How to Clean a Trout

Rainbow Trout


Yesterday I did some trout fishing with the Emmrod fishing pole that I bought for my bug out bag, so today I’m going to show you how to clean a trout. If you want to see the rod in action check out the video below or check out my Emmrod PackRod reviewBe Warned! This post contains a graphic step-by-step decapitation and the gutting of a real trout. With that being said continue on with the rest of the article below.

Step 1: If you’re not going to eat the skin you can skip this part, but I like my trout pan fried. Grab the fish by the tail and scrape firmly from the tail to the head several times on both sides with a spoon or knife until all the scales are removed.

Remove scales from trout


Step 2: Next remove the head by cutting at a slight angle just behind his gill, it will take a little force to cut through its backbone. I like to remove the lower front fin with this cut also.

Removing the head cut 1

Head removed from rainbow trout


Step 3: Once the head is removed turn the fish over so you can see its belly. You should see its exit hole just a little bit above the tail.

Rainbow trouts anus


Step 4: Insert your knife or scissors into the exit hole and slice the belly all the way up to where the head once was.

Trout Belly


Step 5: Spreading the belly that you just sliced open will reveal the innards. Grab the innards and pull them out with your hand, they should come out fairly easy.

Rainbow trout guts


Step 6: Once the innards are out you should see a membrane that covers the blood vein running up the fishes backbone. Take a knife and slice the membrane open.

Trout membrane


Step 7: Next take your thumb or a toothbrush and scrape or brush out the blood vein until its clean like the picture below. I’ve always heard that not cleaning this will affect the taste of the fish.

Cleaning trout membrane

Trout membrane cleaned


Step 8: Rinse the trout (inside & out) thoroughly and prepare to cook as you like. To pan fry rinse the fish and pat dry, then roll the fish in flour that is seasoned with salt and pepper. Pan fry in olive oil (about 2-3 tablespoons) on medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until meat flakes with a fork.

Cleaned Rainbow trout


Here is the video of the Emmrod in action.