Fish Cleaning Tools of All Types

A seasoned fisherman knows that you need to use the right tools in order to achieve the best results. Starting with matching fishing tackle to the size, species, and location of particular fish, to the kind of tackle box, vest, and other fishing gear; everything about fishing is about matching the right tools for the job. So it is with cleaning fish. The right tools will make cleaning fish a breeze and preserve the best parts for the table or campsite.

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Fish cleaning tools include gloves for handling fish, different knives like the trout knife and the fillet knife, also a short bladed knife. There are lots of different choices of fillet knives on the market today. There is the familiar filet knife and the electric fillet knife. Some of electric knives are plain and simple blades while others are rechargeable cordless sets that come with their case.

Victorinox Swiss Army Fisherman Pocket Knife (Red)In addition to a filet knife you probably will need a soft grip knife, the knife sharpeners, and possibly a replacement blade set. Some of these knives can be used for all around camping chores, for cleaning deer and other small hunting game aside from fish, for cutting bait as well as scaling and filleting and cleaning. Skinning or fish grip pliers, freezer bags, a portable table and cutting board, sea scissors, and an ice chest can come in handy too.

One of my favorites fishing knives is the old standby, the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife. The red Victorinox Swiss Army Fisherman Pocket Knife (Red) and features large and small blades, Phillip screwdriver, can opener with small screwdriver, cap lifter with screwdriver and wire stripper, reamer, hook, scissors, fish scaler with hook disgorger and ruler (cm & inches), tweezers, toothpick and keyring. Even if you don’t want to use this knife for cleaning fish it is a great tool that belongs in even fisherman’s pocket. For under $25 it’s hard to beat.

Another great product is the Kutmaster 91-802 8-Piece Fish Cleaning Station Set which includes a large (8″) fillet knife, a smaller (6″) fillet knife, a serrated knife&scaler, utility scissors, “suregrip” rubber gloves, a sharpening rod, a plastic cutting board and tape measure in a lightweight plastic carrying and storage case. While it might be a bit of overkill for a casual fisherman, it would be great when you have to prepare lots of fish.

Another essential is a good guide to cleaning and cooking freshwater fish. It would be hard to beat Sylvia Gashline’s popular The New Cleaning & Cooking Fish: The Complete Guide to Preparing Delicious Freshwater Fish. Another Amazon book that is worth checking out is Preparing Fish & Wild Game: The Complete Photo Guide to Cleaning and Cooking Your Wild Harvest. You probably don’t want to lug these books on a camping trip but they would be great to have at the cabin or home. Both books have step by step instructions and great recipes.

The qualities to look for in fish cleaning tools are durability of material and utility of design. Once you find the right tool you will get more out of fishing than just the chore of cleaning fish.

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2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Apr
    Liz Brinson

    My grandfather lost most of his fingers on his dominant hand. He has a difficult time cleaning his prize catch. Most of the time, their to shredded to keep. Do you offer any advice on products that can assist him with this task? Thank you.

  2. Apr
    Weekend Angler

    Cabelas has a very nice fish cleaning system that might help anchor the fish a bit better. You can search the web for fish cleaning stations or fish cleaning boards. Field & Stream and eHow both describe do-it-yourself fish cleaning systems. Perhaps an electric fillet knife would also help.

    You can also check some the kitchen and food prep tools for the disabled. Keep in mind that these tools are like to be more expensive than the ones you are accustomed to using.

    If you find a solution that works well, please come back and tell us about it.