What To Do With Fish Scraps

What To Do With Fish Scraps



Cleaning your fish at home? Here are some tips on how to dispose of the scraps!

Oftentimes after a rewarding fishing trip, we will find ourselves at home with the chore of processing our catch and disposing of the scraps. To most fishermen, it is an exciting event that signifies the results of their hard work. You followed all the tips from our previous blog about caring for fish from deck to dock. You have your fillets all sealed up and ready for the freezer. You look back at your beater foldable table in the back yard and see a pile of scraps and bones. Now, it’s easy just to throw it away and forget about it, but the smell that shows up the next day to linger for weeks really isn’t worth it. What do you do with the scraps after you clean a fish? Here are some great ideas!

Take them back out! 

It may sound counterintuitive, but freezing your scraps and tossing them overboard on your next trip is a great way to keep the fishery healthy! As for California, the Department of Fish and Wildlife states Returning fish carcasses after filleting back into the waters where taken is sometimes, but not always, appropriate for recycling nutrients. Open ocean environments are more appropriate for this practice but be advised of fillet restrictions.” Make sure to only throw the fish entrails out, no plastic bags obviously. Make sure to check local regulations, as this can be illegal in some places.

Use it as bait! 

There are some great ways to use scraps as chum for your next trip. Great for lobster hooping, shark fishing, and more! It definitely varies by the area you are fishing and the species you hope to target. Be sure to check your local regulations! 


Fish scraps are excellent for composting. It is a great way to get nutrient soil for your garden. 

Expand your culinary portfolio!

There are so many recipes that utilize fish scraps and assure nothing goes to waste. Learning to make some dishes from other cultures is always fun. If the result is something you enjoy, then you have one more thing to look forward to whenever you come home with a catch!



If you do not plan on doing either of the above, freezing your scraps in a sealable bag and disposing the day of trash collection is the best way to avoid the smell. If you have the option, give the others a shot! You may find something beneficial comes from what seems like trash!