How to Make a Fish Club

They go by many names: fish club, fish billy, fish billy club, fishing priest, fish priest, fish whacker, fish bat, fish bonker, etc. But whatever you want to call it, a fish club is a handy tool to quickly and ethically kill your fish. In this blog and video, I’ll show you how to make a fish club from a piece of hickory, but you can use any kind of hardwood as a substitute.

A few weeks ago, I made a video about why it’s so important to quickly and ethically kill your fish and then properly bleed it out to ensure optimal flavor and freshness at the dinner table. As I mentioned in that video, using a fish club of one kind another is the fastest and most humane way to kill a fish. Now you can club a fish on the head to quickly dispatch it with almost anything, such as a big stick, a rock, a tool of one kind or another, or even your fist if need be. However, using a designated fish club that’s actually designed for effectively killing fish is ideal. You can buy fish clubs at most tackle shops or order one online, but it’s much more fun and satisfying to make your own. They also make a nice, homemade gift for your fishing family members and friends.

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Again, I’ve used many different kinds fish clubs over the years to ethically and quickly dispatch my catch, and quite often I just use a rock, but when fishing on a boat or in situations that I’m really focused on harvesting as many fish as I can for the freezer, I’ll bring along a designated fish club. I have one particular club design that I really like, but the one I bought from the store is made out of hard plastic, which has chipped and even broke in two when going to work on big fish. Thus, I found the need to improve on the design by making a similar one myself out of good ol’ Missouri hickory. Check out the video below to see how it’s done…