How to Catch, Clean and Cook a Fish!

Introduction: How to Catch, Clean and Cook a Fish!

About: I am a long time off-grid homesteader and I live year round in a solar cabin I designed and built myself. I use solar and wind power, passive solar heat and water, and a solar composting toilet. I like to he…

Step 1: Find a Fishing Hole

Find a fishing hole-  I like fresh water fishing and fish the high Uintah mountains for rainbow, cut throat, and brook trout.

A good fishing hole is where you can see fish swimming and jumping. A slow moving stream or slow place in a river with rock swirls and dead trees that create a pool. I find beaver ponds like the one in the video as these are breeding grounds for big fish.

Early morning and late evening are good fishing times as fish are hungry but on hot afternoons they head deep to stay cool.

NOTE: Every effort was made to prevent suffering of the fish in this video and if children and people want to eat meat then I believe they need to know and understand that animals are killed to provide us that meat.

If you want to fish please only take enough fish to feed yourself and only fish if you are going to eat the fish and not waste them. Fish populations can be wiped out if people over fish an area and do not make an effort to take only what they will eat and leave the rest to breed and produce more fish. Care for mother earth and she will provide for you!

Step 2: Tackle, Bait and Casting

Step 3: Tackle, Bait and Casting

Tackle, bait and casting-  You will need a pole and closed face reels are best for beginners but open faced reels will cast farther. I like telescoping poles because they fit easily in a small backpack but two piece poles are usually longer for longer casting.

Basic tackle for trout is a hook (big hooks for big fish small hooks for small fish), a bobber if you want to float above the bottom and see when the fish bite, some lead sinkers if you need to cast far out, and a worm.

I dig my own worms right out of my garden but you can buy worms at most grocery and convenience stores these days. Just slide the worm onto the hook so no hook is showing and you are ready to fish.

Practice dry casting in your yard a few times before going fishing as casting around trees can be tricky for a newbie. Push in on the line release button and hold it down. Bring the rod back towards your shoulder and flip the rod tip forward while releasing the button and the weight of the bobber and sinkers will pull the line out and hopefully you hit in the water and not a tree.

Don't be discouraged by a few bad casts and just reel it back in and keep trying until you hit the spot you want!

Step 4: Catching the Fish

Step 5: Catching and Landing the Fish

If you get lucky and throw your line in a good hole you may see a fish grab the worm and the bobber go down. That is called a strike and when that happens give a jerk back on the pole so the hook sticks in the fishes mouth.

It will take practice but eventually you will hook one. Reel the reel in slow and do not bring the fish in too fast or you will lose it. Let the fish play itself out and when its tired just reel it right up onto the shore.

Remove the hook with your finger or hook remover or needle nose pliers and place the fish on a stringer which is just a piece of cord that secures the fish in the water. Fish will stay alive quite awhile on the stringer and that keeps the meat from spoiling.

Repeat previous steps to catch more fish!

Step 6: Cleaning the Fish

Step 7: Cleaning the Fish

Animals must be killed if you are going to eat them but always do it in a humane way as quick and painless as possible. Take the fish off the stringer and if not already dead hit the back of the fishes head against a rock to stun it and quickly cut through the back of the neck to severe the spinal cord.

The fish may wiggle a little but will die quickly and hopefully feel no pain. Once the fish is dead you can clean it.

Insert your fingers through the gill opening and insert your sharp pocket knife into the fishes anus and cut up the stomach to the gills.

Remove the innards and use your finger nail to scrape away the backbone blood.

Pull out the gills and guts and toss these back into the water for other fish to eat or dispose of them in a hole to compost back into the soil.

Step 8: Cooking the Fish

Step 9: Cooking the Fish

Fish is delicious and nutritious and fresh fish tastes much better than store bought and nothing like fish burgers and fish sticks!

There are many ways to cook a fish and I like them barbecued on a wood fire right after catching them but in the video I show you how to cook them at your house using the flour method.

After rinsing and removing any remaining entrails coat both sides of the outside of the fish with flour, corn meal or bread crumbs. This keeps the outside from burning while the inside cooks.

Place the fish in a hot pan of cooking oils and let them cook on one side for a few minutes and then the other side and about 5 minutes is enough cooking time depending on size of fish..

Trout bones are easy to remove with a fork and just scrape the meat off the bone. Do not eat the bones or give them to pets. The tail, skin and all meat is edible.

I like fish with rice, salad, and any vegetable dish- bon apetite!

Note: fish can be frozen for storage or cooked and then frozen or bottled/canned

Step 10: Would You Like to Learn More About Homesteading Ways ?

I am creating instructables on many homesteader skills and projects and if you would like to see more and learn about solar and wind power and off grid homesteading please visit my websites:

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    6 years ago on Introduction

    I really appreciated how simple you kept this ible! Bare essentials of fishing from start to finish.
    Although everything else was pretty thorough and clear, one step not discussed is the process of transporting the fish from the fishing hole to the kitchen. Do you use a cooler? Or was this just walking distance from the stove?


    10 years ago on Step 10

    Hey Lamar, I want to thank you for your series on fishing. I haven't been fishing since my grandfather used to take me, probably 40 years ago. Now I have a grandson who is 4 years old.
    My grandfather died too soon to really teach me much about fishing, but I'll never forget the wonderful times we spent just fishing and talking. I am going to start taking my own grandson fishing and hopefully get the quality time I had with my granddad. He and I won't know what we're doing, but we'll be learning together.
    Anyway your web-series on fishing has been a big inspiration for me to bond with my grandson.

    Again, Thank You.

    MoltenPoet (Christopher)


    10 years ago on Step 2

    Fantastic videos man keep up the great work, helped me out a lot. I really appreciate your only fish to survive kinda attitude.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Great set of videos. I like that you show you don't need a ton of fancy and expensive equipment. I love those telescoping poles too. I keep mine in my truck so I'm always ready to fish in case the situation arises. Cheers. //rick//


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Any tips for bait to catch smaller lake fish like trout, bass, perch, panfish and northern pike? Ever since the winter it seems way harder to catch fish on the lake to have fish frys with the family.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    I liked your videos.I love fishing and I think the best way to spins a week end is to go fishing.

    one of the best ways to cook them is on the bbq

    thanks for the tips


    11 years ago on Introduction

    nice ible. i love fiahing but didn't really know how to cook the trout on the grill.  but snake on the grill is tasty with sauce