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How to Clean a Spotted Seatrout

By: Capt Rick Reynolds


Step 1. Start by Laying out your catch. Always make sure the fish you keep are of legal size. In 2004, and in Georgia waters, Spotted Seatrout must be a minimum of 13 inches total length.

Step 2. Make sure you have a sharp filet knife. I prefer one with a serrated blade, razor sharp. Lay the trout with his back to you.

Step 3. Make an angled cut right behind his gill plate, down to the backbone. This cut should be the width of the spotted seatrout

Step 4. Make a slit from the trouts anus to the the previous cut shown in step 3. This should expose all the guts of the fish as well as the AIR BLADDER. It is important to remove all these before making the first filet.

Step 5. Grab and pull the inside of the fish out of the body cavity and cut them out as close to the body of the seatrout as possible. The air bladder has the consistancy of taffy and will keep you from making a clean cut.

Step 6. Once the insides are removed, take a minute to see what the fish was feeding on. This trout had a small mullet in its stomach. The white mass is the air bladder.

Step 7. Turn the fish on his side with his spine to you. Using the sharp filet knife cut down till you feel the backbone then smoothly cut the meat from the backbone, all the way to the tail . Then flip the filet over leaving the skin on the fish and still attached to the tail.

Step 8. Starting at the tail, cut down until you feel the skin, then smootly slice all the way to the end of the filet. Now you have finished the first side and separted the meat from the bone and skin.

Step 9. Flip the fish over and do the other side just like the first. Cut to the backbone then slice all the way to the tail. Flip the filet and leave attached to the tail. Starting at the tail, cut down to the skin then slice all the way to the end.

Step 10. Now you have 2 complete filets, with the rib bones and 1 fish head, backbone and skin.

Step 11. When finished with each fish place the filets in a container. Since Spotted seatrout is a soft bodied fish, I refrigerate the filets then cut out the rib bones. This picture is of all 7 cleaned trout.

Step 12. Below is the leftover scraps of the fish. I return these to the River to be consumed by the Abundant Blue Crab.

Step 13. Go ahead and either freeze your catch or cook it. Below is the trout I caught on Nov 28, 2004.


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