by step. To skin a fish, place it on a firm work surface and insert a sharp knife at one pectoral fin. The fish’s anus is the small opening near the bottom of the tail section. Rinse fish in cold water and wipe down slime and debris. Now, cut off the head and open the stomach to take out its entrails. Open the fish at the cut and remove all of the organs and intestines to discard them. 1. Why should I take the scales off a fish when cleaning it? Use your fingers to spread the abdominal cavity, then reach in and remove the entrails. Insert the tip of a chef's knife between the meat and the skin and move the knife firmly along the entire length of the fillet to separate the skin. This cut should reach from the spine to the belly. Follow the spine, and make sure you don’t push too hard to cut through the whole fish. 3. On a flat surface, hold the fish by the head and make a cut just behind the gill cover from the backbone down to just behind the front (pectoral) fin, being careful not to cut the backbone. Home Latest Popular Trending Categories. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. How do I cut or fillet those fish that have many small bones, or 'whisker bones', in them like Asian Carp, Muskellunge, Pike? For cleaning the tuna, the fins on both sides of its body should be removed using a knife. Cut upward along the belly to the head. The second you bring your fish up out of the water, it becomes crucial to care for it correctly to ensure that no one becomes ill from eating it. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. ", "Very clear step-by-step instructions in layman's terms. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. Insert the fillet knife into the fish at the head end of the body just above the backbone and slice horizontally along the fish's body, skimming the knife immediately above the backbone. When gutting a fish, start with your knife in the anus, cut thru to the pelvic fin, then slice the head off from behind the pectoral fins. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. When your blade hits the bone, turn it sideways and cut toward the tail, following the slit in the belly and cutting as close to the backbone as possible. Place your knife 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) from the opening at the neck and slide the knife back and forth along the same line until you’ve cut all the way through the fish’s body to create a steak. Most fish species can be scaled, gutted and cleaned following the procedures outlined above. Rinse your fish after scaling it to keep any loosened scales from getting into your fish’s abdominal cavity. Eating Local as Easy as Filleting Your Day's Catch, Catching and Handling Bullheads and Catfish, Techniques and Tips for Cleaning and Preparing Salmon and Steelhead. Approved. b. Rotate the fish as you flip it over so that you stay facing the spine. Some anglers use a stringer to keep the fish in the water. You can really use any sharp knife to clean and gut a fish, but a flexible filet knife is preferable because the thin blade will keep you from shredding the flesh. Keep the knife blade shallow so you don’t puncture the intestines. Crayfish--also known as crawfish or crawdads--are small, freshwater crustaceans related to lobsters. Find a spot outside or in a place where you can clean up easily, as the scales will go flying. Work until you have removed all of the scales from the outside surfaces of the fish. 2. Scaling a fish involves scraping the scales off of the outer surface of the fish with a scaling tool or a spoon. The difference between a steak and a filet is whether or not the bone was cut through. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Tip: You can cut directly downwards behind the gills if you’d like, but there’s a good chunk of flesh that you’re leaving behind if you do that. You will need a method of holding your fish until you are ready to clean them. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Fish is very perishable, and it will spoil rapidly if you do not handle it carefully. Position the scaling tool or a spoon at the tail of the fish. Whether you call it splitting, butterflying or kiting, removing the backbone and ribs of a whole fish is an important skill for a seafood cook to learn. Step 3: Clearing out the stomach. Yes, try it with salt and lemon juice or butter! Similar mechanics with the skinned fish, you risk ripping off chunks of tissue with the skin when you try to pull at it if the muscle under it is already cut. Place the chilled fish onto a work surface and insert the knife to cut across the backbone. Additional tools you will need for fish-cleaning include a scaling tool, fillet knives in an assortment of sizes, and a sharpening steel to keep the knives sharp. Here is when you can cut the head of the fish if you are not going to cook it. Step 2. “With this method, you’re saving up to 25 percent more of the meat.” Bleeding a fish immediately after it dies can improve the meat quality. You can place your nondominant thumb on the opening created by your initial cut to peel the skin back and make cutting easier. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. 3. (If the skin is to be left on the fillets for cooking, the fish should be scaled before filleting.) Place dead fish on a layer of ice in a cooler and cover with additional ice for adequate cooling. This is an immensely popular fish variety in many countries. Make two slices down the backbone of the fish on either side of the dorsal fin. Can I freeze a fish without it being cleaned? Cutting at an angle ensures that you leave it intact. Open the fish at the cut and remove all of the organs and intestines to discard them. Cut out the fish's anal area with a sharp knife and discard this portion. Spread the body open and remove the gills and entrails. Discard the scales you remove and repeat the same process. Cut off the fish's head with the fillet knife by slicing it off at the pectoral fin. If you rupture the intestines you’ll end up with a nasty mess inside of your fish. