How To:

Bleed Fish That You Are Going To Eat

Author: Ryan Carson

Bleed Your Fish For Better Taste

To start off I used mounted fish to show were to cut to bleed fish to save the bloody pictures. Please see the pictures at the bottom. The red line is where I make my cuts to bleed fish.

All fish mounts in these pictures are mounts by Gary Collins. He does awesome work for both hunting and fishing. If you would like to contact him here is his number 7325818232. He does both skin and reproduction mounts.

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Anytime I go out fishing with the intent to keep fish to eat I always bring a spare 5 gallon bucket. The purpose of this is anytime I catch a fish of legal size that I am going to keep to eat I always bleed the fish. This is very simple to do. Once you have confirmed that the fish is a keeper/legal size and you are going to keep it to eat here are the steps to follow.

Steps To Bleed Your Fish

1.)   Take a sharp knife and make a cut from the bottom of the gills into the gills. ( see images for placement)

2.)   One the cut has been made stick the fish head first into a bucket of water. This will allow the fish to bleed out completely and not allow the blood to clot.

3.)   Once the fish has been bleed out gut the fish and get it on ice as soon as possible. (if you can stuff the cavity with ice to better preserve the fish.)

Fish Mounts Above By Gary Collins: 


You will notice a very large difference in the taste and quality of the meat. This goes for all fish. If you really want to see the difference next time you catch two or more of the same species bleed one of them and not the other and then put the filets side by side. You will be able to see a very noticeable difference. The sooner you can do the process I listed above the better quality meat and it will taste better

Times That You Shouldn’t Bleed A Fish

1.)   If you are fishing in a tournament or on a party boat where there is a pool running for the heaviest fish.

2.)   If you are going to use your catch as bait. Fish like mackerel, bunker, and bluefish all make great shark baits. If you are not going to eat the fish and are planning on using it for bait do not bleed the fish.

3.)   I shouldn’t have to say this but you never know in today’s world. DO NOT BLEED A FISH IF YOU ARE GOING TO THROW IT BACK. 

If you ever have questions on a particular fish and how to bleed it feel free to message me on Facebook or email me at

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