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Old 07-23-2007, 05:05 PM   #1
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Default Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

Remove pelvic fins


Remove pectoral fin and slice at a steep angle toward the soft spot


Remove opposite pectoral fin and then the entire head


Remove belly flap keeping electric knife tight against top of belly cavity


Allow knife to exit just before anal fin


From base of tail remove finlets and anal fin


From base of tail remove dorsal finlets and second and first dorsal fins


Remove entire fillet keeping electric knife tight against the backbone


Do the same on remaining side


Start removing skin with electric knife


Continue until skin starts peeling easily then finish skinning with hands


Skinless fillet


Remove top loin with either the electric knife or a regular fillet knife


Top loin removed


Remove lower loin


Most of the bloodline is gone so trim what little remains


The process using the electric knife takes about 2 1/2 minutes. Removing the loins with the regular fillet knife takes about 1-1/2 minutes. Total time 4 minutes unless you make a wrong cut and then about 5 minutes.

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Old 07-23-2007, 05:09 PM   #2
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Wow!!! Very impressive, I am going to try that next time. Thanks for the post.
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

That looks great I must say
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:58 PM   #4
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How long do those blades stay sharp? That looks pretty easy that way. Nice work. TB
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

Nice!!
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

Looks worth a try. Nice post, thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

Nice job!! Very nice. Did someone show you that or did you experiment and get it on your own?

One question. Have you tried skinning the fish after taking off the fins but before cutting off the fillets? Then you could take the skin off and have something a bit more substantial to hold on to for the skinning process since the backbone would still be there.

That would definitely be faster than the method I use! And the fillets look very nice too!

I have plenty of fillet knives, but not an electric one. Do you like the model you have?

Thanks for the post.
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

Man that's slick - thanks for posting with pics... that really helps a tuna newb like me!
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Old 07-23-2007, 06:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

ron m,

Purely experimenting but I've done other fish like this since the 1980's. Skinning before cutting off the fillets is worth a try.

The fillet knife that I'm using is a 12VDC American Angler Ultra. I've done about 30 tuna and a hundred bottom fish with this knife and haven't sharpened it yet.

One thing I've noticed with this method is that the fillets are not twisted and turned, so gapping is lowered considerably. I have been waiting until rigor state is over, so that probably helps too.
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Old 07-23-2007, 07:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

Nice pics. :smile:
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Old 07-23-2007, 07:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

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ron m,

Purely experimenting but I've done other fish like this since the 1980's. Skinning before cutting off the fillets is worth a try.

The fillet knife that I'm using is a 12VDC American Angler Ultra. I've done about 30 tuna and a hundred bottom fish with this knife and haven't sharpened it yet.

One thing I've noticed with this method is that the fillets are not twisted and turned, so gapping is lowered considerably. I have been waiting until rigor state is over, so that probably helps too.
Jerry, Thanks for the info. I may have to get an electric knife, seems like it would make carking faster. I think you did very well with your "experimenting". I've tried to wait till rigor is over, but can't always do that if I clean them before I come home.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:54 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

Nice pics, nice finished product! I've used an electric knife for salmon and sturgeon, can't wait to try it on TUNA!
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

I have read here that cleaning tuna produces a lot of waist. While I don't have access to a tuna fishery here in British Columbia, we often buy whole tuna from the commercial boats so this is great info.

One question though, is that chunk of belly meat discarded? I have noticed the belly meat is often extremely fatty and quite fishy too so I wondered if you guys are tossing it???

Thanks
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:58 AM   #14
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Nice job!!!!!
You made it look so clean. I have never tried an electric knife but i do cut the fins off like you showed.
Thanks
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:59 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooey View Post
I have read here that cleaning tuna produces a lot of waist. While I don't have access to a tuna fishery here in British Columbia, we often buy whole tuna from the commercial boats so this is great info.

One question though, is that chunk of belly meat discarded? I have noticed the belly meat is often extremely fatty and quite fishy too so I wondered if you guys are tossing it???

Thanks
Smoked bellies are pretty tasty, no reason to toss them out.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

Nice.

Thanks for sharing
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:13 AM   #17
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

Wow another way to clean Tuna faster. The last time we were at the cleaning station it was a 2 hour session. I wonder if it would have saved us an hour or so?
When you say you wait until after Rigor state is over exactly how long does that take?

