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Since We Are Talking About Eating

1080 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  SandBridgeman
Would anyone be willing to share some tips or instructions, but particularly the tips on how to filet a fish? Any particular knives you prefer? What about getting out those nasty bones around the rib cage???? Im used to heading, gutting, scaling and grilling, but Id like to improve my game and take it to the next level.:D
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Rapala or Fishkars knives work fine - for me - and I'm sure there's many others especially given more $$$

Despite the jack you spend on filet knive, you'll need to keep it sharp and filet a lot of fish ... best way to learn is by both watching and doing ;)

Head-gut-scale works, but filet and skin is quicker depending on the fish and what you want out of it ?

Catch, Practice, and as JackAss says "Release what ya don't eat",

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I use the Rapala knives they are cheap, but I do replace them every so often, so I may be better off to spend some more on a Russel etc. A flexable blade and sharp are the most important features with the filet knifes. Rapala does provided a sharpener thats works fine as long as the blade does not get damaged.
With most fish I start with the Dorsal Fin pointing toward me and the head to my left. I cut with the point down just behind the Pectoral fin going in as far as the backbone then slice down the rest of the way behind the head to the backbone. Then I slice the lenght of the fish along the Dorsal to the tail staying above the rounded part of the back bone. Then I work around the backbone and the lower part from the Anal Fin to the tail. Then I flip over and do the other side. At this point (or earlier) I decide what to do with the rib cage some fish I cut the ribs just below the back bone or cut the skin at the rib cage freeing the filets. This depends on the amount of meat and how thick the bones are. Small fish I might just go through the bones while making the second cut. Then I pin the filets skinside down and slide the knife between the skin and the meat. This leaves a solid chunk of meat with no bones(you may have had to slice out the rib cage) or skin.
I hope this helps.
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Keeping a sharp knife is definately the key to filleting, if you aare chunking or tearing the meat , stop and get a sharper knife, I use a sharpener you can hold in your hand and it has a small "V" that you drag the blade through, I usssually runs my knife before and after I fillet, Digger seemed to give a good post on how he fillets sounds like the way I do it also, When I was younger me and my dad had a deal either clean the boat or clean fish, I always chose to clean the fish, the more you clean the better you get. Like someone else said the colder the fish is on ice the easier to fillet do to firmness
If you go to avolonpier.com and click on fishing tips it gives a picture by picture how to fillet.
Get an Electric Knife

I often catch a lot of fish. I find that an electric filet knife work very well and does not tire you out. Follow the same advice but use an electric knife.

You may leave slightly more meat using an electric knife, but who cares when you have lots of meat.

When doing flounder always filet the white side first. Cut through the middle to create 2 filets per side.

Nasty bones around the rib cage

I've watch lots of cooks in kitchens do this all day to salmon so I tried it on rock...works like a charm.

If you have a small pair of pliers, like jewelers pliers (but any will do), you can grab the bone and place your other hand flat on the meat around the bone and pull. Bone will pull and then slide right out.

If you ever get a chance, watch some decent prep cooks prepare fish. These guys do it every day, have to maximize the meat, clean it fast, and make it as bone free as possible. You can learn alot watching those guys.

Oh yeah, when your done, wash your hands with mouthwash like scope or listorine, it cancels the fish smell quickly.

Good one mumichug. My girlfriend will thank you.:D I wonder if that will work on chicken liver smell. I hate that stuff! But good bait for catfish though.:)
Thanks alot

Thanks this is all good info. Im gonna have to give it a try, but I will need to get a good sharp knife. Thanks again.
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