For those who love to fish or those who would like to start but have no clue what to do after you land one, here are 5 simple steps to clean and fillet your fish. A sharp knife will keep you from tearing up your meat and make the entire process cleaner and easier.
1. First you want to start with a very sharp knife. Cut your fish from the tail to the head and remove all innards. Rinse thoroughly. Place your blade behind the gills and slice inward towards the head until you reach the backbone and spine.
2. Next turn you knife around and slice towards the tail gliding along the backbone and exiting at the base of the tail.
3. With the skin still on, insert the blade tip just below the ribs and carefully remove the rib cage.
4. Now to remove the skin. Grasp the skin as the tail and run the blade away from your body at a shallow angle to avoid puncturing the skin.
5. This should have freed your first fillet. Now turn your fish over and repeat on the other side.
Remember that if you plan to transport your fish across state or country borders, to leave a piece of the skin attached for identification purposes.
Fish are an incredibly healthy, low-calorie source of protein. Many worry about mercury levels in fish, but researchers still advise two servings per week (unless you’re pregnant than just one). Fish have been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease, combat depression, improve skin health, relieve arthritis pain, and even prevent cancer. When fishing, keep moderate-sized fish, older fish contain more mercury.
Tip: Using a cloth around your hands can help steady your fish and keep it from slipping out of your hands and causing an accident seeing as you are using a very sharp knife. Another tip that rids your hands of that odor that never seems to dissipate: Hold a steel blade under running water! You’ll never know you touched that fish!