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How To Filet A Walleye

Jul 22, 2008
A walleye fish is one of the tastiest fish you can possibly eat, and hard to catch. Before you can eat the walleye and enjoy it, you have to know how to fillet it, so here is a step by step method of cleaning and filleting a walleye fish.

Walleye fish are one of the easiest kinds of fish to clean as long as you follow the safety procedures and things. You only need two things to start a cutting board and a filleting knife (or just a really sharp knife).

Make sure your knife and board are cleaned this should go without saying, especially when working with any kind of meat, and sterilize the knife once you are done with it. Fish are known to contain trace amounts of mercury, which is an extremely toxic element.

Note that this is described from the perspective of someone who is right-handed, so if you are left-handed mentally reflect the image to work.

Place the fish on the board with its underside facing you, and the head pointing toward the left. Once you have your walleye positioned, make a cut from the pectoral fin up to the spine, or about half the length of the body. Basically it is where the neck would be if there were such things on fish.

Turn the blade of the knife and cut parallel to the spine, going from where you just started butting to the bottom of the fish, directly through the tail. At this point, you should have a fillet attached to the outer skin, and you will likely be able to see the meat underneath attached to the rib cage.

Put this fillet off to the side after detaching it. Now turn the fish over and repeat this process on the other side cutting from the pectoral fin, then running the knife along the spine and out through the tail along the length of the fish's body.

Be careful though you don't have the other half of the body anymore to act as a base, so take your time with this cut.

Right now, you have got your two basic fillets, but the rib cage is still attached to the meat, which you don't want. So, you need to remove the bone.

Take your first fillet and put it on the board with the skin side up. The top of the fillet should face right. Now put your hand on the fillet and press your fingers firmly into the skin to give yourself a good grip on the fillet.

Some people use their knuckles and end up flattening the ribs to the board, which is good as it gives you that extra bit of meat.

Now use your thumb to lift that side of the fillet that is closest to you, using your other hand pressed down as leverage. Slide the edge of the knife in between the bones and the meat, and slice down toward what used to be the belly of the fish. Put pressure on your knife as you go along the rib cage, and the knife should make it all the way through the fillet.

If you have enough force on the knife blade, it will make a sound as you cut to let you know. This step is rather dangerous (you are pressing your hand along a surface where a sharp knife edge is near), so cut slowly and take your time. This is one of the easiest ways to remove the rib cage from the fillet. Now the hardest parts of filleting a walleye are over.
About the Author
Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best walleye fishing information possible. Get more information on walleye fishing tips here: http://www.askwalleyefishing.com/
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