Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
How to Clean a Fish!

How to Clean a Fish!

[MUSIC] Alright before we get started here I want to just show you a little bit about what we’ve got here. We’re going to start with the brim. Brim you can fillet out if you get a big enough one. Brim, when I say brim I mean any of your sunfish family. Most people around South Carolina say
bluegill is a brim. There’s also other sun fishes that you can dress this way, which is red ear that people call Cheryl cracker. A whole long a whole laundry list of Sun fishes that you can dress But something that you’re going to need is you’re going to need a spoon because we’re going to scale. You’re going to need a good knife, a good filet knife And when I mean good you want to keep this fillet knife really sharp and in good condition. It doesn’t have to split hairs but if you’re going to cut fish and dress them all the time, Then you’re going to need something to keep around the house that will keep that knife sharp. Also when we get to the catfish we’re going to use these cool catfish skinning pliers and this nifty board here. So we’re going to go ahead and get started. So we’re going to get here and we’re going to grab this bluegill And once you get to the bluegill they’re about the size of your hand That’s good enough to eat cuz this is the good meat right up here along under the dorsal fin. Alright we’re going to move this guy to the cutting board and since we are dressing out this fish what I like to call old school and we’re going to scale it. If you notice there’s there’s a lot of little scales on here and if you take your hand and rub them backwards, Dan, you want to take your hand and rub them backwards?
DAN DUPREE: It’s like sandpaper. It’s like sandpaper. And so if you’re going to eat this fish and fry it with this part on we got to remove those scales. And one way to do that is to take the spoon. It has multiple duties, and rub that spoon backwards. You can see some of those little scales coming up. DAN DUPREE: Can I give it a try? Go for it. DAN DUPREE: Well I remember do this one when I was young, they just fly everywhere so let’s see what we can do. Oh there we go. Scales in the face. DAN DUPREE: And then we continue Part of cleaning a fish is getting a little dirty so you got to be prepared for that. And I guess these scales would not taste really good if you sat there and forgot to scale it. Yeah probably not so much a little too much texture. Alright what we’re gonna do is get underneath this and then right back here. Do you mind if I dip it in the water just to see where we stand? Go for it, clean that one off. Alright bring it straight back I think we did a pretty good job. Alight Laurieann I think it’s all up to you now. I’ve done the dirty job. The dirty work. Now the next thing we’re going to do is we’re going to make an a cut with our fillet knife right here behind the operculum Which is this gill flap right here and this pectoral fin. So we’re going to slice right down there. Alright so we’re going to take that filet knife we’re going to insert it in right behind that pectoral fin and we’re going to cut down and you’re going to fill the bone. Are we trying to remove the head is that what we’re doing? We are trying to take the head off. Alrighty. If I can get it to cut through. Now you told us that this knife is very sharp. It is very sharp so I’m trying to be very careful and not slice and dice myself and just slice and dice this fish. There we are we’re through. DAN DUPREE: There we go. Alright so when you get to this point, your heads still a little attached. You’re going to cut down the bottom right at that pelvic fin which is this little guy right here. And all our entrails are going to follow which is the gross part but, There’s our head, going to put them in the gut bucket and then we’re going to pull out all this nastiness Yeah I don’t think I would want to eat that either. No I wouldn’t want to dine on intestines of a fish. Okay so we’ve got the fish, we’ve still got one more step to do. We need to open up this gut cavity and make sure we’ve got everything out. So what you want to do is you want to go right in the vent which is there exit and cut down the bottom. And tada, we still have a couple little pieces of innards in there that we got to get rid of. And some folks will actually cut this little pelvic fin off so I’m going to slice that bad boy off. And some folks depending on what their preference is they may cut the dorsal and the anal fin. Here in South Carolina most folks leave that caudal fin because it’s kind of considered a delicacy. You’ll fry this whole thing whole and people will actually eat that. So we’ve got a clean shot of the inside and before you get ready to prepare this thing you’re going to rinse it out really really good with water. He’s ready to eat, ready to eat can’t wait. [MUSIC] What’s next we’re going to take it to the next level and we are actually going to fillet a largemouth bass You can also do the largemouth bass like we did the bluegill and leave the bones in it. But with the largemouth bass the size that we’ve got I wouldn’t recommend it. I would go for the filet Alright we’re going to start with our largemouth bass. DAN DUPREE: How much you think he weighs Lauriean? I don’t know he’s at least a good pound and a half or so. DAN DUPREE: Yeah the one I caught was a lot bigger. I’m sure it was.. DAN DUPREE: Well why don’t you show us how you fillet one of these guys. Alright we’re gonna get started. Alright just like the bluegill these guys also have scales but if we are filleting a fish we don’t have to worry about it. One of the first things that we’re going to do is we’re going to make the same incision. Angle the knife right behind the operculum in the gill flap. So you’re saying we don’t have to scale them. We don’t have to scale this guy and you’re going to go down until you feel that backbone and that ribcage. You’re not going to go all the way through. Then you’re going to turn the fish and you’re going to always want to cut away from you, And put the fillet knife in down the dorsal fin. You want to meet even and you’ll feel the ribs. You want to be between the ribs and that nice fleshy piece of meat. And this is why it’s real important to have a nice sharp fillet knife. For sure and then you’re going to get to this point, you see the vent right there. You’re going to poke your knife all the way through. Oh….. I’m going to come all the way down to the tail. Some folks will leave it attached to the tail here but we’re going to go ahead and cut it. And you’re going to open up your bass and you’re going to cut down the top, cut away from those bones. You’re just feeling the ribs with your knife. Filling right along the ribs with your knife. Do you see that? Yes. Now having a fillet means there’s very few or no bones at all. Correct ideally if you are a good filleter you should get no bones in your fillet. Well you’re doing a great job and it looks like we probably won’t have any bones. Almost, Almost through. There we go so
