Scaling and Preparing Your Deep-Sea Fishing Catches

On a deep sea fishing excursion, in addition to enjoying a day out on the water, you will also get to come home with fresh fish ready to cook up for dinner. This fish will be fresher than you can get in any store, but enjoying it will involve a few extra steps beyond what you may be used to. Follow these processes to cook up your catch.


Scaling your fish can seem intimidating, but it’s really one of the easiest steps in the process. Make sure you have a flat, clean surface and a sturdy knife. Take the back edge of the knife and use it to scrape the scales off in smooth, long strokes, moving from head to tail. The areas around the fins can be the hardest, since the fins are often sharp, so proceed with caution. The back edge of the knife makes it less likely that you will carve away the flesh in the process of scaling the fish, but you can use the sharp edge carefully in stubborn spots. Once you have repeated the process on both sides of the fish, rinse it thoroughly in fresh water.


Gutting is the messiest part of cleaning the fish. Start with the knife at the rear of the fish, and cut along the belly towards the head. Dump the guts out of the fish, and pull out any membranes that are left inside. Rinse the inside of the fish thoroughly until it looks clean. Although leaving membranes inside the fish isn’t necessarily harmful, it does impact the taste, so clean it as much as possible. If you want to remove the head, you can so after the gutting is complete by cutting it off behind the gills.


Your fish is ready to cook to your preferences. Grill it plain with some butter and lemon, or dust it with flour and fry it. Although any preparation will work, many people enjoy their catches from deep sea fishing cooked as simply as possible to let the fresh fish shine.

You can also skip all of the prep process by letting your deep sea fishing charter team with Captain John Boats clean and fillet your fish for you. Learn more about booking a Cape Code fishing charter in Plymouth by calling (508) 927-5575.

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