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 Bass are toys. Gills and Trout are food. There is a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an Idiot Fast, Free Registration Tell them TubeN2 sent ya
From this siteClick Here Current Moon Phase Tide Reports