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Keep the knife blade shallow so you don’t puncture the intestines. Is it okay to eat the skin remaining on sunfish? wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. How to Clean, Cut and Prepare the Fish You've Caught. Rinse the fish's body under a stream of cold water to remove slime and debris. Wash your fish for at least 1 minute to ensure that every part of the fish’s abdominal cavity gets rinsed. https://coolofthewild.com/how-to-gut-a-fish/, https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/techniques/cleaning_round_fish, https://www.dfw.state.or.us/resources/fishing/docs/how2cleanfilletfishflyer.pdf, https://casaveneracion.com/whats-difference-fish-steak-fish-fillet/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Depending on the species, the dorsal fins may be particularly long and hard to remove. Cut the fish in two or three chunks. Trim off the thinner belly area of the fillet to cook it separately (this portion of the fillet will cook more quickly). To skin a round fish such as cod or herring, make a cut with a sharp knife across the skin of the fish, just below the head. That pulls the guts and everything you wouldn't want to eat out of the fish. Cut a small incision across the tail. Pliers can help you remove fishing hooks from the fish. Cut upward along the belly to the head. Filleting: This is an extremely popular method for butchering most fish and may be performed on an intact carcass prior to gutting, gilling, and scaling, or after that first step has been performed. You can choose to cut through the throat and the gills as you’re finishing the cut if you plan on removing the head later. Rinse the body again with cold water, place it on a stable cutting surface, and slide the tip of the knife into the small opening near the bottom of the tail. Start Scaling . Cut off the fish's head and remove the entrails to finish. Note that the spine runs head to tail about halfway between the belly and the back. Rest the knife on the backbone and draw it down, listening for the knife pinging along the bones, repeating until you begin to get underneath the fillet. You don’t want to cut too deeply into the fish’s belly as you’re cutting it. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Step 3. Avoid cleaning fish with lake or stream water, as it can sometimes contain contaminants. After catching your fish, you will also need to clean it and then cut and prepare it for eating. Because the scales are not edible, and could damage your digestive tract. You may need to bend over a little bit to get good angle for your cut. Filleting a fish involves cutting away a lengthwise piece of fish on one side that runs parallel to the backbone. I have a spoon black-taped to the handle for easy cleaning of the blood line and … For advice on how to fillet the fish after you gut it, read on! By using our site, you agree to our. Cut through the fish’s spine to create fish steaks. When you remove the foil, the skin will come with it. Unless you want to choke or get internal bleeding from scales, you have to. Insert the tip of the knife into the fish at the anal orifice and move the knife along the fish's belly up to the gills. Cut the underbelly of the fish in a straight line from the anus to the gills. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. A steak is a cut through the bone, while a filet is cut around the bone. To do this, you’ll need a clean work station, a sink or faucet, and a sharp filet knife. Why is it important to scale or peel the skin off the fish before I gut it? 2. Wait until flesh is flakey and white. Try to aim for cleaning your fish within 1 to 2 hours so it doesn't spoil. Thankfully, this is a flat fish, so it’ll stay in one place while you cut down towards the tail. How to Clean Mackerel. For the second fillet, start at the tail end and cut towards the head. Butterflying removes most—but not all—of the bones in a fish, and it creates a larger cavity for stuffing, and stuffing is the primary reason to butterfly a fish. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Press firmly and move the tool or spoon along the surface of the fish to scrape off the scales. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Cleaning and Filleting Flat Fish; Cleaning a Whole Fish. Take a small spoon to scrape out any remaining entrails like the kidney. If it's a trout, cut from the anus up to the head area. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. Wash the fish using fresh tap water. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/d\/d6\/Clean_Gut-a-Fish-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean_Gut-a-Fish-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/d\/d6\/Clean_Gut-a-Fish-Step-1-Version-2.jpg\/aid176723-v4-728px-Clean_Gut-a-Fish-Step-1-Version-2.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"546","licensing":"

\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. Move the tip of the knife over the fish's back and stop at the other pectoral fin. Next, starting at the tail and working toward the head, scrape both sides of the fish with the back of a knife to remove the scales. ", "Been fishing all my life (83 years old) and still learned some things, thank you. With the fish on a platter or work surface, use a knife to cut about halfway deep into the fish along the spine. Starting from the fin and proceeding in the direction of the gills, cut the belly of the fish and remove all the innards (this is called gutting). Cut lengthwise through them in small sections to make the process easier. Now what we're going to do is gut it. Cut it off directly behind the gills. Then grab the easiest tool to scale a fish with: a butter knife. This image is not<\/b> licensed under the Creative Commons license applied to text content and some other images posted to the wikiHow website. 5. Some fish, such as bass, require scaling. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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\u00a9 2020 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Differences in Preparing Varieties of Fish. You can carve around any bones that you encounter if you’d like. Cleaning and gutting are essential skills if you want to prepare a whole fish for a meal. Make a cut at the throat to separate the gills from the head. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this image under U.S. and international copyright laws. This image may not be used by other entities without the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc.
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