Few people consider cleaning a catch to be one of their favourite parts of the fishing process, but it is a critical task if we are to enjoy the fruits of our efforts in the form of tasty and healthy meals made from home-caught seafood. There are three ways to clean and prepare fish for storage in the freezer or refrigerator, or cook and serve. The rapid application of these three methods ensures optimum food quality and sustains fishing.
To take out most of the fish, stick a sharp knife into the opening and cut through the gills. Hold the blunt edge of your knife at an angle of about 45 degrees and place it on the fish skin near its tail and fins. To proceed with the gutting of your fish, slide the knife that cuts through the tail and cut it into the gills.
As soon as the skin of the fish sits and the fish has a firm work surface, insert a sharp knife into one of the pectoral fins. Move the tip of the knife into the fish and stop at the other pectoral fin. Dandruff and flies are placed in the scraps of skin and should feel smooth and slimy when finished.
Remove the fish from your refrigerator and place it upside down with the non-dominant hand. Grab the head with the dominant hand and remove the scales with a scaling tool or butter knife. Hold the head in one hand and grab the skin with pliers to pull the skin from the fish.
If you are dealing with thick-skinned fish, you should consider skinning them with decalcification. If you notice that your fish has skin instead of scales, you should remove the skin by making a shallow cut along the pectoral fins (this is the area where skin is pulled out). Use water to wash off and remove excess dandruff and skin off, using low water pressure to avoid damage to the flesh.
Cut a long, shallow cut into the fish belly from the anus to the base of the gill. Cut a 1-inch notch under the skin at the top where the fish’s head is connected to its body. When scaling a fish, the scales are scraped off the outside of a fish with a scaling tool or a spoon.
The edging and cleaning of a fish is an essential step in the preparation process as the innards of the fish must be removed before cooking to ensure safety of the dinner. More detailed techniques are tried when using coring or cleaning methods.
Often the process of preparing almost any kind of fish for dinner leaves the cook with a little bit less of an appetite for that very dish, but because fish generally doesn’t take too long to cook, this uneasiness can often be gotten over quite easily. The trick is to try and make sure no traces of the fish as it appears raw are left, once it has been cooked to crispy perfection. It’s not unlike the process of hunting casino rewards and then actually enjoying the gaming with the extra credits and other bonuses.