How to Kill Fish Before Eating Them


The proper killing of fish prior to eating is quick and humane. For the avid fisherman, catching the fish is the point of the fishing trip. Pulling up the fish, measuring and celebrating the catch are only the beginning of the responsibility of fishing. Humanely killing the fish to eat is an important piece of being an earth conscious fisherman.

Things You'll Need

  • Small metal hammer
  • Ice pick
  • Sharp knife


  • Hold the fish with one hand on a flat surface. Place your hand just behind the head of the fish.

  • Hold a small metal hammer in the free hand and aim for the fishes head, just above or between the eyes.

  • Strike the fish on the head with one hard hit of the hammer. This will render the fish unconscious.

  • Bleed out the unconscious fish by cutting at the gill area or removing the head completely with a sharp knife.


  • Place fish on a flat surface and hold in place with one hand.

  • Put an ice pick through the head of the fish. Hit the fish with the ice pick between the eyes in one hard downward motion. Move the pick back and forth to ensure the fish is killed immediately.

  • Cut the gill rake or remove the head using a sharp knife.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the fish in water prior to killing. Dip water from the fishing area into a bucket to place the fish in while they are still alive.
  • Larger fish may be harder to kill. If stunning, strike with great force and cut an artery to ensure a quick death.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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