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How to gut a fish

Updated on June 18, 2012
A fisherman with his Catch of the Day
A fisherman with his Catch of the Day

I like seafood, especially the fish variety. Not a very big fan of mussels and prawns or the likes. I am sure a lot of people love to eat fish. Coming to think of it, I wonder how many of them really do clean and gut the fish they eat! Certainly its not a very pleasant affair.

The following step by step instructions will help those who have never tried their hand at cleaning and gutting a fish. The accompanying videos demonstrate the process.

How To Gut A Fish Video 1

How To Gut A Fish Video 2

How to gut a fish

Step 1: Wash the fish in clean running water to remove any slime or dirt.

Step 2: Use a sharp knife to remove the fins on either side of the body.

Step 3: If the fish needs scaling, scrape the fish by running the knife at nearly 90 degree angle along it's body from tail to head. Continue scraping till the fish is smooth and rinse it once again.

Step 4: Place the fish on a board and holding the tail cut away a thin strip all the way along its belly up to the gills. Discard the strip of skin. Alternately, you can insert the sharp point of your knife below the soft part of its belly and slice upwards to its gills to cut it open.

Step 5: Use your fingers to remove the guts from the cavity. Discard them and give the fish another wash.

Step 6: You can remove the head and tail now, if you want to. Cut its head just below the gills, and remove the tail from where it joins the body.

Step 7: Wash it once again and your fish is ready to cook now! You can use it as whole or cut to pieces etc, as you wish, depending on the type of fish and what you want to do with it.



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    • profile image

      fish head 

      11 years ago

      Can you tell me how long you cook your fish for in the oven thanks.

    • flread45 profile image


      12 years ago from Montana

      You gut a fish very

    • Annette Rozen profile image

      Ann Martin 

      13 years ago

      i love eating fish, im happy to cook it - but thr gutting? i think ill leave that to the fishstore to handle!

    • yenseca profile image


      13 years ago from Canada

      You had me at "how to gut a fish"...i think i'm in love.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      13 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I've seen it done live a few times. But I never did it myself :-)

    • Rmnathan profile image


      13 years ago from Sharjah

      Another good hub, Sunseven. I do not generally cook. However I have lot of experience in watching my mother gutting fish when I was still a child. Although the purpose and the result were same there were lot of differences in the process. In those days in our place people never gut fish inside the kitchen. This was related to various social and religious believes. The knife used, also was not similar to the one shown here. It was a wider knife blade fixed vertically on a wooden plank (we call it "arivaal manai"). Here the user sits on this plank. The knife is stationary and the fish is moved while cutting. and my mother used to cut fish crosswise into about one inch thick pieces and clean it. I was not very much keen in watching the process, but my mother needed someone to assist her to pour water from a bucket to clean the fish.

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 

      13 years ago from Chennai

      But SunSeven isn't 'fishing' for compliments, Guru-C! ;-)

    • Guru-C profile image

      Cory Zacharia 

      13 years ago from Miami Beach, Florida

      Dear Sun Seven: This hub took a lot of guts to put together :-)

      Best Regards, Cory

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 

      13 years ago from New Brunswick

      I used to gut and clean fish as a kid with my father. Today i do not eat that much fish.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Tony Sky 

      13 years ago from London UK

      I eat fish much more than meat these days, but have never bought any fish with a head on! but I may take the plunge after seeing how simple it really looks..Watch this space:)

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

      Ashok Rajagopalan 

      13 years ago from Chennai

      I'm a lazy one. Prefer to have fried fish in a restaurant!


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