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How To Bleed A Fish

You’re out fishing, catching a few quality reef fish, or any fish for that matter, it definitely pays to know how to look after your catch such as how to bleed a fish. And when you’re talking prime reef fish such as coral trout at $40 a kilo, here are a couple of tips which will make sure it’s fresh as possible. Bleeding your fish, helps remove the blood and keep the flesh in top condition, preventing strong blood lines through your fillet.

How Bleed A Fish

Ikijime A Japanese Tradition

The traditional Japanese method of Ikijime or Brain spiking a fish is a quick efficient and painless way of dispatching your unlucky catch. This prevents the fish stressing and struggling causing bruising of the flesh during the fishes last minutes. Well worth trying on a large fish such as Spanish Mackerel or Tuna which can take some controlling once brought onboard.

A good strong knife or Spike placed into the Brain, killing the fish instantly. With Spanish Mackerel the brain is located directly centre of the head, about one inch behind the eyes. This prevents rigor mortis setting in and degradation of the flesh. Definitely a very humane way to handle and kill your fish.

When learning how to bleed a fish, one of the best ways is to slit the throat with either a knife or a good pair of quality Stainless steel scissors. We use Black panther scissors, bloody good value at $20 a pair, they keep sharp with a serrated edge, and don’t rust. Check out our video, but angle up behind the gills and cut the main artery, very quick and safe.

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These scissors are also very handy in cutting off one of the pectoral fins which is a new regulation for all new reef species on the Great Barrier Reef. And don’t forget you have to do this for Spanish Mackerel as well. So make sure you’re aware of your local fishing regulations, but these definitely come into play on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland Australia. These regulations can be found at your local tackle shop for the latest info. Coral Reef fin Species can’t be filleted at sea, so you have to wait until the end of the day.

Fish Bleeding

Make sure you’ve got a big esky, you’ll never know when that monster fish of a lifetime will come along, and plenty of Ice, there’s no point skimping on ice which is relatively cheap. Party ice scattered over the fish gives the best result, with fish iced down keeping for several days without problems.

Cleaning A Fresh Fish

Best bet is to keep fish whole, as gutting and gilling breaks the skin and more likely to introduce bacteria and ruining the flesh. I prefer to fillet my fish, for great eating with no bones or skin. A lot of time and money goes into fishing, so look after your catch, it’s well worth it.

Black Panther Scissors

I just can’t rave on highly enough about these scissors, great for cutting braid, rigs, and heaps of others uses. You’ll wonder how you got by without them. Also make sure you’ve got a good bait knife and some Stainless Steel pliers, very handy for dealing with fish and removing hooks and you can’t go wrong. Always pay to have quality gear, and look after ém.

So make sure you give a quick Freshwater wash and scrub at the end of the day!! With moving parts such as scissors and pliers, a quick spray occasionally with lubricant such as WD40, Inox keeps corrosion away and working freely.

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