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Filleting your fish

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Filleting your fish
Here is a Thread just for giving instructions on Filleting your fish. Some fish types are pretty general and others may require special handling. Please note the type of fish that you are filleting and see if there are any hidden bone structures that lie within.


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Sole, Turbot, Halibut, Flounder and Sand Dab In reply to
Step by step instructions and pictures of how to filet a Flounder, Halibut, Sole, Turbot or San Dab. For ease of viewing, we are filleting the top of the fish first, then the bottom.
Place the filet knife just behind the top fin at the angle as shown.
Next make the first cut across the fish cutting down to the horizontal bone. You will feel it against the knife.
Beginning at the tail, cut at the edge of the fish down to the bone and following the edge as shown in the next three pictures.


Position the knife as shown.
Once there, grasp the filet cut between the filet and bone as shown in the next two pictures, stopping at the center bone.

Once there, draw the knife over the center bone as shown.
Continue grasping the filet and cutting between the filet and bone as shown in the next three pictures.


Once you have separated the filet from the bone cut completely through the fish as shown.
The result will be one filet.
Turn the fish over to repeat the same process as the top side as shown in the next five pictures.




This results in two boneless filets.
The final step is to remove the skin. Grasp the edge of the narrow end and make a cut, stopping at the inner surface of the skin.
Holding the skin use a back and forth cutting action as depicted in the next two pictures.

The final result.................................



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Cod Fish Filleting In reply to
Step by step instructions and pictures of how to fillet a codfish. For ease of viewing, we are filleting the left side of the fish.
Place the filet knife just behind the side fin at the angle as shown.
Next make the first cut from top to bottom cutting down to the horizontal bone. You will feel it against the knife.
Beginning at the top of the first cut, slice along the top of the fish to the tail as depicted in the next 4 pictures.



Continuing making the same cut, from the front to the tail, following the vertical bone (you will feel it against the knife) until the knife contacts the horizontal bone.
Once there, begin at the horizontal bone, grasp the filet then use the same cutting process and continue cutting following the vertical bone to the tail.
Once past the horizontal bone, the knife will easily slice the flesh and pierce the lower body. Continue cutting to the tail as depicted in the next two pictures.

Following this next process will result in one whole filet. This horizontal bone is present in the codfish family and the larger the fish the larger this bone. You must cut around it so as not to cut off the bottom of the filet. Grasp the filet and using the tip of the knife and the same cutting process (cutting back and forth) follow the bone and cut around it as depicted in the next 4 pictures.



Once you have cut around the horizontal bone, continue cutting to the body cavity of the fish as depicted in the next two pictures.

Continue cutting until the filet separates from the fish as depicted in the next two pictures.

Repeat the process for the other half of the fish. This results in two boneless filets.
The final step is to remove the skin.
Grasp the edge of the narrow end and make a cut stopping at the inner surface of the skin.
Holding the skin use a back and forth cutting action as depicted in the next five pictures.




The final result.................................