Thanks for the tips
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:15 AM   #18
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

Nice tutorial.
Can I drop mine over so you can get some more practice?
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:43 AM   #19
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

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How long do those blades stay sharp? That looks pretty easy that way. Nice work. TB
I haven't had a chance to try an electric on tuna yet (hopefully soon) but I've cut a lot of salmon, sturg, and especially ling & sea bass with mine. The blades still seem very sharp. I'd highly recommend buying one!
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:45 AM   #20
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

Great tutorial. Hope to give it a try this week. Thanks spoonplugger!
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:44 AM   #21
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Going to have to try that one
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:57 AM   #22
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When you say you wait until after Rigor state is over exactly how long does that take?
It depends on how well they are iced on the boat. If they have an internal temperature of about 45 degrees or less, upon returning to the dock, it will take about 3 days with them on ice to complete rigor. If the internal temperature is about 60 degrees when returning to the dock and then iced, then at some point the next day they may have completed rigor. If not, for sure by the second day. That is what I've come up with so far, still experimenting.
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:02 PM   #23
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One question though, is that chunk of belly meat discarded? I have noticed the belly meat is often extremely fatty and quite fishy too so I wondered if you guys are tossing it???
We do not discard the belly. Here is a few things that you can do with it:

1. Use for fish bait after cutting in strips.

2. Put a small amount in each jar while canning the loins.

3. Smoke it, and either eat as is or add a little to tuna salad.

Its actually very tasty and I love it. Some like it and some don't--my Wife can't take it.
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:22 PM   #24
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It depends on how well they are iced on the boat. If they have an internal temperature of about 45 degrees or less, upon returning to the dock, it will take about 3 days with them on ice to complete rigor. If the internal temperature is about 60 degrees when returning to the dock and then iced, then at some point the next day they may have completed rigor. If not, for sure by the second day. That is what I've come up with so far, still experimenting.
Another reason I want to start carking at home - I'm assuming that when rigor is complete they are limp again. If not what is your indication that rigor has completed?

Also I'm assuming that this could also be done with a serrated knife as opposed to an electric knife
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:38 PM   #25
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Another reason I want to start carking at home - I'm assuming that when rigor is complete they are limp again. If not what is your indication that rigor has completed?

Also I'm assuming that this could also be done with a serrated knife as opposed to an electric knife
Yes, they are as limp as a tuna can get. Next time you spike your tuna and he is laying there limp, lift his pectoral fin and move it around and that is what it should react like when rigor is over. Another thing is to open and close its mouth after spiked and it should react the same after rigor.

Serrated knife? Yes, I've used one to remove the head and fins. But, it is a lot easier with the electric, especially when removing the fillet.
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:01 PM   #26
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Reef Diver,

I think Spoonplugger may have more experience, but I have found if the Tuna is cooled slowley, vs packed in slush salt ice, for the first few hours to allow rigor to get a good start then lots of times rigor will be completed by the next day/afternoon.

Also, just FYI, with Salmon, most commerical processors want the fish to be cleaned and whole and on ice for at least 3 days before they start processing it. Especially if they are going to be smoking the fish.
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:43 PM   #27
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Great post!

I have a knife like that and was wondering about using it for tuna. I just didn't have a clue on where to start. Thanks for the great pics and tutorial!
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:23 PM   #28
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That looks awesome.....

I have always thought about doing this with an electric knife..... Looks like I should give it a try....
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Old 07-25-2007, 08:45 AM   #29
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I hadn't looked before,is there someplace in Depot at the cleaning station to plug in a electric knife or is this something best done at home??
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:23 AM   #30
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ron m,

Purely experimenting but I've done other fish like this since the 1980's. Skinning before cutting off the fillets is worth a try.

