Posted by Millser on March 13, 2003 at 12:14:24:
In Reply to: cleaning trout posted by mike on March 13, 2003 at 05:14:38:
Here is a great method, but it is hard to explain. First, kill the trout by knocking it on the head (the humane thing to do). Hold the trout with the belly up (left hand) and make two cuts (from the outside)on each side of the tongue, that connect at the tip of the tongue. Next, stick your knife into the vent and run it up (cut shallow) to between the gills. Stick your thumb (right hand) into the slit around the tongue and pinch the tongue. Pull downward toward the vent. The gill fins, throat skin and guts should strip out together in a blob. You may have to cut the vent loose. Discard that whole blob. Use your thumb nail to strip out the blood vein along the backbone. Wash in clean water. The trout is ready to be frozen or cooked - baked, broiled, breaded/skillet fried . No scaling is necessary. If you want to go one step further and skin the trout for breading/ frying, here is an easy, fast next step. But ONLY try this with fresh caught trout. Start with the gutted trout held head-skyward in your left hand, with your thumb inside the throat cavity. With your right hand, pull back hard on the head of the trout and force the neck bone to snap. Pull backwards and downward on the head and drag the head/ skin down the back of the trout. Pull hard - the skin/ head will strip down and separate from the meat. With some practice (2 or 3 trout) you can clean one in 1 to 2 minutes.
Some other notes: Trout are susceptible to handling - wet your hands first if you must handle. Best is to release them quickly without lifting them from the water. A pair of medical-type forceps are real handy to get the hook out. If they swallow it, either cut the line and re-tie, or keep that one toward your limit. A trout with its slime rubbed off is prone to die. Trout spoil very easily - if legal where you fish, clean the ones you plan to keep soon after they are caught and put them in a freezer bag in a quality cooler buried in lots of loose ice. Plan ahead. Good luck - the best tasting are the small ones; and they are fine eating!!
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