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Kylersk

At what age would you let your child clean a fish?

27 posts in this topic

Pannies, in particular?

i've heard of letting them useing a butter knife or something, does that really work?

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I would let my 6 yr old try it with a regular knife. I would just stay close enough to help him if needed. I cant remember when I cleanned my first fish. Long long ago

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as soon as there old enough to wield a steak knife with out killing themselves. I know my five year old isnt old enough yet. but he does love to watch and help wash filets and baggy them. It gets him involved in the whole proces not just the fishing.

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I think i started my twins around eight or nine. I would fillet the fish but leave the skins on. Then i would help them learn to seperate those. After i thought they could handle the knife safely, i would help them each fillet one fish. Then two or three. I still did most of it, but it didn't take long and they were help.

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my grandpa let me descale them then he cleaned them, but i would let a 6 year old do it with close supervision... maybe 7

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I am told that "cleaned" my 1st fish at the age of 4. I caught a glass catfish out of the aquarium & cleaned him on a dinner plate when Mom was out in the yard. She was NOT happy when she saw that!

I think I started cleaning my own fish around age 7 or 8.

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I would also say start out by letting them scale the Sunnies. Give them a Spoon and let them have at it. I would say you as a parent would really know when your child would be mature enough to handle a fillet Knife.

I remember my Father starting my Brother and i out with scaling. Then not too long after that he showed us how to defin, cut the heads off and gut the Sunnies. Then we made the transition to Filleting. I remember him teaching us how to do it on Northerns.

An indicator might be, if your thinking of Giving your Child or Grandchild their first pocket knife. That might be a good time to closely supervise them in the Fine art of filleting

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I learned when I was ten. I went fishing and caught a bunch of perch I got home and my mom told I had to clean them all. I had no idea what I was dong so she showed me that women could clean fish BUt she only helped me a couple of times. You cath you clean she told me if I did not clean them she took my fishing stuff away for a week.

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I'm going thru this with my seven yr old right now, I'm letting him practice on perch with Dad cleaning up the rough edges.

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I started with scaling gills and crappies when I was maybe 3 or 4, and skinning catfish at that time too. My dad taught me how to fillet them when I was 6 and never looked back. My little boy will be scaling next summer, after his third birthday. Start off slow and be patient, they will want to help if you give them the chance.

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Probably not really a specific age...you can just tell when the little ones are ready. I would guess around 7 or 8.

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I would use a graduated system.... letting them loose on a sunny with little experience with a knife would be asking for trouble. I think training would start long before actually using a knife on a fish. Think of other pre-skills they could work on... buttering bread, cutting the crust off sandwiches, cutting pork-chop/steak into bite-sized pieces... Once you're comfortable and THEY are comfortable using a knife, Let them fillet the skin off to begin with (not much chance of them loosing a finger and your wife going ape-s4it on you). Only after yer kin has demonstrated consistent skill with the blade in this regard would i turn them loose on the full fillet process.

One thing to remember is that children's fingers are much smaller and less chiseled than adults. One wrong move here could easily have major consequences, not only physically, but mentally as well. Success (meaning not getting cut) should be 100%.

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Ya I dont think age is the correct factor, there are 40+ year olds, I wouldnt let clean fish, although my 11 year old son can wiz right through them.

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I let the crew help me with boning and taking off silver skin on the venison (6,7,9 and 11 yr olds). My six year old is a pro with helping me grind burger and making pressed jerky. My 11 year old is pretty handy with cleaning fish already, but he cut his teeth with fish by just removing the skin from the fillets for a couple years.

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I would guess that every kid will be different.

My son started filleting at 5 my daughter is 6 and will try some this winter.

Sifty

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Like everyone else said it is on how comfortable you feel with them using the knife. I learned when I was 6-7. We lived on a lake and dad just got sick of coming home from work and I would have a limit of crappies for him to clean. Did not stop me from wanting to fish though.

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I had to struggle with what age to let them start watching. My thought was the younger the better so that is no big deal because of its just one of those things you do. At six they are majorly attentive when I'm cleaning them but there is no way my wife would let them hold a knife. Crazy thing is she is an upnorth girl raised in a "outdoors" family. Go figure! The Red Rider BB guns for there birthday was pushing it but they where definitely ready for that. (its the weirdest thing watching your boys shoot a gun for the first time, right?) When I told her about sifty's boy her firsts words where "HE LETS HIM USE ONE OF THE SHARPEST KNIFES IN THE KITCHEN"? Ah, wifes! crazy

Maybe next summer I'll let them give it a shot.

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I was about 6 or 7, and would probably let my kids start at about the same age. When I was in 3rd grade (1984), each of us had to do a demonstration speech of our favorite activity. I brought a couple sunfish, a fillet knive and board to school and taught my class how to clean fish! Something like that certainly wouldn't fly these days, but it sure was fun then, and is a great memory to have!!!!

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I would imagine 5-7 depending on the child. I know I was using knives and saws at 5-6 (I also have a 1.5 inch scar on my pointer finger to prove it, oops.) I would give them a short filet knife to begin with and give them your undivided attention while doing it. One idea might be to let them make some of the easier cuts on the fish while you make the more intricate ones. A bigger fish might be easier too?(easier to hold, more room for error without slipping right out of the fish???)

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If you cut from the top down behind the head/gill plate but not all the way through, and then slice the very top of the fish off, including the dorsal fin, to the tail and then remove that, your kids can ge a great help removing the skin from both sides with a pliers, and then pulling all the meat free in one big chunk.

Growing up by Devils Lake during the Perch Boom, I think I did this to about a bazillion jumbo perch.

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I think i started about 8 and my youngest brother was taught like 6 or 7

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One summer my dad got a job in Alexandria for the entire summer working on a construction project so we rented a cabin on a lake. Next door neighbor became somebody we called "Grandpa" and he took my brother and I fishing everyday for panfish. I was 8 and my brother was 6. First day out when we got back to shore he told us that was the last day he was providing us our bait or cleaning our fish. We learned quick and my dad still today jokes about our "on the job" fish cleaning efforts and how good and fast both of us are and even better than him. (of course that just means that he can skip out on the cleaning since we are "so much better")

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I still think several of my 40+ buddies that hack up fillets are doing it on purpose? It's truly scary watching them with a knife!!! I usually end up having them just do the skinning after I do the delicate boneless work. It gets old though, like up at LOW and your the only boneless guy!

My boy is 11 and has been hanging around for several years while we clean. He started out watching, then skinning, and now he fillets while I fillet. Sure he screws up from time to time but it sure is nice having help. Just be patient! At least he's not playing video games!!!

Now after watching the old timers at the lake with electric knifes clean a pail of pannies pronto. that's my next thing to learn.

Ferny

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