Fishing is a relaxing and soothing activity. Most fishermen and anglers enjoy this activity as it allows them to de-stress, enjoy the excitement as they try to lure a big catch, and have the pleasure of cooking their catch. If you enjoy fishing, you may want to keep a few fish for a meal. If that is the case, not only should you know how to store the fish until you are ready to clean it, but you should also be aware of how to scale the fish.
Storing Your Fish
Once you catch your fish, you will wonder how to store it so that it stays fresh until you are ready to begin cooking it. Here are some options that you can use:
- Stringer: Most people use a stringer and go string the fish via its gills. However, doing this will injure and kill the fish as it will fight against the stringer. Instead, make a hole inside the mouth, between the fish’s cheek and tongue. Then insert a small-diameter rope. Keep the length small and tie the rope to a post. Ensure that the fish is submerged in the water. It will stay alive and fresh.
- Fish Basket: Place the fish in a fish basket made from woven wire. Ensure it comes with a lid. Place the basket in the water until you are ready to scale, gut, and cook the fish. This is best suited for shore, lake, or river fishing and when you want to keep the fish alive for as long as possible.
- Cooler: You have the option of putting the fish on ice, which slows its metabolism and maintains freshness. Ensure that you use ice cubes and not blocks. Bury the fish in the cubes. In case you want to kill the fish before placing on ice, use a wooden club to give a blow on the fish’s head.
Steps to Scale Your Fish
Once you are ready to cook, the first step will be scaling the fish. Fish scaling is not that difficult if you know the steps. It does take a little practice, but you will become a pro if you follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1: Dispatch your fish with a heavy blow to the top of the head. Use a wooden club for this.
Step 2: Use fresh water to rinse the fish. This works to loosen scales that could be adhering to the skin and get rid of sand particles and dirt.
Step 3: Spread several sheets of old newspaper and place the fish on it. The newspaper will catch the scales and prevent you from creating a mess.
Step 4: Firmly hold on to the tail of the fish and use a fish scaler in a to and fro motion to scrape the scale. Begin from the tail and work towards the head, going against the scales.
Step 5: Turn the fish over and repeat the scaling process using your fish scaler.
Step 6: Rinse the fish thoroughly to remove the scales that may be sticking to the skin after removal.
Step 7: Run your fingers from tail to the head to see if you missed any scales. If yes, use the fish scaler. Be careful while running your fingers as the fish could have sharp fins that can puncture or cut your skin.
Now, you are ready to gut and cook your fish. If you are a beginner, invest in the best fish scaler to make fish scaling easy and quick. You have the option of using the blunt side of a butter knife to scrape away the scales but it can make the scales fly all over the place.