A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Bleed A Salmon

how to bleed a salmon
how to bleed a salmon

Fish is considered to be one of the best types of meat that people can eat. It comes with tons of nutritional benefits that can help in ensuring a healthy diet.

You should note that the amount of protein and nutrients in a fish usually varies depending on the variety you decide to cook.

Talking about this, there are tons of varieties that people can choose from which might confuse some users. Aside from this, some users also have problems with the fishy smell coming from the meat.

There are several ways to remove this smell, but the best and easiest method is usually bleeding.

Bleeding a fish is one of the most basic things that can help you substantially improve the quality of your catch while also removing the fishy smell.

On top of that, bleeding can also help you preserve the fish on ice or in the fridge for a longer period.

So, you need to put extensive focus on learning the proper bleeding techniques. There have been multiple queries regarding how to bleed a salmon.

If you’re also unsure about the proper procedure, then the following details will help you.

How To Bleed a Salmon?

Bleeding a salmon is relatively easy, and all you need is a pocket knife and a piece of rope. You just have to follow a few basic steps to get the majority of the blood out of salmon.

Once the salmon has bled out, you can store it on ice or in a freezer to preserve it for days.


With that said, let’s cover the steps on how to bleed a salmon. Make sure that you go through all of these carefully as it helps in ensuring that there are no problems.

  1. You should always start the process by hitting the salmon on the head to kill it if it has been recently caught. Now, you won’t have to worry about your salmon escaping into the water as you try to wash the debris.
  2. After killing the salmon, you should rinse off the extra dirt from the body. It will only take a few seconds and improve your control over the bleeding process.
  3. Now, you need to lay the fish down on one side and use your knife to cut beneath the gill plate. Make sure to cut horizontally along the length of the fish to maximize volume and speed.
  4. After that, you need to repeat the process on the other side and cut beneath the gill plate. Make sure to create long and clean cuts and avoid the use of dull blades.
  5. Once both sides of the fish are cut, you can tie the tail end with a rope. Then, keep dipping the fish in the water. This will help avoid blood clots, and all the blood will keep flowing out of the gill plates.
  6. Overall, the procedure won’t take more than a few minutes, and you will be done in no time.

These were a few steps that you have to follow to bleed a salmon. In most situations, you can further speed up the process by massaging the back of the salmon.

So, if you’re short on time, suspend the fish upside down in the water with the gills dipped in the lake.  Now, you can massage the back of the salmon to increase the blood flow.

Within a few minutes, you’ll be able to remove all blood from the fish.

Then, you can proceed to either gut the fish or put it in your freezer. It will take a few tries before you get the hang of the process, and the only challenging task is making clean and long cuts beneath the gills.

Other than that, everything is pretty basic, and you won’t have to bother with any extra steps.


Hopefully, this information helps you better manage the quality of your catch. Some people might still have trouble trying to bleed a salmon.

If you are running into the same problem, then it is much better that you watch some video guides online.

This should help people in understanding exactly how they can bleed the fish. Keep in mind that the process will take some time to get used to. The first few tries might not be perfect, but you will slowly understand how it works.

With enough practice, people should be able to learn how they can bleed a salmon quickly and perfectly. This is why it is recommended that you take your time with the process and practice it again and again.

Other than this, the equipment being used also plays a huge role.

The knife that you are using to make cuts should always be sharp so that there are no issues. If you are trying to use a dull knife, then it can get stuck inside the meat which will cause problems for most users.

Finally, the last thing that you have to do is ensure that the salmon is stored properly.


If you are bleeding the fish right after catching them then keep a cooler with you. As long as it has dry ice in it, you can store the salmon on the spot.

This will ensure that the flavor is preserved so that you can cook the meat after getting back home.

Alternatively, you can just store the meat in your refrigerator, but it is recommended that you cook it as soon as possible. This is because even after preserving the meat, your fillet still loses flavor over time which can be quite annoying.

Finally, people should note that the recipe being used is also important.

This is why you should try using different recipes as these will help you in finding one that best suits your taste. People can even alter their recipes by increasing or decreasing the ingredients in case they don’t like a specific recipe.

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