How To Clean and Cook Your Catch
Wash the fish under cold running water.
In the left hand, hold the fish vertical with the head uppermost. In the right hand hold a knife and insert the blade into the anus of the fish.
Pull the blade through the belly of the fish, and upwards right through the position where the gill rakers meet (this junction of bony tissues is quite a tough joint).
Push the blade of the knife in through the lower throat on the right-hand side, over the top of the tongue, and out through the left-hand side.
Pull the knife upward, parallel to the top of the tongue, thus cutting out the lower throat. Put down the knife.
Using scissors, a diagonal cut on each side will remove that part of the flanks containing the pectoral fins.
Remove from the water. Dangle the fish vertically, supported by the left hand gripping the lower jaw bone. Grasp the (prickly) tongue with the right thumb, and pull down towards the main body of the fish. This will pull out the tongue, and after some effort, the gill rakers.
Further less strenuous pulling will start to release the innards, including the guts, seminal fluid sac (or eggs), the anal channel, air sack, heart etc.
The whole released assembly should be deposited in an air-tight, throw-away receptacle. These can rapidly begin to give off quite unpleasant fumes, even at room temperature! This removes the contents of the internal cavity space.
A teaspoon (or alternatively, a thumb-nail) can now be utilised to scrape out the blood along the ribs and to remove the blood along the backbone. Hold the fish under cold running water throughout, so that the blood is flushed out and escapes down the sink
Using the point of the knife remove the blood in the kidney. This is in small bony cavities in the backbone near the tail and is hard to get at, but do try to remove as much of the blood here as possible.
Remove from the cold running water and allow the water to drain away from the fish.
Optionally, using a pair of scissors remove the head and tail of the fish. (Some people prefer to cook the fish with the head and tail intact, but if you are putting the fish in the freezer, removing them will save space).
The carcass of the fish can be slid into a freezer bag labelled with the weight and date – or it can be cooked immediately (generally preferred to get the best flavour).