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Home > Learn to Fish & Boat > How To Fish > How to Catch Fish
Cleaning a fish is easy. In this section, we'll give you basic information and simple steps on how to clean and store your catch as well as how to clean fish before cooking.
For the best possible meal, start by treating the fish right from the moment you land it. If you're going to eat your catch, you have to keep it fresh, even before you begin cleaning your fish. Keep caught fish in a live well, a cooler or on a stringer in the water. And always fill your cooler or live well with the same water you're fishing in.
If you're not going to eat your catch, unhook it carefully—while it's still in the water—and release it using proper catch and release practices.
If you are planning on cooking your fish whole or if you are going to steak it, rather than filleting it, you must learn how to gut a fish.
Research the area you're fishing to determine if the fish are safe to eat, some bodies of water are polluted with mercury and other heavy metals that fish absorb. Always check your state regulations before your head out fishing.
Now that you have a clean fish, or prepared your steaks or fillets, you can store your fish or cook your fish! Check out our favorite cooking methods and recipes as well.
Learn how fillet a fish step by step, how to store fish and more in our next section.
The largemouth bass is the most popular freshwater game fish in the U.S. Learn more about how you can identify a largemouth bass, where to catch it and what bait and lures to use.
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