There are different ways to bleed a fish. You can either cut across the throat, and you also could then make a slice from the throat towards the tail. You could go inside and slit the gills on both sides. Bleeding fish is recommended for species like Kingfish, Wahoo, Tuna, Mackerel, etc. Make sure after you cut them to bleed you should put them in a large bucket of water head first if possible or have a separate cooler to bleed them in. Then remove them immediately from the bloody cooler and properly chill the fish in a clean cooler. A slurry of clean sea water and ice is a must for the second cooler.
But I bleed all my fish for many reasons. When fish get worked up and fight, their blood heats up. This causes acid and blood to build up in the meat. So the first reason to bleed fish is to drain the warm blood out of them -- this will make the fish cool down period much faster making for a fresher tasting fish. Reason two is that the clean-up later on when you filet them is easier. Reason three is that they taste much better, especially the pelagic fish above.
Some say fish like Grouper, Snappers or any white meat fish taste good whether you bleed them or not. I bleed them anyway for the other reasons I mentioned. Just make sure whenever you bleed a fish, the fish has to be in whole condition or you will be in violation of the state law. You have to also be careful when you slit the throat of a fish, that it does not alter the fishes' length, so as to interfere with a measurement that a law enforcement officer might have to make.
We put a cool video up that shows you how to do it with clippers - but again be careful and make sure the fish measures properly.
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Captain David M Rieumont
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