we’ve got a start we also will have to fillet another side if you want to get both sides of meat and why wouldn’t you. When you’re filleting out fish especially
if you get a larger bass bigger than this you’re going to want to look along this lateral line area, Which is towards the top of the body right under the dorsal fin. And look and see if there’s any dark colored meat because you’re going to cut that off. But one of the things we’re going to do is we’re going to take the skin off that fish. So you’re going to use your fingers right at the end where the tail was and you’re going to cut at an angle. Oh so this is the purpose of not taking the scales off. That’s right because you don’t have to. That’s a lot less work. Sort of, Sort of. So we’ve got a nice fillet and I left a little bit of meat on there but not terrible. I think you did a great job and then you got your skin and your scales left behind and that’s a pretty decent looking filet. There’s no dark meat that looks like we’re ready to wash that bad boy off, bread it up and fry it. Awesome. [MUSIC] Alright catfish is a different ballgame because those guys have skin instead of scales. And unlike trout who you can eat with the skin on, you can’t do that with the catfish. A lot of people will just take a board or even just use a tree and use a nail to impale the catfish’s head but we’re just going to hook his lips right under that. And that will help hold it while we skin the catfish. Alright, Alright so we’re gonna get our catfish, alright and I’ve heard there are some parts of a catfish you have to be concerned with. You do you do a lot of people think it’s the barbels but those guys, they won’t hurt you. We have the dorsal fin back here that has one really large spine and then we have one spine on each pectoral fin. Alright. On each side, they don’t have any venom whatsoever. Okay we’re going to take this catfish and we’re going to clip him right under that bottom lip. You want to hold that for me? There perfect, And hopefully that’ll hold him tight. Alright first things that we need to do is we’re going to have to scour right behind. You can feel that the catfish has a pretty bony head and it’s really really hard, And so what we’re going to do is we’re going to cut across that head but not through it. You’ll feel that there’s the spine is right there. You don’t want to cut through that spine. Alright some folks will start at this point and start pulling the skin down, you can. But one of the things that I like to do is just cut along the backbone to kind of give our skin another avenue to cut away from. Right alongside of each side of that dorsal fin, Which is where you really need a sharp sharp knife. Alright so the next thing we’re going to do is we’re going to grab with the pliers. Now a good set of pliers is where they meet all the way across, You don’t want to get pliers that are old and have imperfections where they don’t come together to at the same time, Because then you’ll run into issues of it’s not going to hold your skin like it should. So these are special skinning pliers, skinning pliers. You can’t use the pliers out of your tackle box. I got a little bit of meat there. And everybody thinks that you know the catfish is supposed to skin like a banana but their skin kind of goes down. So don’t be expecting it to come all the way to the tail on the first try. It’s going to kind of slide down the body on the side. So obviously once we have skinned this guy we can dress them out, we can fillet them, we can do all kinds of different things to prepare the fish for the frying pan. We can… alright we’ve got this catfish nice and skinned. It takes a little while and a little bit of muscle, we both agree. And what you’re going to do is you’re going to take it hold it and you’re going to twist it until you snap the head. And then you kind of pull and all the oodles come with it…oodles, oodles. Oodles and oodles of oodles and oodles of innards There we go, um but we still have like before with the brim you still got some nastiness in there. So what you’re going to do is you’re going to take your fillet knife and you’re going to cut down to the vin again. Slice it open and then scrape all that out. Now just like we did earlier with the brim you can wash this fish out right here. Um you know clean out the blood, the little membranes and then you’re good and ready to deep fry this bad boy. Some folks will take off this long anal fin as well as cut off these pectoral fins as well. Another way is that you can go ahead and fillet this fish out like you would the largemouth bass And when you cut it open just like I said with the largemouth bass you look for any of that dark meat It’s going to be on that top part and you’re not going to want to eat that because that’s going to be really really fishy. So you’re going to want to cut any of that dark red meat or any funny color and coloring in the meat up here and you’re going to just cut that right off. And a lot of times if you get a really big catfish it’s kind of cool, you get down in here and you’ll see a lot of bright yellow fat but we didn’t get any of that today. But still good eating, alright we’re done with our catfish and I guess we’re ready to hit the frying pan. That’s right Laurieann we’ve got our catfish and we got all our fish that we filleted and dressed out on ice, And we’re ready to bread them up and get them cooking. I hope you guys have as much fun and as much luck as we did today catching a lot of different types of fish. We’re ready to eat them up so I guess we will catch you guys next time.

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