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Old 04-06-2004, 12:38 PM   #1
eyeFISH
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Default Fillet-o-Fish ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Someone asked me to post step by step instructions on the eyeFISH method of filleting a salmon/steelhead that I had posted on the PP Board. Wish I had a fresh springer to demonstrate with, but a vacuum-frozen Kenai River sockeye from last summer will have to do (yeah, planked sockeye for dinner tonight!) This method works for a fish in the round (ungutted) or one that has been cleaned. The demo is on a 9# sockeye minus head and guts:

1) Make a long deep cut down the lateral line right down to the spine, then several cross cuts, depending on the size of the fish.




2) Start on the tail end, and begin removing fillets by sweeping your knife from the spine toward either the belly or the back. Keep your knife on the bones and turn the piece as you go.






3) Keep going in similar fashion, removing each piece while working your way toward the head end of the fish.









4) Flip it over and do it all over again.






5) You should end up with a featherweight carcass that is nearly transparent, except for the meat between the first 10-12 ribs which are sort of flattened. It is impossible to salvage this meat with a fillet knife alone.... gotta cook up the carcass and pick it out with chop sticks.






6) Here's the finished product. As you can see, there is VERY little waste with this method. Some guys may not like the fact that you don't end up with one intact fillet per side, but honestly, who can eat an entire fillet all by himself... especially when you are cutting something as big as a 50# king? This method gives you nice generous dinner-sized portions to satisfy the largest of appetites.



Give it a try! You'll be surprised at how easy and reproducible this method can be.

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Old 04-06-2004, 12:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Way to go Dr!

The quality of your posts are a real treat keep it up
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Old 04-06-2004, 12:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Wow, thanks for this post. This is sort of how I do it, but I have been cutting through the backbone. On a springer, it's fairly easy to cut through the backbone, but on a fall nook of any size, I have to saw with a serrated knife.

I'm going to use this method, thank you!

I have to bonk first though.

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Old 04-06-2004, 12:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

I'll have to give this method a shot with the next fish I get. I like how it breaks down into meal sized pieces and especially that there is so little waste to it. I don't catch enough fish to waste any part of it.

Good post!
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Old 04-06-2004, 12:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Great post with great pics. You make it look so easy. Like the others, I will give this a try when/if I get into some springers.

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Old 04-06-2004, 12:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Cool post, and very nice pics (except they made me hungry). I'll try your method on my next springer.
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Great post! If I ever catch a springer I'll try this out.
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

First rate photos and instructions!

Now if I can get past step 1. Catch Springer. :grin:
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

I looked all over the web for the right method of filleting fish, and this is by far the best I've found. None of the other info I found included the pictures, as you did (that is, unless you want to buy a "Terrific, detailed video for the low, low cost of only $34.95!".

Thanks for the information!
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:26 PM   #10
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

WOW, never seen that. Thank you very much.

Nice article too in STS.

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Old 04-06-2004, 01:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Wow now thats works great. This has to be one of the best how to ideas I have seen.

Does this get rid of the pisky pin bones?

Thank you for sharing!!!
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Thanks for the illustration and lesson. Sure will make my job easier on the next huge springer I catch tonight. I have usually just fillet the hole thing and then cut it up like that but your method leave more meat for the BBQ and less for the maggots. I like it. Thanks again.
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

I've never seen it done that way! Very nice. I'm gonna have to give this a try if I can ever catch a fish

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Old 04-06-2004, 01:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Thanks for taking the time to put this together, eyeFISH!

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Old 04-06-2004, 01:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics

Great post but one question - anyone have any idea how to deal with the pin bones other than to pick them out? thanks
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Old 04-06-2004, 02:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics

They can be filleted out, but you will dissecting the fillet again when you do so. It is really easy to find the row of pin bones, just run fillet knife along that line on both sides and pull that strip out. It is nice to do for those you really like who don't like bones in the fillets. Personally, I usually leave them in to keep the fillet intact. Great post, Eyefish
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Old 04-06-2004, 02:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics

that is so cool. i saw them doing that at buoy 10 a few years ago. they did it so fast i didn't get it.

thx!
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Old 04-06-2004, 03:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics

Thats neat way of doing it . I steak sholders to the dorsel. Then fillet rest .That way avoiding the pin bones in the fillets.
When you do fillet a whole fish ,I read about using forcepts to pluck the pin bones out to make them boneless.
But my carcase has never been that transperant . My wife boiled that into soup stock so nothing got waisted .
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Old 04-06-2004, 03:38 PM   #19
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

That is Great. I am going to try that.

I also nominate this post to be moved over to the tips and techniques board. This is good stuff.

Thank you!
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Old 04-06-2004, 03:50 PM   #20
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Quote:

I also nominate this post to be moved over to the tips and techniques board. This is good stuff.

