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How to Clean and Cook Freshly Caught Trout

Got love for fishing and seafood?

If you just got off a fishing trip and managed to catch a couple of trout but have no idea how to clean or cook it, then you’re in the right place.

Trout is one of the best fish to catch with the best trout fishing rod and eat after a tiring fishing trip. Not only are they plentiful in various fishing areas, but they’re tasteful. However, they’re a tad challenging to clean and cook, no matter their size.

In this article, we’ll teach you the right way to clean your freshly caught trout, as well as an easy recipe you can follow to enjoy your catch. 

How to clean trout

Before anything else, it’s essential to clean your catch. First, cut the head off if you don’t want the head left on when cooking.

Next, hold the trout with its belly facing up. Grab a fillet knife and cut from the anal hole towards the head part. Once sliced, open the trout’s body, grab an old toothbrush or any cleaning tool, and brush away the blood vein located along the spine. It’s vital to remove this part because it will leave a foul taste in your dish if left. Rinse the trout carefully and thoroughly with water and vinegar solution, both inside and out, to get rid of the fishy smell and taste.

Another important pre-cooking step is de-scaling. No one wants to have their dining experience with a mouthful of fish scales, so make sure to get rid of scales before cooking them. You can de-scale using a de-scaling tool or a knife. Again, be cautious and as thorough as possible.


Now that the fish is all cleaned up, it’s time for cooking! But first, take a look at your recipe to see how the trout should be prepared. For instance, if your recipe requires fish fillets, then you’ll have to remove the bones from the meat. Also, some fish recipes require a whole fish or a headless one, so make sure to take note of that!

But for this article, we will dive into how to cook a beautiful and pan-fried trout.

Pan-fried trout

This beginner-friendly recipe only requires trout fillets or a headless fish, but we highly recommend the former to get the most out of your dining experience! Here’s a list of ingredients:

  • 2 skinned trout fillets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper


  • Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Next, melt the unsalted butter and olive oil. Wait until the consistency turns frothy.
  • Place trout fillets on the pan, with skin side down, for 2 minutes. Afterward, flip the fillets with a spatula, then cook for another minute.
  • Add parsley, garlic, and lemon juice, and let the flavors sink in for another minute or until the fillets turn golden brown. To test the doneness, insert a fork on the thickest part of the fillet and see if it’s nearly opaque, moist, and if it flakes easily.
  • Serve and enjoy!

 Enjoy your meal!

There are many ways to prepare and cook your freshly caught trout, but nothing beats the simplicity and beauty the pan-fried trout recipe offers! Hopefully, you enjoyed our preparation and cooking tips!

Author Bio

Kenneth Reaves is a passionate angler and foodie. He is the editor-in-chief of Perfect Captain, wherein he shares his professional insights and advice on fishing equipment and tips.