Take Your Fish from Catch to Plate with These Steps

A person begins to filet a fish on a cutting boardIt takes many years and a lot of work to truly master the art of casting a line and reeling in a big catch. But what happens after you complete the catch? Maybe you throw the fish back. But maybe you’ve caught a good eating fish that you’ve always wanted to prepare for yourself. Here’s what you should do in that case:

Catching and Cleaning the Fish

Once you’ve removed the fish from your hook, quickly and humanely knock it unconscious with a specialized tool. You then bleed the fish by cutting into the gill with a sharp knife and massaging its back until all the blood has poured out. Once you’re finished, put the fish on ice until the day is done.  Next up is cleaning the fish. Start with a filleting knife and make an incision in the belly of the fish up to the gills. Remove all the guts from the stomach area.

Filleting and Preparing the Fish

The next step is to fillet the fish – you start by making a diagonal cut behind the gills down to the backbone. You then cut along the length of the backbone of the fish to the tail. If you want to remove the skin, flip the portion over and move the knife between the skin and meat to separate the fillet. Repeat this step on the other side of the fish. You can now prepare the fillets for cooking by rinsing them under cold water to remove any remaining scales or debris and patting them dry with a paper towel. Depending on your recipe, you might want to marinate your fillets at this stage or simply season them with salt and pepper.

Cooking Your Catch

There is no shortage of ways to cook your freshly caught fish. You can grill, bake, pan-fry, poach, or even steam it. Each method brings out different flavors and textures, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Whether you prefer a crispy skin pan-seared trout or a delicately poached salmon, cooking your catch can be as rewarding as reeling it in.

My favorite is deep frying in vegetable oil or lard. Before putting the fillet in the hot oil, coat it with a mixture of Perl Milling company Complete mix and beer. Use care not to make the mixture so thin it will not stay on the fillet. Usually about 1/2 of a beer can will do with the complete mix. The oil should be about 350 degrees before the fish is placed in it. Fish will rise to the top when done.

Remember to check whether the fish is done by gently flaking it with a fork. When it’s opaque and flakes easily, it’s ready to be served. And don’t forget, nothing complements a fresh catch better than a squeeze of lemon or a dab of tartar sauce.

Taking your meal from catch to plate is a rewarding journey that allows you to appreciate every aspect of your fishing adventure. Not only do you get to relish in the thrill of the catch, but you also get to enjoy a delicious meal made with your own hands.

Of course, you can’t do any of this if you can’t catch the fish. And you can’t catch the fish without the right equipment. Here at Signature Fishing Rods, we’re here to help with your Signature Fishing Rods. With our wide selection rods and poles, we’ll have you ready for the fishing adventure of a lifetime. Visit our website or give us a call at 630-234-6214 if you have any questions.