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Pike Filleting In reply to
Step by step instructions and pictures of how to fillet a northern pike.
STEP 1: Make first cut by grasping fish between the gills and poking knife into softer throat region ahead of the two front fins
STEP 2: Slide knife forward towards tail of fish between the two middle fins and stop by the bottom fin just in front of tail
(Still) STEP 2: Slide knife forward towards tail of fish between the two middle fins and stop by the bottom fin just in front of tail
STEP 3: Lay fish on side and make a vertical cut using a sawing motion down to the backbone taking care to NOT slice through the backbone.
STEP 4: Turn your knife flat and parallel to the backbone. Saw along the backbone (You'll hear rib-bones and "Y" bones being cut through) to the tail, removing the complete slab of fish meat (?) which is one fillet. Do this to each side of fish.
STEP 4a: Cutting gets easier near the tail doe to no rib bones
STEP 5: Remove the belly fin by slicing with the tip of your knife.
STEP 5a: Removing fin is easy if you hold it up and slice it off
STEP 6: Locate the row of rib bones on the fillet by feeling them with your finger. Then, place your knife edge right behind them and slice underneath. Remember to turn your knife blade up against the underside of the ribs immediately as you are making long, steady slices down the row of rib bones. The idea here is to remove the ribs without wasting meat.
STEP 6a: After slicing about half to three quarters of the way under the ribs, hold the fillet down with your knife point, grasp the ribs and tear them out. This move greatly speeds up the process and helps if you have a lot of fish to fillet.
STEP 7: Grasp the tail of the fillet with pliers and cut into flesh with blade while turning blade almost flat and sawing. Simultaneously pull with the pliers and push with the knife with a sawing motion. It helps to waggle your plier hand from side to side as your knife hand saws down the skin of the fillet.
STEP 7a: Continue down the fillet. The feeling in the knife is one of slight tearing as it cuts. Too sharp of your blade angle and you slice through the hide. Too flat of a blade angle and you will leave meat on the hide. Your knife must be quite sharp and you'll need to develope a feel.
STEP 7b: If you will be transporting your fillets, turn your blade down and slice sideways leaving a patch of skin on the fillet for identification purposes.
STEP 8: Completed Northern Pike fillets will look like this if done properly. If they look like they were driven over by a streetsweeper, you'll need a bit more practise.
Removing the Dreaded Y Bones
Despite all of the hoopla over de-boning techniques, we find that it is most effective and efficient to simply remove the Y bones from the fillet AFTER the Northern is cooked. All of those other techniques seem to end up making more unrecognizable strings of fish and sushi than just knowing where the bones are in a fillet and eating it accordingly.
How to Cook that Fillet
First make some breading out of just-add-water pancake mix (half cup) with a little garlic powder (or garlic salt) added to it, plus a touch of red & black pepper and a few shakes of Mrs. Dash added. Shake up the ingredients to mix them evenly in a plastic bag.
Wash the fillets thoroughly in cold water, removing any blood or remnants of viscera. Shake the excess water off the fillet and drop in the bag of fish mix. Shake to coat the fillets thoroughly and check the pan you've had heating with about 3/8" of corn oil. Make sure the oil is hot by dropping a little flick of breading into it - it needs to sizzle when it hits the oil.
Carefully lay the breaded fillets in the oil and fry until golden brown on each side.
Remove the fillet and set on some paper towels to absorb some of the oil.
Observe the picture above - A completely cooked fillet will break in a clean line right down the lateral line very easily. (Blue line with two blue arrows pointing at it.
The Rib Section of the fillet has a visible notch where the Northern's belly fin was - this section has no bones (assuming the filleter didn't miss any rib bones when dressing the fillet) and can be eaten immediately or you can give it safely to the kids.
The Y Bones are Here
The top section is the thickest part of the fillet and has the Y bones in it about where they are indicated in the diagram above. Break that section in two using the tines of your fork placed right down the middle of the piece parallel to the horizontal blue line stopping at about the verticle blue line. With your fingers and the fork, separate that section and observe it. The Y bones will be visible & parallel to each other and you can pull them out 5 at a time. Throw the bones over your left shoulder and enjoy that tasty, thick piece of haukie ( how' key - Finnish word for Northern). Many people we know consider Northerns to be a superior tasting fish over walleyes which are pretty tasteless except for the breading. They are also easier to catch and have more meat on them than a walleye of equal weight. Like that which is true for most fish, the really big old ones can taste pretty bad. If you catch a 20 lb. Northern, throw him back. Keep the 2-4 lb. fish. A 4 lb. Northern will yield about 2 -1/2 lbs. of fillets


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Filleting your fish by davetclown In reply to
by Davetclown




To fillet a round-bodied fish, such as this salmon, first remove the head by sliding your knife under the bone near the gills and cutting.



Remove the first side of the body by cutting just above the backbone with a very sharp knife.



Slide the blade along the backbone...




then along the ribs, lifting the meat as you go. Remove the second side of the body in the same fashion.



Lay the fillets on their skin sides and feel down the center for small pin bones. Using tweezers or small pliers, pull these out.




To remove the skin, make a cut between the meat and the skin at the tail end.




Then, with the tail end toward you, grasp the end of the skin and slice between the skin and meat, tilting your knife slightly down toward the skin. Pull the skin as you slice toward the head. This feels like pulling a tablecloth from under a set table. Be careful not to leave behind the flesh or cut through the skin. Then free the meat.

