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Fish Cleaning 101

You’ve purchased all the right gear. You’ve researched the best casting methods. You’ve scheduled a trip with a fishing charter in Alaska. Are all your bases covered?

Just one thing remains: do you know what to do with the fish after you’ve caught it? Are you able to prepare a delicious meal from the bounty of your fishing efforts? Use the following overview to learn how to clean and consume your catch.

The Supplies

To properly clean a fish, you need three things. The toughest of the three to obtain is the fish itself. Once you’ve succeeded at reeling one in, you’ll just need to get a sharp filleting knife and a board on which to clean the fish. A fish clamp can also be helpful.

The Process

Once you have your supplies, you’re ready to clean your fish. Use the following simple steps:

  1. Wash it: Wash the fish to remove all slime and debris.
  2. Cut it: With fillet knife in hand, make an incision behind the pectoral fin. Then, cut off the head of the fish.
  3. Slice it: Hold the fish steady by placing your hand flat on top of it. Then, slide the knife into the body of the fish and make a cut along the entire length of the body, from head to tail along the belly.
  4. Gut it: Spread open the fish and remove all of the guts. Be thorough.
  5. Descale it: Once you’ve cleaned the interior of the fish, it’s time to work on the exterior. Secure the tail of the fish, then use the knife to grate the skin, pushing the blade away from you. You can use a scaling knife for this task, but your fillet knife should also suffice.

The Feast

Once your fish is cleaned, gutted and scaled, it’s ready for the skillet! Fish are tasty when prepared in a variety of ways. Each method results in slightly different flavors, so try a few to discover the ones you enjoy the best.

For crispy-tender fish, try sautéing or pan frying your catch. If you prefer to avoid frying methods, bake the fish in the oven at 450 degrees. A good rule of thumb is to bake fish 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.

Poaching, deep frying and even microwaving are also potential methods to prepare your cleaned fish. For those who prefer to cook outdoors, grilled fish are a great option. Of course, this opens up the eternal debate of charcoal vs. gas, but we’ll leave that decision up to you. Either method can be used to create a delicious fish meal.

Discover More

Would you like more cleaning and cooking tips from your fishing charter in Alaska? At Phantom Tri-River Charters, we’ve been helping fishermen improve their catches since 1993. We’d love to share additional tips on any aspect of fishing. Our goal is to ensure you have an excellent fishing excursion and create memories to last a lifetime. Reach out to our team today with any questions or to schedule your next adventure.