Thank you!
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Old 04-06-2004, 03:51 PM   #21
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Very cool! That's one of the better "sharing" posts I've seen here! Thank you! Sockeye looks very nice too - did you just vacuum pack that thing whole, headed and gutted? It looks great.
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Old 04-06-2004, 04:10 PM   #22
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

This just may be the all-time, #1 best tip ever posted on Ifish. 'Cept, of course, for the ****** prawn spinner set-up.

Thanks Doc!
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Old 04-06-2004, 04:36 PM   #23
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

My buddy in Alaska does it something like that. It works really well. I just am not that good. We smoked the fish first then felt for the pin bones and pulled them with pliers before vaccum sealing. (The pin bones poke holes in the bags) I swear he could fillet about 10 fish to my one and get more meat off the carcuss. He filleted a 135 lb. halibut in about 10 mins.

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Old 04-06-2004, 04:59 PM   #24
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics

Great Post! Thanks will try it, if I ever get a fish to try it on.
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Old 04-06-2004, 09:35 PM   #25
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics

How timely! I'll try that right now.
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Old 04-06-2004, 09:56 PM   #26
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics

Hey Doc...thanks for bringing this over.
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Old 04-07-2004, 01:14 AM   #27
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics

Quote:
Sockeye looks very nice too - did you just vacuum pack that thing whole, headed and gutted? It looks great.
Just like you said... headed, gutted, and vaccuum packed whole. The only thing that freezer burns is the dorsal and tail fin. If you use a Foodsaver, just make sure to let the skin air dry for a while, then slide the fish into a long bag, decapitated end first. This will eliminate the possibility of blood getting sucked out of the cut end of the backbone and into your sealing area before all the air has been sucked out of the belly cavity. Any fluid drawn into the sealing area will not permit a vaccuum-tight seal.
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Old 04-07-2004, 07:00 AM   #28
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Very nicely put together. I'll have to give it a try. I usually end up butchering the fish. Thanks for the info!
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Old 04-07-2004, 07:15 AM   #29
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Well I just tried it, and I think I have a new method. It seems like it would be easier on a larger fish than on the small springer I just filleted, but it worked very well and I was AMAZED at how little I wasted.
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Old 04-07-2004, 07:34 AM   #30
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics

Leave it to a surgeon to filet a fish like that! I could't hope in my wildest dream to recreate anything that looked that good!

Now let's see some detailed eye pics! :grin:
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Old 04-07-2004, 07:44 AM   #31
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Thanks Teacher

:smile:Smily :smile:

Care to show us how to catch one now.
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Old 04-07-2004, 07:45 AM   #32
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thanks for the post. Always interested in finding out how other folks do things..
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Old 04-07-2004, 07:48 AM   #33
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This method has to make it to the GALLERY and filed under tech tips! Same with Nanooks post last year on prawn spinners with hootchies (sp). Lets build that tech board up. Fileting, riggings, wrapping oars, polishing aluminum boats and on and on....
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Old 04-07-2004, 07:57 AM   #34
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

What a great post.
Thanks so much for the fine presentation of totally useful infromation,
NOW THAT'S WHAT IFISH IS ALL ABOUT!
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Old 04-07-2004, 10:15 AM   #35
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)



Now this post is truly what this website should be about! Excellent sequence of steps!
Thank you eyeFISH!

Brett
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Old 04-07-2004, 10:20 AM   #36
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

EYEFISH
I have cut meat for 23 years. This is the best example of filleting eye have ever seen, even with my good eye. SERIOUS, no shrink whatsoever. I have several Seafood service departments and eye would hire you anytime.
:grin:
GREAT JOB!!!!!!
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Old 04-07-2004, 10:21 AM   #37
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Thats awesome...

I will certainly try this...
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Old 04-07-2004, 01:23 PM   #38
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I'm going to your method on my next fish. Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2004, 06:49 PM   #39
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RiverKeeper

Glad to hear you had success with it!

That's really what makes it worthwhile to put a post like this one together.

Hopefully I get to "practice" on my first springer this weekend.
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Old 04-07-2004, 09:14 PM   #40
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Okay, here is my attempt. Please remember I am NOT the keeper-of-the-knife. Novice attempt and I am most pleased.

Take one fresh springer in the round.

And start.

First side was great.

Second side? Not so much,

All in all? I love it.


If I can do it? Anybody can. Thanks eyeFISH!!!!
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Old 04-08-2004, 01:28 PM   #41
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Nice job on your first attempt, STGRule... keep it up! Glad to see the method is working well in your hands.
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Old 04-08-2004, 02:05 PM   #42
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

I tried this the other night on a springer of about 20 lbs and was very impressed with how much easier it was this way.

I will probably continue to filet the old way on fish under say 15 lbs. But man,, for those big fall fish, this is THEEEEEE method to use.

