Surf Fishing Support Gear Series: Fish Cleaning Station
Welcome back to another round in the series! I appreciate everyone that left a comment and gave feedback. I read and (try) to reply to everyone that writes something about what I am sending out there. I will work to keep bringing you what I can.
A great comment on the last one gave me pause to realize I need to get more gear on hand to talk about, especially in use. I'm not reaching out to these companies to try out their equipment, and they don't know I'm writing about them until I post it (or I reach out and let them know I'm going to post it a couple of days before it goes live).
Fish Cleaning Station
After moving to Navarre, FL, I caught my first Red Drum and attempted to clean it on my grill side table. It did not go as well as I had envisioned in my mind. In reality, I butchered that poor fish and didn't get the amount of meat I should have. My wife told me to get a table to make it easier (She is fantastic), so the search began. I didn't realize how many fish cleaning tables are on the market, let alone how many gadgets you could have come with one! So many options to choose from. Where do we start?
I knew I wanted a table with a sink, a cut out for fish guts to be discarded quickly, to be a decent height, so I would not be hunched over while cleaning, and rust-resistant since I knew it would be outside all the time. Thankfully, that helped narrow down my search to about 1,000 tables. I narrowed it down to a couple of different tables finally. I decided to order the Outsunny 50" L Outdoor Camping Cooking & Cleaning Table with Sink, Faucet, & Accessories (Important note: I don't have an affiliate link, so I don't make any money on this if you click it or anything else on our site) won out. It had everything I wanted, plus a couple of bowls to use for holding cuts of meat, a fillet knife, a cutting board, and a cage on the lower section to put items away when not in use. I looked for this locally but only found one at Bass Pro in Destin, which was out of stock (and more expensive). I bought it and waited for the USPS to deliver it.
Photo from listing on Amazon.com
My new table arrived two days later (thanks to Amazon Prime), and I went to work setting it up. It was straightforward, and all of the extra gear went into its place as described on the website in about 10 minutes total time. The table was set up, and I determined to use it that day, so I went fishing. Of course, I struck out. We can't catch them every day, sadly, but I knew I'd get some soon enough. When I finally hooked some whiting, I went home all excited to clean these soon-to-be delicious morsels on my new station. The table held up great! I cleaned the fish with the provided knife (after a vigorous sharpening) and rinsed them all down with the sink. All of the guts went down the trash opening into a grocery bag held on by the provided tabs and didn't fall off once. This table was proving to be worth every penny.
The table comes with the bowls, knife, cutting board (on the bottom shelf), and odor removing bar.
Once I completed the cleaning of the fish, the cleanup began, and this is where I found a few shortcomings. I wish it had a holder for a garden hose nozzle. With all the guts and blood, I needed a hose to spray it all down. The sink faucet will not suffice to do that job as it only rotates and covers the sink portion of the table. Once I am finished with the hose, I secure a table leg so it is there for the next round. A cutout on the table would make that a little easier for cleaning later and for storage. The cage on the lower portion is barely able to hold any weight. If you want to put heavy things on it (a bucket or other cleaning items), you will need to put a solid piece of wood down there. I read this in the reviews and wanted to see if maybe the manufacturer had fixed that issue. They didn't. Where the bowls and knife lay, there are no drain holes. That is slightly problematic after you've cleaned the table and want to get the standing water out. I fixed it by drilling some holes to allow draining, and then all was well with the world.
View of the lower shelf
If you're in the market for a fish-cleaning table, the Outsunny is a good option, in my opinion. It hasn't failed me yet with larger fish (red drum) and does not seem to retain any dead fish scent after rinsing and whipping it down (which your neighbors will be very thankful for). I do recommend you do a bleach-water solution cleaning when you're finished using it to keep your station clean. It is also very sturdy, so I'm not worried about it toppling over while working a fish. It could also be a great addition to a campsite. I would happily use this while RV'ing to set up an outside kitchen.
Thanks for stopping in and checking this out. New content is coming next week!