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How-to Catch And Cook (And Why You Should)

Have you ever wanted to catch and cook one of the fish you haul in?

Maybe you’ve only fished for trophy fish, and the thought of eating it hasn’t crossed your mind.

What are a few reasons you’d kill a fish, or what are humane ways to kill a fish?

What do you need to prepare a fish, and how do you do it to ensure it tastes good?

If you’re wondering the answers to these questions, this is for you. We’re going to go over all of this information, and we’ll answer your frequently asked questions below.

Two Reasons to Kill Fish

Generally, there are two main reasons why someone would kill a fish. The first is to catch and cook. Fish come loaded with essential nutrients, and they’re an excellent source of protein. Additionally, since fish are so plentiful, they’re relatively easy to find and catch.

Many people rely on catching and cooking fish to form a staple part of their diets. This is especially true in parts of Canada and Alaska. Fish are easy to cook, they store and freeze beautifully, and you can dry it out or pickle it for variety.


A second reason people kill fish is that they accidentally injure them when they’re trying to catch trophy fish. Sometimes, the fish accidentally get injured during the fishing process. This could be due to problems with the hooks or getting injured when you pull them onto the boat.

It’s more humane to kill the fish than it is to release them back into the wild injured. So, anglers will dispatch the fish rather than try and let them go and hope they survive on their own. Some fish species fight a lot harder and increase the chances of injuring themselves than others.

Humane Ways to Kill Fish

Every fish that you catch with the intent to eat should be handled very carefully to reduce their stress levels. Then, you should kill them as humanely as possible after you catch them. To be humane, it’s essential that you stun your fish to render them insensible as quickly as possible before you take steps to bleed them out.

Before you stun the fish, you want to keep them in the water as long as possible. Generally, there are two different methods you can use to stun the fish you catch. You can spike them or use percussive stunning to render the fish unconscious.


If you choose to stun your fish, you have to apply an accurate and forceful blow to the fish’s head with a blunt object. Your force levels will vary depending on your fish’s size. Smaller fish won’t require as much force as you’d use with larger fish.

You want to aim your blow just above your fish’s eyes because this will have the biggest impact on your fish’s brain. If the fish doesn’t fall unconscious after a single blow, you should apply a second blow to the same spot. Always double-check your fish after the first hit to see whether or not it was effective.

If you spike the fish, you’ll drive a sharp spike like a screwdriver or an ice pick into the fish’s brain. You want to position the sharp end of the spike where it’ll penetrate your fish’s brain. The goal is to push the sharpened end into the fish’s skill quickly and firmly. The spike should immediately render your fish unconscious. You want to move the spike from side to side to destroy the fish’s brain before pulling it back out.


How to Prepare Wild Fish Like Trout

Once you catch your trout, you have to fillet it before you get it ready to cook. Start by laying the fish on a flat surface and cutting behind the fish’s gills and pectoral fin down to the backbone. Turn the knife’s blade and cut through your fish’s ribs toward the tail without removing the knife. Turn your fish and repeat the steps.

If you want to skin the trout, place it skin side down and insert your fillet knife about a half of an inch from the tail. Grip the tail and put your knife between the meat and skin at a slight angle. Wash the fillet with cold water, pat dry, and prepare how you like.

Items You’ll Need

Hurricane Aluminum Fish Bat.

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You have to kill your fish before you start to prepare it. You’ll need a fish wacker or bat to knock your fish unconscious before allowing it to bleed out. It’s also a good idea to have a portable fish cleaning station that can hold all of your tools. Fishing gloves, fillet knives, and a fish scaler are also good tools to bring with you. If you want to store your fish instead of cooking it right away, you’ll need a storage receptacle.

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Fillet Knife

Fish Wacker

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve picked out your most frequently asked questions and answered them all in one convenient place. Our goal is to give you everything you need to catch and cook your fish with confidence.

1. Is it humane to let a fish suffocate?

Ideally, you want your fish to die with as little suffering as possible, and this means quickly. Suffocating your fish is considered very inhumane because it can take a long time for the fish to die. This is why you want to keep them in the water as long as possible.

You shouldn’t put your fish in a cooler with ice, and you don’t want to leave them out of the water. All of these things will prolong your fish’s suffering, and this is the last thing you want to do.

2. How do you kill a fish before filleting?

You can kill a fish by percussion or driving a spike into their brains. Using a fish wacker, you can quickly render the fish unconscious by delivering a hard blow to the head. You want to aim to just above their eyes to hit the brain.

You can also use a spike and drive it into their brains. Once the spike is in, you have to move it back and forth to destroy the fish’s brain. Once the fish dies, you can carry on cleaning and filleting them as you normally would.

3. Do fish suffer when they are dying?

Fish can suffer when they’re dying if you don’t kill them quickly or render them unconscious before killing them. This is why it’s so important to knock the fish out before you have them bleed out and clean them.

You want to make it as quick as possible, and this is why you aim for the area right behind their eyes where the brain is. A blow here will ensure the fish doesn’t suffer or feel any more pain. If the fish is larger, you will have to use more force.

4. Do fish feel pain from hooks?

The debate wages on whether or not a fish has the brainpower to feel pain from hooks. Some people say they can, and other people claim the fish don’t feel anything. Instead, scientists claim that how a fish acts when you hook it is a result of instincts.

They claim that the fish puts up a fight out of a natural response instead of being due to a pain response. However, no one really knows the whole truth, and this is why you want to handle all of the fish you catch with care.

5. Do fish recover from hooks?

The majority of bony fish will recover from hooks over time, and cartilaginous fish will heal much slower from hooks. Additionally, cartilaginous fish also form scar tissue like humans do when they get injured like they would if they got hooked.

However, you can minimize the damage done to your fish by being careful about the hooks you use. You also want to be very careful when you remove the hook from the fish. These things will help ensure the fish will heal from being hooked without having any lasting injuries.