Cooking Your Catch: Proper Handling

This is the first installment of our Summer series, Cooking Your Catch!

Handling  your catch is the first step in preparing a well cooked fish for dinner.  Ideally, your catch should be cleaned at sea and placed on ice as soon as possible.  We know that is not always possible when there is a hot bite.  The Sea Star crew is great at making sure your fish stays as fresh as possible and our deckhands have years of experience properly cleaning all kinds of species.  If you find yourself at sea on your private boat and need instructions to clean your catch, keep reading!


1.  Lay whole fish on board and hold firmly.  With a scaler or right angle of knife blade remove scales, scraping from tail to head.

2. Cut entire length of belly; remove entrails and pelvic fin.

3.  With a sharp knife, remove head and pectoral fins by cutting in back of collarbone.

4.  To remove the dorsal fin, cut along each side with a sharp knife.  Grasp lower edge of fin between the thumb and flat of knife and give a quick pull toward the head.  Clean and rinse thoroughly.

STEAKING (large fish only)

1.  Follow steps 1 through 4 for dressed fish.

2.  Cut fish across backbone into steaks approximately 3/4 to 2 inches thick.


1.  Follow step 1 of dressed fish, unless fish is to be skinned.

2.  Cut along back of fish from tail to head.

3.  Cut down to backbone just behind pectoral fin.  Turn knife flat and slide along backbone to tail.  Turn fish over and repeat process.

4.  To skin, place fillets skin side down.  Hold tail section firmly.  As close to the tail end as possible, insert knife between skin and flesh.  Hold knife blade flat and push knife forward while pulling the free end of skin firmly with fingers.