How to Fillet a Fish Like a Pro: Essential Steps and Top Tips


Are you looking to learn how to fillet a fish? Whether you’re an experienced hunter, angler, or someone who’s just starting, you know that knowing how to clean your catch after a fishing trip is essential. An unskilfully handled piece of deliciously prepared fish can very quickly become a squishy and unappealing mess.

Fortunately, learning to fillet a fish doesn’t have to be intimidating. Even someone who doesn’t consider themselves particularly handy can clean their catch properly and safely. You’ll need a few essentials and some state-of-the-art know-how.

Keep reading to learn how to fillet a fish like a pro and get the best of your catch.

Gather Your Supplies

To prepare a fish for filleting, you will need a few supplies. A sharp knife is the most critical tool and a cutting board. You will also need a pair of pliers and a bowl or plate to put the fillets on. If you have a fillet glove, that can also be helpful but is not necessary.

You can check these fillet knives to find the perfect knife to preserve your catch during the filleting process.

Prepare and Clean Your Fish

Place the fish on the cutting board, and using your knife, cut the head down to the cutting board. Be sure to cut through the bone. Next, cut the belly of the fish from the head to the tail.

You may have to remove the intestines at this point. To do so, make a small cut near the anal fin and pull out the intestines. Rinse them off with cold water.

Remove the Skin and Bones

Start by making a slicing cut along one side of the fish, just behind the gill cover. Then, using a sharp knife, make a lengthwise cut along the fish’s backbone, following the body’s contour to the tail.

Next, make minor cuts along the rib cage to release the flesh from the bones. Finally, use your knife to carefully peel the skin away from the fillet, starting at the tail end and working your way up to the head.

Determine the Filleting Technique to Use

There are a few different techniques that you can use for fileting a fish, and the best one to use will depend on the type and size of fish being filleted. For smaller fish, you can fillet the whole fish at once.

For larger fish, you can cut the fillet into smaller pieces by first removing the head, then cutting the fillet into portions. You can then fillet each portion individually.

You can also prepare your fish in a Y-shaped or Butterfly fillet. Whatever technique you use, you can create cuts that fit your needs.

Fillet a Fish Like a Pro Today

If you want to ensure that your fish tastes its best, you should take the time to prepare and fillet a fish properly. This will help to remove any unwanted fish bones and make the flesh more tender.

Plus, it’ll make your meal look more impressive when served. So next time you’re headed for a fishing trip, be sure to bring along a filleting knife to prepare your fresh catch!

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