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Filleting Freshwater Fish

Filleting Freshwater Game Fish



Whether you favor the soft-water fishing season, the hard-water season, or both, Filleting Freshwater Game Fish: Northern, Walleye, Bass and Bluegill is the perfect “how to” for every angler who desires to prepare their catch – for an immediate trip to the sauté pan or for a stay in your freezer.

Having fished and cleaned his catch from the waters of the upper-Midwest for over forty years, R. Karl shares his knowledge, providing everything you need to know: proper equipment, step-by-step instructions – including exactly how to remove those pesky “y-bones” from northern pike – and includes a special chapter on how to remove the skin and wrap/prepare your catch prior to freezing.

Complete with easy-to-follow instructions and Illustrated with actual full-color photographs of the process, this book is a must-have addition to any serious angler’s collection.  View R. Karl's recommended equipment for fish filleting.


Excerpt from the Filleting Smallmouth Bass chapter:

I don’t remember when I caught my first smallmouth bass and I certainly don’t remember the first one that I ate. I do remember the first one that I cleaned: it was a disaster. I tried to clean it the same way that I had learned to clean a walleye. Boy, was that a mistake! The rib cage bones are very thick – even on the smaller fish – and as tough as nails, literally. I quickly learned that trying to clean bass this way only leads to a dull knife and rib cage bones that are almost impossible to remove without wasting a whole lot of fish. Here’s hoping that the following method - and especially the pictures – will help you to become a master at cleaning one of the tougher game fish to both catch…and clean!

Start as you would normally start: place the fish belly side towards you and fish head on your left.  Note that this description is for a right-handed person – flip the fish 180° and start with the head on your right if you are left-handed. 

Make the first cut down and into the fish just behind the pectoral fin. 

Comments from readers who have used these instructions:

"I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your article on cleaning bass.  I found your article very helpful in cleaning my first bass.  (I have only cleaned catfish before today.)  The description and pictures were both great. (W.M.)

"Thanks for your fish cleaning tips!" (S.G.)

"Good exhibits on filleting." (T & L)


Recipes ideas for smallmouth bass:

If you are a little adventurous and want to try a dish that is to die for, my recipe for Bass Veronique will do the trick.   Although I've tried other types of fish, small mouth bass seems to have the character to stand up to this dish.



Have a great smallmouth bass photo?  Post it on our Facebook page!





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