Thanks Eyefish.
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Old 04-08-2004, 04:41 PM   #43
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Nice pictures. Great info. but I have strong doubts about anyone who admits they like Lutefisk and belongs to a team Lutefisk . When my folks would cook it, I would slip into the house, holding my breath and my hand out for a few bucks to go get a hamburger. Neighbors five blocks away could be seen gagging and moving out. Wars have been fought over lesser smells. Even the cats all ran away. The sewer pipes all rotted away from the lye. Salmon yes, Lutefisk no. :tongue:
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Old 04-08-2004, 05:52 PM   #44
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Hawgcatcher, I don't actually EAT it. I don't even allow it in the house. It just a part of my heritage. I haven't had to smell that odor since I was a little kid and hope to never again.
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Old 04-08-2004, 07:24 PM   #45
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

FANTASTIC!!!!!
I've been asking dawhunt how it's done. Now I know.
Thanks again!!!!
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Old 04-08-2004, 07:27 PM   #46
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Nice pics!

Laying a paper towel down will keep that thing from sliding around as you cut on it - also helps the clean up.

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Old 04-08-2004, 09:26 PM   #47
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Amazed my wife (as usual)
Looky what I can do.
Did not do the lateral cut but worked great!

Thanks for the tip!
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Old 04-08-2004, 10:41 PM   #48
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

thanks eyefish.. this is the reason i love this web site... your unselfish sharing of knowledge is much apprecaited.. joco
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Old 04-08-2004, 11:10 PM   #49
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Okay, so the filets are gorgeous, but that almost-transparent remaining carcass is absolutely world class!

There are going to be a lot of disappointed Dungeness crabs out there if enough people learn from this.
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Old 04-09-2004, 08:27 AM   #50
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Man! If TIlla can do it, anybody can.
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Old 10-13-2004, 11:18 PM   #51
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics

Quote:
I will probably continue to filet the old way on fish under say 15 lbs. But man,, for those big fall fish, this is THEEEEEE method to use.

Thanks Eyefish.
Well, here's a "before and after" example of how it works on a fall fish:

[b][i]Here's a BEFORE shot of the first big'un of the season:


Here he is post-op day #1 AFTER a trip to my "operating" room:
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Old 10-14-2004, 12:03 AM   #52
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Very nice write up!!! thanks!!
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Old 10-14-2004, 05:55 AM   #53
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

I was the benefactor of this technique last year. Warren K. did the lateral line snip n tuck to a big Tillamook fall fish. He did not make the vertical cuts, so we had 2 foot slabs.

Heading down there this morning
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Old 10-14-2004, 08:31 AM   #54
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Thanks eyeFISH, that looks very interesting, I will give it a try. I fillet the convential method, which leaves alot more meat on the bones. Try this sometime, I saw it on the cooking show Iron Chef. After filleting the meat off the bones, take a spoon and scrape the remaining meat off the bones, retain meat in a bowl. Now stir fry the meat and veggies with rice, dinner is served. I call it Salmon Rice.


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Old 10-14-2004, 08:58 AM   #55
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics

Thanks for reposting that. I usually do the typical fillet which results in scavenging the left on the bone meat. Your method is E Fishient.
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Old 10-14-2004, 09:09 PM   #56
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Thanks for taking the time to post that!!!

Looks like a good method for big fish. I filet the traditional method (without cutting the rib bones) and then quickly go back over the carcass to remove the meat from the spine. You wind up with a solid plank and some nice thin strips that have lots of uses - baked or fried and tossed with pasta, scrambled with eggs, or best is to put it on pizza before you bake it (yum!!!).

Your method gets all the meat off too - just in chunks. I wonder which is faster? Can't wait to try it.
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Old 10-14-2004, 09:38 PM   #57
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Since I never actually catch a fish, this is interesting reading. But not useful for me.

Do you have any pics of filleting a 15 piece bucket of KFC?

Mark and the dog.
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Old 12-09-2004, 09:17 AM   #58
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

i ment to give a reply about a month ago . Thank you for this post no more mutilated fish around here the week prior to reading this to very nice fish went in the freezer not cut so well .This post came on the same day i returned with my first coastal fall salmon i filleted it up beautifuly useing this method thank you again . I WISH I NEW THE OTHER WAY ALSO BUT THIS AS YOU SAID WORKED GREAT ON THE BIG ONE.
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Old 12-09-2004, 09:36 AM   #59
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

Amaaaazzzzzing!
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Old 12-09-2004, 09:47 AM   #60
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Default Re: FILLET-O-FISH ( kind of long with beacoup pics)

An old comercial fisherman took it one step further about not wasteing any of the fish . He would take the bones and cook them on the barbecue . Use a fork and it is wonderfull . I do this all of the time now .
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