.
Yeah, before removing the filet from the fish just pull the skin off. Very easy and much quicker, IMHO!!
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:26 AM   #31
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I hadn't looked before,is there someplace in Depot at the cleaning station to plug in a electric knife or is this something best done at home??
Ya but its up by the lights
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:27 AM   #32
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I hadn't looked before,is there someplace in Depot at the cleaning station to plug in a electric knife or is this something best done at home??
Good question! I use a "Multi-Function JumpStarter/Air Compressor Plus AC/DC Power Supply" unit. Black & Decker makes them and another is made by Vector. There are a ton of them out there. I bought mine at Costco. Wal-mart has them. They range from $40 to $150 depending on what you want. The main thing is to find one that has the 12VDC cigarette plug type outlet. They work great. I used to use a 115VAC model but now strictly 12VDC.
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Old 07-25-2007, 09:29 AM   #33
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I like to take the skin off with a knife like you would a halibut. That electric knife looks like it makes quick work getting the loins off though.
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Old 07-25-2007, 10:52 AM   #34
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Guess I will throw it in the truck just incase.Thanks for the post,it should help cut down on the time.
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Old 07-26-2007, 02:54 PM   #35
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The fillet knife that I'm using is a 12VDC American Angler Ultra... .
Spoonplugger, thanks for the excellent photo sequence!

Do any stores around here carry those American Angler electric knives?
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Old 07-26-2007, 06:59 PM   #36
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I found a cordless model today by rapala...$79 at bobs.

Didn't check how many v's though.
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Old 07-26-2007, 08:38 PM   #37
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Spoonplugger, thanks for the excellent photo sequence!

Do any stores around here carry those American Angler electric knives?
Sportsman's have them. Joe's should. Any good 12VDC electric knife should work. I saw one, can't remember the brand at Wal-Mart.
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:07 AM   #38
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So another couple questions about rigor, just to clarify as that concept is new to me. Yesterday I fished out of Ilwaco with Second Season. We took great care to bleed quickly, then into a slush bath of shave ice and salt water, then packed them in shaved ice. Didn't check the internal temp, but I can't imagine getting them much cooler. I have mine packed in shaved ice, in a cooler, basically a solid block. I was going to cark them today, but sounds like I should be waiting until rigor is done? Any quality loss by waiting for until they are out of rigor? Also, on fish not gutted, but well chilled, and packed in ice, as some of the commercial fishermen do, any thoughts on waiting for rigor to pass (2 or 3 days) without gutting?

Thanks
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Old 07-29-2007, 04:06 PM   #39
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So another couple questions about rigor, just to clarify as that concept is new to me. Yesterday I fished out of Ilwaco with Second Season. We took great care to bleed quickly, then into a slush bath of shave ice and salt water, then packed them in shaved ice. Didn't check the internal temp, but I can't imagine getting them much cooler. I have mine packed in shaved ice, in a cooler, basically a solid block. I was going to cark them today, but sounds like I should be waiting until rigor is done? Any quality loss by waiting for until they are out of rigor? Also, on fish not gutted, but well chilled, and packed in ice, as some of the commercial fishermen do, any thoughts on waiting for rigor to pass (2 or 3 days) without gutting?Thanks
Here is a link to a thread where carking during rigor is discussed:

https://www.ifish.net/board/showthrea...75#post1474775

My present comments: RvW was a cook and purchased literally thousands of pounds of fish. Long story short--about this subject, he is very knowledgeable.

Loss of quality? No. Carking during rigor can cause excessive gapping and less firm fillets. Without gutting? As long as immediate chilling, maybe no major problem. When a fish begins to spoil it is the belly cavity and gill area that go first. My preference is to always gut and gill a fish asap.
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Old 07-30-2007, 06:58 AM   #40
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Many thanks for the tutorial and pics and all the follow-up answered questions.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:38 PM   #41
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Many thanks for the tutorial and pics and all the follow-up answered questions.
I've been using electric knife for rockfish for years...never tried on tuna. At home, I use the 120 volt AC model. On the boat, I use the 12V model...I just cut off the cigarette lighter plug and put on a Scotty downrigger plug. I can plug in at either side as I have two electric Scotty's.
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:44 PM   #42
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

I've tried this method and while I don't use it exactly as Spoonpluger posted it, i now use a variation of it. A combo of what i did before and what he posted. I haven't yet bought an electric knife, but I have an extremely sharp serrated knife that i use for parts of this method. I hope to get an electric fillet knife to use. i sugget you try this method and see what parts of it you want to combine with the method you presently use.

Thanks Jerry for your post, the info you provided has been very useful!
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:33 AM   #43
fyshndad
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Default Re: Tuna Carking With An Electric Knife (Pics)

Right after this was 1st posted I went out and bought an electric knife
It did make fast work out of carking but I felt it wasted too much meat as I couldn't get the blade close enough to the bones.

Maybe I am just picky but I hate wasting meat and would rather take a few more minutes on each TUNA to get the best fillets possible
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