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Are you a great fisherman, but can’t cook them to save your life? Here are the basic first steps to follow to ensure your fish is cleaned properly, and a recipe to make it taste fantastic over an open fire every time. It does take practice so don’t expect to do it perfect your first try.

A few things you need to bring with you to clean and gut the fish:

  • A sharp knife
  • A butter knife
  • A pair of scissors

How to Cook and Clean Your Fish as You Catch ThemThe first thing you need to make sure you have is a nice flat space away from everything. It’s going to get messy and you don’t want scales and entrails all over your stuff. Next, you should make sure you have clean water on hand to wash the fish after gutting it. Lastly, make sure you have a plan for the waste. If you plan on camping out, it is best to burn them so you don’t attract animals. It is never acceptable to throw the waste into the water as this has various environmental effects.

Now you can get to the down and dirty with this step by step guide.

  1. Take your butter knife and scrape it back and forth with short strokes. The skin should feel smooth and slimy once you are done.
  2. Use your scissors to cut off the fins.
  3. Take your sharp knife and insert it into the anus of the fish, cut it all along the belly towards the head and stop at the base of the gills
  4. Now its time to pull out the guts. If there are any bits left attached, use your knife to cut them off.
  5. Lastly, cut the head off starting at the base of the gills, you don’t want to cook the gills.


Now check out this simple recipe for cooking your fish at your campsite.

INGREDIENTS: (all is very lightweight and easy to carry)

  • 4 tilapia fish filets (or any white fish)
  • 2 Green Peppers, sliced
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 Zucchini, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Lemon & herb seasoning
  • Tin Foil
  • Butter


  1. Slice the green pepper, zucchini and lemon. T
  2. ear off two pieces of tin foil that will be big enough to wrap the meal.
  3. Lay them on top of each other, shiny side down.
  4. Take a small amount of butter and grease the tin foil where you will be laying the fish.
  5. Lay the fish in the middle of your tin foil, sprinkle with lemon & herb seasoning.
  6. Pile a quarter of the green peppers, zucchini and mushrooms on to the fish in the middle of the tin foil.
  7. Take 2 lemon slices and squeeze over the meat and vegetables.
  8. Bring the ends of the foil together and seal shut. Do this for the rest of the fish fillets.
  9. Make sure to use heavy-duty aluminum foil, place the foil packets in the hot coals and let cook for 15 minutes. The vegetables will be steamed and the fish flaky. Let cool and serve.

Now you know how to cook and clean your fish, and have a recipe that will make any fish taste great! The important thing to remember is the prep work. Prepping the fish correctly is more than half the battle when cooking fish. You will also want to make sure you have all of the ingredients ready to go before you set out on your trip. Luckily these ingredients and supplies will not take up much room and will easily fit into a backpack. Enjoy!

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