A man is cutting and cleaning the fish with a knife siting on the ground. Basically he is teaching how to bleed a fish out.

How to Bleed a Fish Out & Get Cleaner Fliets (Popular & Effective Method)

How to bleed a fish out is a question commonly asked by new anglers like you as you are supposed to be new in the field of fishing. Fishing is an activity that many people enjoy, whether it’s for sport or as a means of sustenance. However, once you have caught a fish, now, it’s important for you to properly prepare it for consumption. One crucial step in this process is bleeding the fish out completely. Bleeding a fish out not only improves the taste of the fish but also helps you to preserve its quality. (visit our how-to page for other guides).

How to Bleed A Fish Out?

You have targeted your desired fish and now, want to bleed it out to get delicious, clean and white fillets. Why you should bleed the fish? Because bleeding the fish helps you in getting all the blood out and having an amazing taste over a fillet that has not been bled properly. Not only this but it’s also a human way to kill the fish quickly.

There is a fish over the table and a man wearing black T shirt cutting it with a knife. Basically he is teaching how to bleed a fish out.

In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to bleed a fish out effectively and Get Cleaner Filets. But for a summary of how to bleed a fish out, simply follow the following steps:

Summary: How to Bleed A Fish Out?

Step 1: Kill the fish humanely.
Step 2: Remove the hook and tackle.
Step 3: Locate the fish’s gills.
Step 4: Cut the gills.
Step 5: Bleed the fish out.
Step 6: Place them in cold water filled with ice to preserve their quality.

This is what we will discuss in detail in this article. So let’s dive into:

What is Bleeding a Fish Out?

Bleeding a fish out basically refers to the process in which you remove the blood from the fish’s body after you have caught it. This is done by cutting the fish’s gills and allowing the blood to drain out completely. The main purpose of bleeding a fish out is to improve the quality and taste of the fish and to preserve its quality, most important for some kind of health-conscious persons!

Why is it Important to Bleed a Fish Out?

A man is bleeding a fish out with tools.

It is very important for you to learn how to bleed a fish out because bleeding a fish out is important for several reasons. Firstly, it will help you in improving the taste of the fish you have caught. The blood in a fish’s body can give it a metallic taste, which can be unappetizing. By bleeding the fish out, you can remove this blood and improve the flavor of the fish.

Secondly, as another benefit for you, bleeding a fish out can help you in preserving its quality because when a fish dies, the blood in its body starts to break down, causing the flesh to deteriorate more quickly. By bleeding the fish out, you can slow down this process and keep the fish fresher for longer. After bleeding a fish out, we recommend you to preserve them in ice.

Tools Needed to Bleed a Fish Out:

The list is not so long. To bleed a fish out, you will need only a few basic tools that include:

  • A sharp fillet knife.
  • A cutting board.
  • A bucket or cooler with ice.
  • A pair of pliers (to remove the hook).

These are the tools you should collect/arrange before starting the process of bleeding out a fish.

Step-by-step Guide on How to Bleed A Fish Out:

Now, we assumed that we have described how to bleed a fish out and you have learned well what bleeding a fish out is and why it’s important, let’s take a look at how to bleed a fish out. The question you here for. Let’s start!

A fish is laying on the table with knife and other tools to bleed it. Meanwhile, a bucket with icy water, piece of ice are in the water. It is to show how to bleed a fish and what tools are needed in this process: a step by step guide.

Step 1: Kill the Fish Humanely:

At step first, you need to kill the fish, importantly as humanely. Before bleeding a fish out, you need to make sure that it is dead. Killing the fish humanely is important, both from the prospect of an ethical standpoint and to make ensure that the fish doesn’t suffer unnecessarily. There are several ways to kill a fish, but one of the most humane methods you must employ is to use a fish bonker or a blunt object to quickly and cleanly strike the fish’s head just behind the eyes. This will cause instant brain trauma and the fish will lose consciousness and feel no pain.

Step 2: Remove the Hook and Tackle:

In the second step, remove the hook and tackle. Once the fish is dead, you can remove the hook and any other tackle from the fish. Always use a pair of pliers to carefully remove the hook without damaging the fish’s mouth. Remember you are a human and not going to hurt the fish unnecessarily.

Step 3: Locate the Fish’s Gills:

In this step, you need to locate the fish’s gills. The gills are located on the side of the fish’s head, just behind the eyes. They are covered by a bony plate, but you should be able to feel them by running your fingers along the fish’s body.

Step 4: Cut the Gills:

Now, you are at the fourth step of how to bleed a fish out. Here, you are required to cut the gills you have located. Using a sharp fillet knife, make a cut in the bony plate covering the gills. Cut through the gills on both sides of the fish’s head, making sure to cut deeply enough to sever the arteries. This will allow the blood to drain out of the fish’s body.

Step 5: Bleed the Fish Out:

Now you are at the last step. Now, after all, hold the fish over a bucket or cooler with ice and allow the blood to drain out of the fish’s body. You can speed up the process by gently massaging the fish’s body to help release the blood speedily. Make sure that all the blood has been drained out before continuing otherwise all your efforts may ruin.

Cleaning the Fish After Bleeding It Out:

Now, as the fish has been bled out, it’s time to clean it up. Flush the fish thoroughly with cold water to remove any remaining blood or debris. You can also remove the scales and gut the fish at this time, depending on how you plan to prepare it. You may also keep the fish in cold water filled with ice for some time before preparing it for the best results. 

Tips For Handling and Storing Fish:

Tow or more fishes are laying in the icy fish storage. It is to show how to store a fish.

Proper handling and storage of fish is essential to maintain its quality and freshness for a long time in use. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you think you need to keep your fish fresh for a specific time:

  • Keep the fish cold: Store the fish on ice or in a cooler as soon as possible after catching it. You should consider storing it in a clean refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F or below. This will help slow down the deterioration process.
  • Clean the fish properly: Before, storing the fish, you should clean the fish properly. Always Make sure to remove all the blood and debris from the fish before storing it.
  • Store the fish in airtight containers: Storing the fish in airtight containers will help prevent spoilage and keep the fish fresher for longer.
  • Use the fish as soon as possible: Fresh fish always tastes best, so try to use it within a day or two of catching it to have a delicious taste.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is it necessary to bleed a fish out?

Yes, of course, bleeding a fish out is important to improve its taste and preserve its quality.

How do I know when the fish is dead?

This is very important to know when the fish as been died. So, when the fish has died, it will stop moving and its gills will stop moving.

Can I bleed the fish out later?

No, you should consider it as it is best to bleed the fish out as soon as possible just after the fish has been caught to ensure the best quality and taste.

Do I need any special equipment to bleed a fish out?

No, all you will need in this process is to have a sharp fillet knife, a cutting board, a bucket or cooler with ice, and a pair of pliers.

Can I eat the fish immediately after bleeding it out?

Yes, it is safe. Once the fish has been bled out and cleaned, it’s ready to be cooked and eaten.

How long does it take to bleed out a fish?

It generally takes a few minutes for a fish to bleed out completely. However, the time can vary based on the size and species of the fish and your activeness.

Similar Posts


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *