Few summer pastimes are as satisfying as fishing — it’s a great activity to do with your kids, makes for an excellent microadventure, and harkens to our manly imperative to be providers. What makes it even more satisfying is being able to fillet and cook your catch for a real water-to-table experience.
This illustrated guide is a useful starting point that will be accurate for most fish; some varieties have unique methods, but in those instances you’ll likely have someone with more expertise with you. Get out there and bring some dinner home!
- Safety first. Put the fish on a non-slip surface (a log in the wild; a cutting board at home). Use a sharp fillet knife, always cutting away from yourself.
- Just behind the gills and pectoral fin, make an incision down to the backbone.
- Turn the knife horizontally, and using the backbone as your guide, cut all the way down to the tail.
- Flip fish over, and repeat on the other side.
- To cut the skin off, make an incision a half-inch up from the tail end, and slice carefully away from yourself between the flesh and skin.
- Carefully remove the pin bones with tweezers.
Like this illustrated guide? Buy the poster!
Hat tip to AoM food guy Matt Moore for consulting on this piece.