My skills (so far...)

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FishSchooler

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I've been able to fillet three fish so far, but the first and second times were so disastrous (and I dont have pics), I will only post pics of the third fish I filleted.
DSC_0323.jpg
DSC_0328.jpg

LOL I forgot my question... I havent been able to get the knife to go along the backbone consistantly (as you can see in the first pic, the closet fillet goes up then down...) I try applying downwards pressure without actually pointing the knife down, but it doesn't really work.
 
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osmosis

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Where'd you get fish with red meat? did you get some coho?

They look ok, but use less of a sawing action with the knife and more of a slide towards the tail.
 
F

FishSchooler

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Where'd you get fish with red meat? did you get some coho?

They look ok, but use less of a sawing action with the knife and more of a slide towards the tail.

Um... uh... From costco? haha thats a wild alaskan sockeye, but the first fish I fillet was a fresh x100 coho from costco.
 
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halibuthitman

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put the whole fish in the freezer for 30 minutes first, then just run knife down each side seperating the ribs from the spine, lay your two fillets skin down and trim ribbones and belly meat off.. then use needlenose pliers and pull the pin bones.... wha-la you have a princes cut fillet.
 
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FishSchooler

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put the whole fish in the freezer for 30 minutes first, then just run knife down each side seperating the ribs from the spine, lay your two fillets skin down and trim ribbones and belly meat off.. then use needlenose pliers and pull the pin bones.... wha-la you have a princes cut fillet.

Freezer? Those were fish that came out of the freezer! haha ;)
How freezing it help, wont that just toughen the meat?
 
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halibuthitman

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freezing fish actually breaks down the meat... unless its flash frozen. By chilling and firming up the fish it helps with knife control and prevents too much tearing, as a rule you never want to fillet a salmon or steelhead fresh, for the highest qaulity of meat you should dress the fish then ice it in a cooler or fridge for at least 24-48 hrs before filleting it, this allows rigamortise to set in and the protiens in the meat bind and create a firmer texture. Freezing fish only affects the qaulity when the freezing procces was too slow, such as a freezer that is working poorly or perhaps it is too empty and it took much longer to freeze, as meat freezes the moisture in the cells freeze, the slower the freezing proccess, the larger the crystals that form, the larger the crystals the more extensive the damage to the cells softening the meat, ruining the texture and affecting the taste. blast or flash frozen fish has little or no damage to the meat becouse the freezing proccess is so fast, your costco fish had been flash frozen, it should have filleted better, so I would have to say you need smoother strokes with no sawing... and mabe a sharper knife.... or just doing 150 more fish... expirence produces the finest results, just catch more fish... and fillet them!:)
 
T

The Nothing

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I have to generally agree with whats been said, and I fillet fish for a living.

#1-sharp knife. I'm not talking the $10 fred meyer fillet knife (though it'll work once or twice). The knife I fillet with you can find on amazon.com for about $30. It's great quality knife, but i do spend a few minutes sharpening it every day on a 3-stone morton and hone the edge (sharpening steel) about every other fish.

#2-keep the fish on ice. Don't freeze it, but, like HHM suggested, dress and put the fish on the rocks in the fridge. I haven't had a problem with filleting after say 8-10 hours after catch. If you think you have problems, try filleting a fish that's still half frozen.

#3-smooth movements. Ideally you want to cut the fillet in one fatal swoop. Tip #1 helps with this. Also, keep in mind, when the fish is on the table, it's not flat. There's no reason to try to keep the blade perfectly flat. I do give it a lil angle to keep it along the spine, and this also help keep the cut all the way down the fish to the tail.
 
Raincatcher

Raincatcher

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Practice,practice,practice....

Practice,practice,practice....

FishSchooler;
Don't feel bad,Kevin,I once worked at Albertson's in the fish department and was required to fillet fish. The first few were all disasters! :wall: They looked more like sushi candidates. :redface::lol: I finally got the hang of it but it was not as easy as the experienced ones made it look. Take your time and don't try anything fancy. You will get better at it with practice.
 

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