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Best cut for bleeding fish

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I saw a TV flyfishing show the other day where the guide said the best way to bleed a fish is to stick the knife inside its mouth and make a cut somewhere near the gills. It's supposed to work better than the more usual lengthwise cut between the pectoral fins because if you make the cut near the gills, the heart keeps pumping out all the blood in the fish, including the blood around the spawn. The usual way cuts through the heart, and only gets rid of some of the blood, apparently. But the darn guide never showed the viewers how to make that cut. Anyone know how?

Steve ([email protected])

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The reason to bleed fish in the first place is to get rid of any chemicals or parasites in the blood that may damage the flesh or cause a foul taste. In some fish soon after the fish dies eurhea in the blood turns into ammonia rendering the flesh uneatable.

Without a photo it is hard to describe, but there is a large artery that is above the esophagus that connects smaller veins to the gill lamellae.

I still use the old method of cutting along the operculum to bleed a fish because it also severes the same artery that is in the back of the throat and the nice feature about this is that you do not have to risk being injured by the teeth of the fish.

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Not being a fish biologist, but haveing done this to quickly kill a fish and seen it done several times, I can describe the method I'd use. Turn the fish upside down. Flare the gills. The flesh that's the "thinnest under the gills" is where all the arteries run that feed the gills. Make this small cut completely through and the blood runs out of the fish and it's like right now.

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