Bubba Life

How To: Gut a Coho Salmon

You landed your first Coho, now what?


It’s time to break out your knife and get to work. You’ll want to promptly and properly gut and gill your fish. For a successful cut we recommend having a clean space and a sharp blade (we recommend the 9 Inch Flex) to work with. You can also bring a pair of fillet gloves since cleaning fish can be a slippery process.


1. Cut Out the Gills

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Gutting a Coho is a lot like gutting any other fish. The first thing you’ll want to do is start by placing your knife below the gill plate and cut the gills, so they are separate from the rest of its body.


2. Remove the Gill Plate

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Then follow the gill plate with your knife to the back of the head and reach in and twist the gills out until they break free.


3. Clean Out the Guts

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Placing your knife just above the anal fin, slowly and smoothly work your way up the fish toward the head. Once the incision is made find the heart and cut above it on both sides. Then locate the stomach and remove the guts. In one fluid motion, it should all come out in one piece. If you’re interested in making your own chum, a few Coho will be plenty to get you started.


4. Remove the Kidney

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Lastly there’s a kidney that needs to be taken out. Cut along the spine and use a spoon or the flat of your knife to scoop out the remains and remove the rest of the blood from inside the fish.


5. Ice Pack Your Catch

Now that the fish is gutted, you’ll want to rinse it off in the water and place it in a cooler with lots of ice to keep it fresh. We recommend stuffing the fish with ice, but as long as you can keep it cold you should be fine. Timing is important and icing your fish as quickly as you can after cleaning is the best way to make sure your catch stays fresh.

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After your Coho is gutted and cleaned up, it’s ready to be filleted. Check out our other video to see how the Bubba pros make short work of salmon and turn their monster catches into delicious entrees.