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How to Scale a Fish

Before cleaning and cooking your catches, you will want to know how to scale a fish properly. Follow the steps in this section to learn how to remove fish scales so that you can make a tasty meal to enjoy on camping trips or at home.

When to Scale a Fish & What to Use

Once you how to fish and want to start keeping a few fish for dinner, you will have to keep your fish on a stringer in the water or immediately put them in a cooler on ice. Then, when you are done fishing, you can decide if you want to prepare your fish by scaling and cleaning the whole fish, cut the fish into fillets, or store the fish so that you can cook it later.

If you choose to cook your fish whole with the skin on, you will need to know how to remove fish scales. You can use a special scaling fish tool (referred to as a fish scaler), or use the back of a butter knife to scrape the scales off both sides of the fish.

You may want to learn how to remove fish scales fast using a scaling tool if you cook whole fish often. The most common type of fish scaling tool is a scraper-style scaler that is made from stainless steel. These types of scalers generally have a broad head and teeth; they usually look similar to a brush or vegetable peeler.

Steps to Learn How to Scale a Fish

By following these steps, you can learn how to easily scale a fish and get the preparation process started before cooking your catch.

  1. Rinse the fish under fresh, cold running water; this will help to loosen the scales.
  2. Lay the fish on top of several sheets of newspaper. This way, the scales will fall directly onto the paper and make it easy for you to clean up.
  3. Grasp the fish firmly by the tail and, using the blunt edge of a knife, start to scrape away the scales moving from the tail to the head.
  4. Rinse the fish under running water to remove any remaining scales.
  5. Turn the fish over and repeat on the other side.
  6. Check to make sure that all of the scales have been removed by running a finger against the grain of the fish, use care to avoid any sharp fins.

Now that you know how to remove fish scales, all you have to do is learn how to clean your catch and prepare it for cooking.