Tuesday, September 4, 2007

How to clean a fish

Warning: Graphic photos!

This is an easy way to clean a fish without dulling your knife because you never cut through a bone. I have a spoon black-taped to the handle for easy cleaning of the blood line and I've cleaned up to a 100 in a day, so one has to be fast. You don't need a fillet knife, just one that is strong and sharp!

Most times I clean the fish down at the river but if Hubby is checking the net he'll bring them home for me to do.

My 9 year old daughter, Sydney, helped take these pictures.

So let's get started:
Start with one sockeye salmon. Most fish we get are quite silver coloured but it's getting to the end of the season so we start to see a few red ones, this has no effect on the quality of the fish until much later in the season. In this picture you can also see marks from our gill net.

Cut around the tail, ensuring all skin is cut, do not cut the bone! I like to use the tail as a "handle" after cutting, especially if I'm down at the river dipping the fish in the water.

Lift the fin and angle your knife to cut towards the head, stop cutting when you hit the bone.

Flip the fish over and angle your knife to cut towards the head on the other side. Make sure all the skin is cut (this is important), you might have to flip the fish upright and cut down, but do not cut the bone itself.

Cut from the anal opening to the head of the fish.

Firmly grasp the head, pull down towards you and along the belly. This is where you snap the neck bone.

The guts will come out attached with the head in one swift pull, leaving everything clean inside. Doing it this way you never have to touch the guts.

Cut along the inside to reveal the blood line.

This is why I have the spoon taped to the end of my knife, you simply flip the knife and scoop out the blood.

Firmly grasp the tail and it should easily snap off, as long as there is no skin attached.

Hose everything off.

Bagged and ready for the freezer :) Some people cut off all the fins but I don't, I prefer to cut them off later. If I don't plan on using the fish within a year I will wrap in freezer paper and then bag them, but I usually use most of them up before next fishing season.

Anyone interested in how to fillet a fish?


Mom said...

Hi Kansas...
The pictures are great. I think this is the best way I have ever seen it done. I am sure a lot of people will change the way they do it. Great job!

Love ya!

jackie said...

Having a severe allergy to fish, this is one tutorial of yours that I will never use, but I will show it to my boys who have taken an interest in fishing this summer. Does this work well with all types of fish?
And the bread and butter pickles are REALLY good! I have already snacked down half of the pint that didn't snap!

Dora Renee' Wilkerson said...

I love these! I hope you don't mind but when I do my next post I am going to link to this page!

Great stuff!

Dora Renee' Wilkerson

Wendy said...

Great! Step by step pic's on how to clean fish! Thank-you, Thank-you! That's one thing that everyone seems to think I know how to do because I used to fish. Now if asked I'm ready with an answer or point them in your direction.

Theresa said...

Thanks for that information,

I'm a woman that is going to start cleaning my fish this year for the first time in my life. Your information was very helpful. The pictures just rocked!



Mikey said...

Geez, this brings back memories :) I spent a summer working a processor in Alaska. I gutted A LOT of fish, lol. I worked a lil technique with the fingers to rip guts out super quick.. I can still do it :)
Forgot about the bloodline though. Had to do that too. What a messy job, and long hours, but a good life experience :)
You keep it up girl. If the economy gets too bad down here, I might be joining you up north... looks like a good time :)

Anonymous said...

thx :)