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How To Catch, Clean and Cook a Fish While Camping Out

Updated on October 10, 2018

Are you unsure of how to catch, clean and cook a fish while camping? Well, not all of us are a gourmet chef, right? But hey, this is camping! This is not a restaurant! Even if you are a chef, you won’t always have all the necessary high-end kitchen tools in the remotest areas!

In simple terms, preparing a fish at camp is different from preparing it at the comforts of your kitchen. There will be no fishmonger out there to sell you fish! So, before anything else, here are the things you need to make sure you will enjoy some delicious fish meal at the campsite.

Be sure to print the camping checklist here and add the things you will need for fishing.

Things to bring:

  • A fishing pole

It would be great if you can bring a fishing pole. If circumstances would not allow it, you can improvise. Instead, make sure you have:

- Fishing hook

- Fishing line

- Sturdy stick

  • Bring a knife
  • Fishing permit (do not forget this one)
  • Skewers
  • Lure, or dig some worms
  • Salt and pepper to taste!

Catching a Fish


Fishing is a fun activity. Catching, cleaning, and cooking a fish on your own gives a sense of accomplishment and victory. It’s like the survival games on TV! The first point you should know about fishing is you have to be quiet and a little stealthy. You don’t want to startle those fishes!

1. Find a spot

There is a high probability that fishes will be near rocks, boulders, vegetation, and near tree roots. It’s a good place to start there.

2. Throw your lure

Set up your lure and throw it in your chosen area.

3. Wait

Fishing is not a sport for the impatient you know! Wait a few whiles, but don’t wait forever! Use your keen judgment. At some point, you will realize that there might be no fishes on your spot that’s why you don’t get even a nibble! Find another location and throw your lure

4. Yank and haul

When you feel a nibble, be alert for a bite. Now, when you feel a bite, give your line a yank to secure the fish in the hook. Finally, haul your catch!

Cleaning Your Fish


Now that you have caught your fish, it’s time to clean your fish! You can scrape the scales, or not. It depends on what you want. But I suggest you leave them. Roasting your fish on a campfire is probably the best way to enjoy them on camping trips! Stick to the theme and roast your fish!

1. Scrape the scales

If you will not be scraping the scales off, proceed to number.

2. Place your knife perpendicularly to the surface of the fish at the tail and scrape towards the head of the fish. Repeat the process until you remove all the scales.

3. Remove the gills and guts

Make an incision in the ventral part of the fish cutting along the belly. Pull out the guts and the gills of the fish and wash it with clean water.

That ain’t hard, right? Now, you are ready for a delicious camp style fish meal!

Cooking Your Fish


It’s probably getting dark now, so it would be great to start a campfire. Gather your tribe (I mean your friends!) and make a fire. Make sure to make a big fire to accommodate your catch! For everyone’s safety, dig a shallow pit and place stones around it to make an improvised fire pit.

Chant some weird unintelligible words while making a fire and dance around it to make the fire grow faster, or you can skip this part and tell and listen to stories with your friends like normal people do!

To prepare and cook your fish:

  1. Season your fish with salt and pepper. Freshly ground pepper is best, but that might not be practical in a camp. You can stick with salt if that’s all you got.
  2. Stick your fish from the mouth to the tail with a long skewer, about 2ft will be best. The fish may be slippery so be careful. Use salt to tighten your grip.
  3. Stick your fish to the ground near the camp fire. Place it about 6-8 inches near the fire. Too far and your fish will take too long to cook. Too near and you’ll burn them!
  4. Your fish will be ready in about 20 minutes. Make sure to turn them from time to time to cook them evenly. *Side note: Personally, I want the skin of the fish a little charred. What I do is place the fish near the fire about five minutes before it’s done. I love the slightly bitter taste of burnt fish scales!
  5. Enjoy your labor of love! Catching a fish, preparing it and cooking it is fulfilling! It makes you feel like you can survive and live on your own in the wild.


I hope I have made clear points on How To Catch, Clean and Cook a Fish While Camping. Yep, this is how our distant relatives lived before wifi was invented! Be sure to bring all the necessary things you need before you leave for camp.

Choose your fishing location carefully. Minimize your movement and noise to avoid startling the fish. When you get a bite, shout and do a victory dance! Clean your fish carefully and dispose of the fish guts hygienically. You don’t want other campers to arrive at rotten fish guts to welcome them!

Finally, enjoy the cooking experience and tell a few good stories in front of the campfire. Camping with friends is a great experience. Savor every moment and enjoy your fish!

Did this post help you with your concern? I hope it did! What are your thoughts? Let me know what you think by leaving a question or query in the comments section below. Happy camping!


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