How to Remove Fish Scales

How to Remove Fish Scales
If you plan to leave the skin on a fish when you cook it, the fish will need to be scaled. Of course, this isn't necessary if you plan to skin the fish and make fillets out of it. Scaling a fish is not difficult and does not take a lot of skill or time. With an inexpensive fish scaler you can purchase at any outdoors store, the job will be easier and quicker.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Newspaper Water Fish scaler Knife Bowl Plastic Bag
  • Newspaper
  • Water
  • Fish scaler
  • Knife
  • Bowl
  • Plastic Bag
Step 1
Prepare your cleaning area by laying some newspapers down on a stable surface. When you are finished, you can wrap up the mess in the newspaper and throw it away.
Step 2
Wash the fish to remove any excess slime. This will make it easier to hold.
Step 3
Lay the fish on the newspaper and grip the tail with one hand. You can also firmly press the fish tail down upon the newspaper with the palm of your hand to hold the fish in place.
Step 4
Hold your fish scaler in your free hand and begin running it across the surface of the fish toward the head. Scale it in the opposite direction of how the scales are running: from the tail to the head.
Step 5
Rinse the fish after you have scaled one side. Check to see if any scales remain by rubbing your hand over the skin. If you still feel scales, use the scaler to remove them. Repeat these steps on the opposite side of the fish and rinse it well.
Step 6
Complete the cleaning process after the fish has been scaled by cutting off its head and gutting it. Rinse the inside and outside of the fish.
Step 7
Place your cleaned and scaled fish into a bowl of water or in a plastic bag and store in a refrigerated area until you are ready to cook it.

Tips & Warnings

Discard fish remains away from your campsite so wild animals do not search for it.

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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