How To Kill A Fish In 5 Easy Steps

We all want a clean, well-prepared dish to feed up our appetite. No one wants to eat fish with its meat unevenly primed, right?

Fishing has always been a favorite hobby of mine – but brutally killing a fish, not so much. Hey, we might grill them up later for dinner, but they deserve at least a quick and unpainful death.

Over the years, I’ve learned the techniques and methods on how to a kill fish. Seriously, if it isn’t done properly, things can get messy…and disgusting.

My goal has always been to find a nifty method where it makes fishing more fun and exciting! Without getting our hands dirtier than necessary, that is.

I bet you want to know how to kill a fish seamlessly. Well, you came to the right place. This might be the best method for your taste down below!


Consider These Tips and Tricks

Don’t Waste Time

The clock is ticking, don't let another second go by. After catching your legal sized fish, you shouldn’t just look at how it thrashes around in the bucket, waiting for its impending death. Not only do I think that it’s evil, it also reduces the quality of the meat.

Also, don't put the fish – even though it's going to be dinner in a moment – under unnecessary stress, it's pointless to do so. If possible, it should be killed instantly, it's advisable to do it within a minute of capture.

Tools To Use

Yes, we need tools to get the party started – I don’t recommend killing the fish by strangling it, that’s just ridiculous! There are two most common tools used on how to kill a fish.

You may use one of the following…or you know, you could just try both to see which method fits you the best.

  • Wooden club or ‘priest’. You may use this “knock on the head” technique which I find quite fast and reliable. If you’re going to use this, make sure that it’s heavy – or of sufficient weight – to knock the fish unconscious.
  • Iki Jime Procedure. In this particular method, you’re able to utilize your home tools lying in your house as an aid to kill your next meal. These tools could be a sharp knife or a sharpened screwdriver. Basically, any instrument that’s sharp and sturdy would do the trick.

If you want to be professional, there are available iki jime tools designed for this technique. These can be found at any good tackle shops.

But for those who don’t want to waste their time in trying out both methods, I suggest you would use my personal favorite – Iki Jime Procedure. I love how it’s able to paralyze the fish while it maintains the quality of the meat.

How To Kill A Fish

Contrary to the popular belief, killing fish isn’t easy at all. I mean, it’s definitely different from the death of my goldfish during my younger years – my mom told me it just went back to sleep.

Yeah, right.

I’m going to give you a brief tutorial. You may follow these 5 easy steps on how to kill a fish quickly and efficiently while preserving its quality.

Step #1. Hold The Fish With One Hand

The moment the fish it out of the water, it’s going to be moving. A lot. You can’t precision your tool properly if it keeps on struggling – it literally looks what the saying goes “like a fish out of water.”

Try to suppress its movement, you can do it by pressing a hand over its body, then hold it firmly. Make sure you put in enough pressure on your hold to contain its drive.

Step #2. Position The Spike

Once you’ve already held the fish with a firm hold, get your designated tool for the job.

Here’s the crucial part: we don’t want to miss the target as it will only cost you more time than needed, and as the minute passes, it potentially ruins the quality of the meat.

​Also, let’s not prolong the fish’s suffering – it’s already in a struggle as it is.

​Make sure you’re positioning the spike just right above its eyes, what you’re looking for here is the fish’s brain.

On the side note, the common concern for fishermen is that the location of the brain differs from species to species.

To make it easier for you, research on the common aquatic species located in your fishing area.

Step #3. Observe The Fish

To check if you’ve correctly inserted the spike to its hindbrain, it should have already stopped moving. This is what you call as immediate brain death.

Ideally, its fish fins should start to relax, ceasing all motion in the process – this is what you want to see.

However, if it’s not performed appropriately, reflex action would take place. Your goal is to damage the fish’s brain and spinal cord to prevent this from happening.

Make sure it’s already dead – for verification, its last gill movement should have been more than ten minutes.

Try to take note if its body produces lactic acid, it would indicate that it has already consumed Adenosine triphosphate. When this happens, it’s already a red flag – it makes your fish sour.

In this case, it doesn’t make a good serving of fish fillet.

Step #4. Bleed It Out

After you have verified that its movements have already died, carefully bleed the fish out. Make sure you do this step fast and thorough.

If there’s still remaining blood, it makes a good source of nutrients for bacterial grounds. It affects the fish’s meat quality.

In addition, it serves for another purpose. In an ideal scenario, once blood has been removed, the fish’s temperature reduces down between 0 and 4 degrees.

Step #5. Make an Ice Slurry

In accordance with Step 4, the best way to do it is by making a nice slurry for the fish. Now, normally you would want to use two bags of ice – each one should be equivalent to 10 liters of water. After you’ve done this step, you simply place the fish inside the container to bleed.

If you want to see how this entire process works – from step 1 to step 5 – you may see it live in action on this YouTube video. Trust me, the video emphasizes on how quick and easy it truly is for anyone to do.

Giving It

A Go!I hope you enjoyed my quick tutorial on how to kill a fish – and the best part is, it’s even quicker to do the process in person. Once you have done these 5 simple steps, your fish will be in excellent condition for cooking.

In my point of view, killing a fish shouldn’t be a burden for anyone involved. Always put it in your mind that taking care of the fish should be done immediately after it has been caught.

Remember, the longer you wait to kill the fish, the greater the quality damage. Proper execution of these steps shouldn’t be compromised – nobody wants a sour fish for dinner.

If you have any questions or clarifications, please feel free to drop a comment below. I’m always willing to lend a hand. And also, if you liked this tutorial don’t forget to share!

How To Kill A Fish In 5 Easy Steps
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