Tuesday, January 11, 2011

If You Keep Em, They Gotta Be Cleaned

 If you keep em, they gotta be cleaned. If not by you, then by someone else, and you better hope they know what they're doing! When I was young and spending my summers at the family cottage, that chore was my mother's responsibility. Dad and I would spend every day out on the lake and by the time we'd made ourselves presentable upon our return, the fish would've already been magically transformed into dinner. Then one summer mom had to be away for a few weeks and dad and I were left to fend for ourselves. What can I say...that first day our catch sat on the kitchen table, staring back at us with all the malevolent glee of a schoolyard bully daring us to step over a line drawn in the sand, neither of us quite knowing where to start because, truth be told, our job was just to catch them. To this day, neither of us has spoken of that grisly afternoon.

  Later on in life, I'd learned the fine art of wielding a fillet knife. With all the finesse of a Ginsu Chef with Parkinson's, I'd adeptly turn the beautiful creatures of the deep into the things that nightmares are made of. Seriously though, the art of fillet is one born out of necessity, honed by the ratio of catch size verses mate's squeamishness, and mastered by overwhelming hunger. If only I'd had the research resources available today. Think of all those senselessly mangled "sea kittens", and how they could have been scarfed down effortlessly without the ever present danger of choking on a bone! Well fret no more, thank you inertnet, I present to you detailed instructions on how to bonlessly fillet just about any fish.

 Up until recently, I would only keep a pike when I was wilderness camping, and even then grudgingly because of all the bones. Since learning how to fillet them, snotrockets have become my favorite fish to eat.

 I've only gotten a handful of walleye in my life, but whether your cleaning or eating them, they're really just big perch. Oh yeah, they are delicious.

 Watch this guy closely, he's really amazing!

 I don't keep salmon or trout any more mainly because I don't enjoy oily fish. If I still had a smoker things might be different.

 I hope you find these instructions helpful

Filleting instructions courtesy of: Ontario Out Of Doors 
 To download or view full sized images go to my Photo Gallery


  1. Thanks for sharing, John. Great reminders!

  2. I love how your mom used to clean your fish. she sounds like quite the woman. I would have killed for that. haha...I'm looking but I don't think they make women like that anymore.

  3. Always a pleasure Mel.
    fish7, I think they still make them only their skills might be inversely proportional to looks.