Many people find cleaning a trout to be a daunting task, seeing as how a trout's scales aren't as pronounced as many fishes scales are. A fish such as a Bass, for example is a bit easier to clean, seeing as how its scales and skin are thicker, but a trout really isn't that much harder to learn how to clean and get ready for the table. In reality, it's as easy as 1-2-3. I'm going to assume you have a filet knife is hand or within reach, when these steps take place.
1) The first thing to do is make sure the trout is dead. Now turn it so that the fishes back is in the palm of your hand. Make sure you have a good grip on this fish, so it doesn't slip and cause you to cut yourself. A wet trout can be slicker than a freshly greased snake!
2) Locate the anus towards the tail end if the fish (for the uninitiated this is a small round hole). While holding the dead trout tight, insert the knife into the anus about a 14 of an inch. Now simply slice down the length of the fish, just cutting through the skin. What you're basically doing is gutting the fish. Once the slice is made down the length of the fish, simply remove and discard the innards.
3) Now, holding the trout in the same position (on its back, in the palm of your hand) you'll notice a nein that extends along the entire length of the fish. Using your thumb, this must be removed. Use the nail of your thumb as a sort of shovel and scrape this red vein out. When you have it loosened up, simply shake the carcass in the water to remove anything that may be left over. At this point, insert your knife into the gill area and make a cut. Now using your fingers, remove the gills. Rinse the entire carcass.
What you have now is a cleaned trout. It's as simple as that. After a bit of practice, this entire process takes minutes. Some people leave the heads on and some people remove the head of the trout, the choice is yours. The bottom line is that you now know how to clean a trout. At the end of the day it really is as easy as 1-2-3.
Trevor Kugler is co-founder of JRWfishing.com and an avid angler. He has more than 20 years experience fishing for all types of fish, and 15 years of business and internet experience. He currently raises his three year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country…. . Montana!
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