Self-Cleaning Fillet Table

Wash away blood and slime while you clean fish with this simple addition to any fillet table.

fillet table for fishing
For proper drainage, make sure your fillet table slants slightly toward the rear.Illustration by Steve Sanford

This enhancement to your fillet table will make cleaning the fish less messy.

Materials to Build

• 10-foot length of 1-inch PVC pipe
• Three 90-degree PVC elbows, 1-inch 90-degree PVC hose
• Elbow, threaded female end to accept a hose PVC ball valve (nonthreaded)
• End cap, 1-inch for the same pipe PVC cement
• Three 3- to 5-inch-diameter stainless hose clamps

Assembly Steps

  1. Measure the height of the fillet table, cut PVC pipe the same length, cut it in half, and cement an elbow to one end of both pieces.
  2. Cement PVC hose ­elbow to the other end of one of the pipe pieces, offset 90 degrees to the elbow already in place.
  3. Cut a section of pipe 1 inch shorter than the depth of the table, cut it in half, and cement the ball valve between the two halves.
  4. Lay all three sections flat on the ground, and assemble and cement so piping will run up from the hose connector back through the valve to the rear of the table, then up to the top.
  1. Line up the PVC structure with the table legs and cut a hole in the tabletop for the feeder pipe to pass through. Fasten the PVC to the table legs with hose clamps.
  2. Cut a pipe 2 or 3 inches wider than the tabletop. Drill 1⁄4-inch holes, spaced 3 or 4 inches apart, along the length of the pipe and cap one end. Lay the pipe across the table to line up with the feeder pipe to locate a 11⁄8-inch hole on the left side.
  3. Pass the long pipe through the side hole and cement it to the feeder pipe with the remaining elbow, with the seep holes facing down and across the tabletop.
  4. Run a garden hose to the connector an­d get to filleting.

Note: Most fillet tables have a raised lip along three sides. If yours doesn't, make one by cutting 3-inch-wide strips of marine-grade polymer (aka Starboard) to frame the left, right and back table edges. Before installing, cut sizable slots for rear drainage on the back strip.

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