Instructor: Katherine Alford







16 species contest 2004
Dave
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Re: [tubeN2] Filleting your fish In reply to
Keeping fish fresh

What about the fish you catch? It's best to keep the fish you catch alive as long as possible. A metal link basket or a live box is much better than a stringer. Don't throw fish in the bottom of the boat. An ice chest with ice is a good way to keep them fresh. The sooner fish are cleaned and cooled, the better they will taste. A quick method is to cut the throat as you would any game animal, remove gills and entrails, wipe the surface, put the fish in plastic bag and put on ice. You can finish the job later.
The digestive juices of fish are strong. If fish are not cleaned promptly they will begin to digest the entrails, causing off-flavors to seep into the meat. The flesh on the inside of fish gets soft and off-flavored in the rib area. Bleeding is important, too, because the blood quickly breaks down and seeps into the meat. Simply cut the throat and remove the gills.
When fishing in the winter, be sure to keep fish covered, as the wind will dry them out. Fish can be frozen whole, just as they come out of the water. Choose this method if fish freeze before they are cleaned. Simply wrap in freezer paper. Keep frozen. Then when you are ready to prepare the fish to eat, thaw in cold water and clean as you would freshly caught fish.
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Re: [Hutch00] Filleting your fish In reply to
How about some blue gill filleting tips.
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Re: [HenryDavid] Filleting your fish In reply to
Here is an animated clip that shows how to fillet a Blue Gill.Cool
It goes directly to the website that wrote it.




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(This post was edited by tubeN2 on Jun 26, 2007, 10:12 PM)
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Re: [tubeN2] Filleting your fish In reply to
Thanks for the pictures on the filleting. Its nice to look at how to do it. Thanks
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Re: [bluefishon] Filleting your fish In reply to
You are welcome. These are just a few examples of how to fillet. There are more techniques as well. Some others will be added in the future.Cool


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Re: [tubeN2] Filleting your fish In reply to

<*@}))))))X< Ice Fishing Tip number #73

How to process a Pan Fish

Click on any immage to enlarge

(White Crappie top left - Black Crappie bottom right)


I donít need to tell you about safety first, but then I would be skipping a step my self.. so remember your safety rules and practices.
  • Never process food while under the influence of alcohol
  • Never cut toward your self
  • Never attempt to clean any animal or vegetable with a dull knife
  • Always have a first aid kit on hand just in case you do make a mistake.


There are many tools used for sharpening knives, a quality wet rock or honing steel is really all you need,



I use the wet rock to sharpen my knife before starting to process my harvest.

I use the honing steel to touch up the blade of my knife during my processing of my harvest, My grandma never used any thing other than her wet rock sharpening several times while processing a mess of fish. I prefer the steel because it is easier to clean afterwards.

In my photos you will see paper under the crappie, it is common practice to use newspaper under the fish while cleaning, I prefer to use a clean smooth flat surface that I can wipe down during the processing task because I use a small work area where I cant spread out my work.

Step 1
I start by making a vertical cut from the top of the head down to the lower fin following the gill.


I donít cut through, you can if you want to, but I find I donít need to do the extra work of cutting off the head and pulling the innards out.

Step 2
Rotate the fish 180 degrees


Insert your fillet knife just under the skin and follow the backbone along the top fin until you have just passed the rib cage.

Step 3
Lift the edge of the fish


Cut the remaining flesh down to the backbone

Step 4
Lift the edge of the fish fillet


Insert your fillet knife flat level with the backbone just behind the rib cage
Cut along the bone to the tail.

Step 5
Trace along the rib cage to finish off the fillet


Be careful not to cut the ribs, they are easy to cut though


If you do cut though one be sure to remember to remove it from the fillet before cooking.

Step 6
This is where having a sharp knife is really important. A dull knife will rip the skin or the fillet
Skin the fillet by laying the scale side down on a ďcleanĒ flat surface
Hold down the tip of the tail


Gently cut down to the scales being careful not to cut though, it is easy to do,
Once you reach the skin turn your knife flat to the cutting surface and slide across the skin to the other end.


Donít be to critical of how you do, you will get better the more you get in practice processing fish.
Step 7
Pan Fish has a spare set of ribbones; they are short from a 1/6th to ľ but easy to remove.

Look at the flesh from the side you cut away from the rib cage, feal along the visible center line and you will be able to feel the spare set of ribs.


To remove them cut along the side of the little bones with your fillet knife on both side in my example I cut wider than necessary to show the general area where the bones are located and how to remove them.




If the Lord's willing, You'll be Blessed.
(This post was edited by davetclown on Dec 27, 2007, 11:01 PM)
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Re: [tubeN2] Filleting your fish In reply to
Is there an easier less-time comsuming way of filleting a perch? Thanks!

I hear voices.....
lol they told me a joke
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Re: [Walleye_Guy] Filleting your fish In reply to
I will check my archive files and see if I have some of the faster instructions. Otherwise, I will have to save a few fish and make a video out of it to show you.

This is a slow method but effective. Not efficient to do large amounts though.Cool


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Re: [tubeN2] Filleting your fish In reply to
How do ya do catfish tubeN2?