How to Scale a Fish

How to Scale a Fish
Now that you've got that stringer full of fish, you're probably wondering what to do with them. Cleaning a fish may seem like a daunting task, but it's actually not that hard to do. You can always fillet the fish, but that takes a little more skill. For most freshwater and pan-size fish, scaling is the way to go when it comes to cleaning. You'll only need a few tools. Read on for some tips on scaling a fish.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Fish scaler Board Knife Water
  • Fish scaler
  • Board
  • Knife
  • Water
Step 1
Set up your area and get ready to begin scaling. If you don't have a fish scaler, a blunt knife will also work, but be careful not to cut yourself.
Step 2
Rinse your fish off before you start scaling. Fish are slimy, which makes them slippery and hard to hold steady on the board. If you rinse the fish thoroughly before you start, it will be a little less slippery.
Step 3
Lay your fish on the board. Place the palm of your hand on the tail section of the fish and press down to hold the fish in place. The scales run from the head toward the tail, and you'll need to scale in the opposite direction.
Step 4
Run your scaler along the sides of the fish toward the head. The scales should begin to peel off the fish in clumps. Continue doing this until all sides of the fish have been scaled. Washing the fish again in water will show you if there are any scales left. If so, use your scaler to remove them.
Step 5
Cut the fish's head off with your knife. Insert your knife into the anus on the underbelly side of the fish. Make a slit from the anus to the end of the fish where you've just cut the head off. Pull out any stomach matter inside the cavity. Rinse the fish in water and place it in a bowl of fresh water once it is cleaned off. Your fish is now scaled, gutted and ready for the frying pan.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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