Knowing how to clean a fish quickly and thoroughly is pretty important, as the bacteria living in the gut will rapidly cause the flesh to deteriorate if you dont do it properly.
Eat it in this condition and you risk a dose of stromboid poisoning - which is not something you'll forget in a hurry.
OK, so you've killed the fish humanely, bled it to remove the taste-spoiling lactic acid from its flesh - all as previously described - and now we're ready to complete the cleaning and gutting process.
A good quality selection of gutting and filleting knives is essential, together with the means to keep them sharp.
But one slip with knives like these and you can easily injure yourself, so wearing a cut-resistance glove on the hand that isn't holding the knife, is a very good idea indeed.
You can use the back of a knife for scaling the fish, but it will be easier and more efficient with a proper fish scaler.
The first two steps of the cleaning process are:
If you intend to fillet the fish, theres no need to do anything else. You can now just slice off your fillets - and if you're going to skin them, you needn't have bothered to scale the fish either.
You could gut the fish exactly as you would one of its smaller brethren as described above, but the following approach is much better if you intend to cut the fish into steaks. Most of these, other than where you slit the fish's belly, will be complete, round steaks with no flappy bits. It's how the professionals do it:~
On reaching the vent (the fish's anus), don't cut into it but cut a tight circle around it.
And that's it, job done. Just give it a wash out in seawater and it's ready for steaking, if that's what you intend to do with it.
Continuing in the 'here's how to clean a fish' theme ...
Incidentally, flatfish start out life in a normal vertical plane but at an early stage opt for a horizontal lifestyle on the seabed. This makes one of their eyes largely redundant, so it migrates around to the upper side where it can be of use. Pretty smart for a fish:~
That's it, job done again, one cleaned flatfish ready for filleting.
We haven't yet mentioned how to clean fish like skates and rays.
That's largely because you don't really have to.
The wings are the only edible parts. Just cut them off as shown here and discard the rest.
So with 'How to Clean a Fish' taken care of, let's move on to 'Filleting and Steaking'.