Four-legged fish cleaning table standing waterside on a chestnut-colored dock.

Beginner’s Guide: Fish Cleaning Tables

There’s no greater satisfaction than eating the fish you caught and prepped on your own. But there’s also no worse pain than having to clean your catch on a questionable, unsafe surface. 

It’s time to stop using the cutting board and cooler combo and opt for something a bit more functional, like a fish cleaning table. If we’ve piqued your interest but you still need more details, we’ve got you covered. 

Keep reading to learn all you need to know about fish cleaning stations. 

What Is A Fish Cleaning Table? 

It’s all in the name — a fish cleaning table is a table for you to clean your latest catch, saving you and your boat from dealing with a potentially horrible mess. 

Types of Stations Available

When it comes to fish cleaning stations, you have plenty of options to choose from. Tables are built with every angler in mind, so you’re sure to find one that suits your lifestyle. 

Dock Fish Cleaning Tables

If you hate cleaning fish in confined, closed-off spaces, why not do it in the fresh air? 

Switch out the fishy smell for a seaside scent with a dockside cleaning station. You can even toss unwanted cuts back into the ocean as you clean, sparing your home or boat from any lingering odors. 

Here are a few dockside options:

  • 2-Legged: A station with two legs is excellent for narrow docks. The table can hang over the side, allowing you to maximize space and simplify disposal.
  • 4-Legged: The 4-legged stations are highly popular, as they’re suitable for marinas and small personal docks. You can easily move this station or install it as a permanent fixture, which allows for further customization.
  • 6-Legged: If you want an extra-durable permanent table sitting dockside, you can opt for one with six legs. With it, you can prep a handful of fish at once.

Niagara Tables

The Niagara station offers a constant stream of water flowing over your station’s surface, flushing away debris and helping keep the area clean as you work. 

This fish cleaning table is another permanent fixture and features a slat across the back for even easier clean-up. 

Who Should Get A Fish Cleaning Table?

The simple answer is anyone who loves to eat fish! 

To enjoy your catch in a delicious seafood meal, it’s essential to properly clean and gut your fish to prevent foodborne illness

Proper cleaning requires specific tools to get the job done. Of course, sharp knives and similar gadgets are necessary for descaling and gutting. A fish cleaning table provides you with a designated area to ensure this typically messy job is contained in one spot. 

How Do You Use A Fish Cleaning Table?

Using your table is simple, as it should be. You use the tabletop surface to clean and gut your fish. Most stations offer a surface area wide enough for you to clean a few at the same time. As you work, you can discard unwanted parts back into the water below. 

When you’re finished, you can hose down the surface. The convenient slats across the back help you drain fish detritus and any other unsavory lingerings. And with a Niagara model, the water is constantly flowing, so cleanup is even breezier. 

What Should You Look For When Buying A Fish Cleaning Table?

When purchasing a cleaning station, there are a few key features you’ll need to consider ensuring you’re selecting the best option. Read about the most important ones below:

Permanence vs. Portability

First and foremost, you’ll want to consider the space you have available. Space will dictate whether to opt for a permanent, standing model.

Most small, narrow docks can easily fit a 2-legged cleaning station.

Material 

You’ll require a table made up of sanitary, seamless material. The best surface is easy-to-clean, non-porous, and weather-resistant. 

Seek out a tabletop constructed from FDA-approved polyethylene. This plastic material was specifically designed for food service, so you know you’re getting the best. Polyethylene resists corrosion, so it’ll last through any storm. It won’t degrade no matter how often you use it, and repeated cutting and gutting shouldn’t cause cracks or crevices.  

Durability & Sturdiness 

Imagine: you’re in the middle of gutting your haul, and the entire structure you’re using collapses. Your fresh dinner is ruined. 

A permanent fish cleaning table should be securely mountable with included brackets and flanges. 

In terms of durability, ensure you’re getting a table that can resist the impact of the sharp knives you’ll use. Even small cracks in the tabletop can result in bacteria building up. 

Customization Potential 

Look for a table you can accessorize for your cleaning needs. Optional features include sinks, hose and knife caddies, extra storage shelves, and even cup holders. 

Start Enjoying A Fresh Fish Dinner Today

You earned that fresh fish dinner. Make prepping for it as straightforward as possible with a personal fish cleaning table. 

For the best tables available and all your deck and dock needs, reach out to the Decks & Docks team today.