Part of the angling lifestyle is cooking what you catch. We all have our own techniques when it comes to scaling, cleaning, and fileting. Some of us realize that we could be doing better, and some of us shake our heads when watching others that don’t follow our tested/proven technique.
If you're new to the scene, the usual process of cleaning a fish goes a little like this:
- Get a bucket or other container to hold guts, bones and scales.
- Snip the dorsal fin with a pair of scissors starting from the back and working towards the head. Do the same with other fins.
- Remove scales - for thicker-skinned fish like bottom feeders, you may want to skin the fish.
- Cut a shallow incision along the belly of the fish. Start at the tail and end just under the gills. Don’t cut too deep, you don’t want to hit any organs.
- Scoop out the innards. There’s no clean way to do this. You’ll have to toughen up and get messy.
- Remove the dark red inner membrane if your particular species of choice happens to have one. It smells gross, and it tastes gross.
- Chop the head behind the gills.
- Quick rinse with cold water. Don’t use an excess of water otherwise you’ll risk leeching the flavour.
That's about it.
Once cleaned, it’s time to filet. There are almost as many ways to filet a fish as there are species in the water. Since there are so many ways to do it - and the fact that a lot of us are more visual learners - check out this how-to-filet-a-walleye video:
Now that we have the basics covered, it’s time to kick it up a notch with something more interesting. These videos showcase some unique and unexpected ways to get the scales off of your fish.
Right or Wrong, these next examples are definitely impressive.
You see some people putting “marketing ninja” on their LinkedIn profiles, but this guy is the real deal.
Not overly glamorous, but it’s pretty impressive what this man can accomplish with his DIY stick and a few bottle caps.
We're not exactly sure what this man is saying, and the product he's using seems like a standard scaling product at first glance. But just look how quickly it works, how clean it leaves the fish, and how little cleanup there is after.
These gentleman takes mere seconds to scale a fish using a handheld drill and a common kitchen item. It’s a little messy, but sure beats the knuckle-knicking grater method!
If you enjoy the laborious process of grating away scales inch by inch, you’ll have to move on. This video takes shows you how to take the pressure off of cleaning your fish. We’re not sure of the health and safety risks here so we can’t officially recommend this technique - but it sure looks fun!
Once you're done de-scaling your fish it's time to toss out the leftovers, right?
Well, not if you're at the edge of medical progress. As a bonus, check out how this patient reduced suffering and healing time with a creative use of fish scales.
So how about you? Do you have a DIY device that you use? Is there a secret or crazy way that you use to clean fish?
As always, share your stories on social!
Yours in Boating,