How To Cut A Fish

How To Cut And Clean A Fish - With Pictures

So you caught a fish and now you want to know how to cut, clean, and fillet the fish. You came to the right place! I will teach you how to cut, clean, and fillet a fish the right way. With pictures, I will teach you fish cutting, cleaning, and filleting secrets that have been handed throughout the ages and closely guarded by all who are privy to them? Do you think that you are worthy of this ancient fish cutting and cleaning knowledge? ya? Ok then.

But, before I teach you how to cut and clean a fish, there is something you must do. You WILL promise never to use what you are about to learn about cutting and cleaning fish for works of evil, or wrong doing. Such power must be wielded responsibly or else dire consequences will result. You have been warned! (Repeat) You have been warned!'re here because you have a freshly caught fish (I hope) and you need to know what you should do next. Well then just follow along! Preparing a fish is easy. Below I list detailed instructions with pictures on how to cut, clean, and fillet a fish.

How To Cut a Fish

Tools required for cutting a fish:

Sharp fillet knife,
Cutting board,
And a fish of course!

Step 1: Cutting of the fish.

Place the fish on its side on the cutting board, then take the fish by the tail firmly in your hand and begin cutting the bottom of the belly with a fillet knife. Now slit the stomach from bottom bum to gills below the neck.

Note: Some fish have a soft belly that can be easily cut, but most of the time the fish will be tough. Depending on the fish and the knife you use, it will be easier to cut by either 'sawing,' or by 'slicing,' your way up the belly's skin. The method shown here is 'slicing.'

Then cut from the top of the fish's gills down to the neck bone, then behind the fish's gills until the gills are free from the fish.

How To Gut A Fish

How To Filet a Fish

Step 2: Pulling the guts out of the fish.

Once you've cut all the way up the belly to the gills and dislodged the gills, use your fingers to pull out the insides and remove them.

Pull up on the loose gills with your fingers, then start pulling down towards the bottom of the fish. All the entrails should come out in one shot as shown here.

Note: If the guts don't all come out at once, do not fret. You can get the rest out when you wash and clean out the fish.

Step 3: Cleaning of the fish.

Ok, so you have the insides out of your fish now and want to know what to do next. Well you guessed it, wash the fish off of course!

Find either a creek, or lake, or even a kitchen sink...any place that you can rinse the fish off. Just take the fish in your hands....

Note: The fish most certainly will be very slippery. That's ok, just keep grabbing until you've got it.

Run the fish under the water and scrub out the chest cavity with one of your thumbs until all the extra blood and guts are washed away. Awesome! Now we're ready to fillet the fish!

How To wash and clean a Fish

How To Fillet a Fish

Step 4: Filleting the fish.

Ok now were ready to begin to fillet your fish!

Note: This step is optional, you may skip this step and cook the fish whole if you choose.

Take the fish back to cutting board and lay the fish with the tail facing away from you. Take a sharp fillet knife and cut the head off. Then with your free hand grip the tail of the fish firmly. Begin where the gills were between the neck bone and the meat, then hold knife flat and start cutting up along the backbone of the fish towards the tail of the fish. The cut should end before you get to the back fin as shown in this picture. Now just remove top fillet and repeat cutting along the backbone on the other side.

Step 5: Reaping the rewards!

Now take your fillet knife and make a cut at the back end of the fillet and slice at a angel between the skin and the meat until the skin is removed. You now have two fillets of fresh fish!

Mmmmmmm, yummy. Depending on how close you sliced the fillets along the backbone of the fish and the type of fish, you will most likely have some bones left. You can remove these bones with your knife when you are filleting the fish, or you can use a fork when you cook the fish, or go ahead and just do it with your fingers if you like.

You now know the correct way to cut a fish, clean a fish, and fillet a fish! Congratulations! There is nothing left to do now but cook the fish so you can sit back and enjoy your fresh fish!

How To Cut Up a Fish

As a public service I have provided several Links to fishing and hunting related web sites.

Copyright 2009
All Rights Reserved

Victor's Fishing Tips

Po Box 23
Helena MT 59624

Thanks for visiting this educational page detailing the preparation/cutting of fresh fish.
If you have any comments or questions about how to cut a fish, please send them to me so I can improve the
How To Cut A web site.
Also be sure to check out my other HOW TO TIPS web sites coming soon!
You may reach me at the address listed above: