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Thread: A quick "heads up"

  1. #1

    Default A quick "heads up"

    In all my years of fishing there are some things that have stumped me a little. Filletting fish has always eluded me. Clumsy, uncordinated, ??? I don't know. But I have been getting better as time goes by, and I dont make as much salmonburger as I use to. I bring this up because I refuse to believe I am the only one out there with this disability, and the recent Fish Alaska magazine has a great article on accomplishing this artful feat. After reading this article I have full confidence that this will be the year I finally discover the "knack"! dirt.

  2. #2
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    I don't know if you have seen this thread, but fishNphysician posted some great photos of his fillet technique.
    AKmud
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    A good teacher and some practice go a long way. Also a good sharp knife, that you touch up when it starts to loose it's edge. Fillet knives don't need to be very big or long, a folding rapalla fillet knife will handle fish up to the 40# range with ease, and the nice thin blade cuts easily.

    Fish skin is tough and after a couple of fish you should touch up the edge. When you try and fight a dull knife you'll end up with a mess as you're putting too much force into the blade. I'm far from an expert at filleting but a friend who's filleted fish by the thousands makes it look amazingly easy to prodouce nice fillets.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I was once a hacker myself. I could make a fillet look like it was hit by a semi doing 65 down the sterling highway. Then backed up over it again. Practice helped. Being shown by someone who is very good at it helped more. Keeping the knife sharp is the KEY for me. After each fish i put a quick edge on the knife. It then just flows down the fillet clean and looks pretty good. Now they dont look like they do a New Sagaya but they are presentable.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member Xanfly's Avatar
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    I can do a pretty good job, like others have said, a sharp knife is key.

    And trust me you aren't alone. and judging from some of the hack jobs I see at the cutting tables you are probably far from the worst. Some of em just don't have a clue.

  6. #6

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    The easiest way is to just take me along and I`ll do the cleaning.

  7. #7

    Default Really???

    Quote Originally Posted by AK2AZ View Post
    The easiest way is to just take me along and I`ll do the cleaning.
    That could be arranged. But really, AK 2 AZ ?? are you here, or are you there?

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    Thumbs up Easy

    I guess I'm just lucky, but all I have to do is catch the fish. My wife cleans and or fillets them. She would rather do that than catch them - her words not mine. She said she agrees about having a sharp knife.

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    working at a lodge one summer cured me of my filleting problem
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtface View Post
    That could be arranged. But really, AK 2 AZ ?? are you here, or are you there?

    I`m here but don`t do that good of job anyway. Fish AK magazine this month has instructions for a couple different ways to filet salmon and halibut.

  11. #11
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    One of the best tips I have ever learned about making a nice filet is after the filet is off the fish locate the pin bones and make a cut down to the skinand back along the row of bones until they stop and then do the same on the other side of the row of bones. then just run your finger under that strip of meat and it comes out with all of the bones. Your filet will have a small gap in it and you will lose a little bit of meat, but people like to have a piece of fish that is completly boneless.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RastaHunter View Post
    One of the best tips I have ever learned about making a nice filet is after the filet is off the fish locate the pin bones and make a cut down to the skinand back along the row of bones until they stop and then do the same on the other side of the row of bones. then just run your finger under that strip of meat and it comes out with all of the bones. Your filet will have a small gap in it and you will lose a little bit of meat, but people like to have a piece of fish that is completly boneless.

    Yep, been doing it that way forever.
    There is nothing I hate more than chompin' into a bone!!!!
    It takes a little more practice, but this works well for filleting pike.
    Just follow the Y bones on the out side and then repeat on the inside of the Y bones and remove the strip.

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    Member preed's Avatar
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    i saw a guy two years ago, wait, start over, a girl two years ago at the cleaning table in Valdez using a battery operated fillet knife. that girl was filleting fish so fast and so perfectly we were in awe. Dad and i just watched, it was amazing. we even asked her how long she had been doing it like that and her answer was "10 minutes" she had never used one till then. last year at the last minute, last trip of the year, Valdez of coarse, dad grabbed his corded fillet knife laughing saying he wanted to try it out. even his very first try at it the fillet came out flawless, a thing of beauty. he happily cleaned all our fish in record time and every single fillet was absolutely perfect. i will be getting a motorized knife this year, no doubt about it.

  14. #14
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by preed View Post
    i saw a guy two years ago, wait, start over, a girl two years ago at the cleaning table in Valdez using a battery operated fillet knife. that girl was filleting fish so fast and so perfectly we were in awe.

    Seriously?????? Did she have a boat and motor too. I think im in love. I have never seen that but on the rivers it is probably a little more of a pain to carry it. Other than that Id love to see someone using one in action
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Default pin bones

    Rather than cut the pin bones out I just pull them out with my leatherman before I cook them,it takes me less than a minute to do two fillets.

  16. #16
    Member preed's Avatar
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    if you could have seen dads face after his first one you could just tell he was in heaven. after each fillet he would show people "look at this" he would say. it was love at first use. people were asking to try it out and all of a sudden dad was an expert. always a lot of fun to go out with dad. back to the story though, i am definately going to be using one this year. we usually cut up the fish and vacuum seal it right there in camp but after his works of art he no longer wanted to cut em up. not sure what he did with his but i do know he took them home whole, mine was cut up packed and frozen. it was like i was breaking his heart cutting up his fillets. i wouldnt have believed it if i hadnt seen it with my own eyes. new sagaya has nothing on dads fillets.
    haha

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by RastaHunter View Post
    One of the best tips I have ever learned about making a nice filet is after the filet is off the fish locate the pin bones and make a cut down to the skinand back along the row of bones until they stop and then do the same on the other side of the row of bones. then just run your finger under that strip of meat and it comes out with all of the bones. Your filet will have a small gap in it and you will lose a little bit of meat, but people like to have a piece of fish that is completly boneless.

    So you are actually cutting a small V down the length of the fillet?

  18. #18

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    Nothing better than the electric fillet knives. Only a couple of concerns, corded, you've got to have a 12volt battery handy (boat) or 110 outlet. Cordless solves that. The other thing is you can cut right though the spine if you don't pay attention, which can butcher the fillet up pretty good. If you've got a lot of fish to do though, it can take a third of the time and even less in effort.

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    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    I suck at it. I have cleaned a lot of fish too. I think there is art involved and I am artless. My wife and my fishing buddy do it flawlessly, but I suck. Even after watching them, having them help me, I still suck.

  20. #20
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKmud View Post
    I don't know if you have seen this thread, but fishNphysician posted some great photos of his fillet technique.
    Another alternative is to track down a copy of Salmon Trout Steelheader magazine, May 2005. Additional pics and a more detailed explanation are contained in the article.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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