I enjoyed this article as it not only explains a method to clean dogfish, but also a nice recipe. This is from an owner of a commercial fishing outfit near Vancouver who employs several boats to catch dogfish using hook and line – preventing the event of bycatch. Check it out.


Here are a few tips and methods that best explain how to do it. And, since it’s imperative that dogfish be cleaned soon after catching, you’ll find this section helpful. Note that there are no regulations in place that we know of, stating that you can’t clean these fish species on a boat. (In some areas, you are not allowed to clean certain species at sea.) So, while you’re sitting around dead sticking on a hot afternoon, not catching jack squat other than dogfish, try cleaning your garbage on board and keep the meat on ice.

Found this one on a forum – from an English guy. Dogfish are very popular in Europe and as we mentioned, the main fish used in “fish and chips.”

“Hi all. Being an English bloke with a wife who ran a fish and chip shop in England I can lend my expertise. Dog fish is also known as Rock Salmon. Not so common as Cod as it is a little more expensive (Did you get that? He said it’s more expensive than Cod!) I used to catch loads of them and their larger brothers Bullhuss. The old trick my mum actually taught me was to slit the skin arround the neck and plop them in some boiling water for about 30 seconds then nail them through the head to a board and pull the skin off with pliers. This actually works on the Bullhuss especially if you slit the skin all the way to the tail. The doggies are a little small.
I actually found it easier to just fillet them then remove the skin as you would with any other. Deep fried with a lemony crumb coating and a big dollop of mushey peas and yum yum. (You lost me at the mushy peas, Vic.) Careful if you bake them as the fish is quite dry.” -Victor Leeson

Another one from an online forum. It’s important to note that the dogfish will spoil quickly as the fish’s urea will seep into the meat shortly after it dies, unless it is skinned quickly. I’ve caught them, put them on ice on the boat, and cleaned them when getting back to the dock and haven’t noticed the ammonia taste, but don’t wait too long.

“Dogfish are great to eat.They are the easiest to clean.First have a spike or hook into something solid,then hook the head under its mouth on the spike or hook.When the dogfish is hooked good,just behind the head cut through the skin all around the head,then with pliers pull the skin back,it peals off with the gut.then you are ready to eat. Don’t be surprised to see young dogfish or eggs in the gut.” -Blair

An email from a dogfish sharpie.

Hello There,

Found your site through Fishermen’s Headquarters. Found your site very interesting. One thing I’d like to add for you is when cleaning Dogfish, if you pour hot water over the fish before steaking it, you can scrape the sandy skin right off and it brings out the white meat of the fish. I like to use a spoon or back of a knife works great. Good luck! I’ll check back often!


You can pour boiling water over and the skin rubs off (works on ray wings also), but in my opinion skinning is so easy its less hassle than messing with boiling water – plus, you couldn’t freeze down a fillet you had poured boiling water over as the surface would have started cooking. Skinning is easy as long as you have the method and tools to hand.

Found on a UK fishing forum