Cutting And Preparing Different Species Of Fish For Table Or For Bait



“I saw that you guys post a lot of recipes and saw some posts about you cutting up some tuna. I was wondering if there are specific ways to cut different kinds of fish and which ways are the best to prepare fish for eating? Love the show you guys! Keep it up”

Thanks for the question. We cut a lot of fish. Some for eating and some for bait. In the picture at the top we are cutting a bonito into chunks by cutting in a checkerboard pattern then cutting those pieces off the carcass. We will use these chunks for chumming and for baiting our hooks for a host of different species and applications.

Each fish has a way that it is best filleted or cleaned for eating. One thing that is in common with each of these is that you will need a very sharp fillet knife. As you get more involved, you can move from one knife to several which are slightly more specialized for each task. Here are some examples:

  1. Big Tuna - We will “loin out” the big Yellowfin Tuna and then remove the skin. This will leave a perfect piece of protein for you to either use for sushi, Tuna Poke or steaks on the grill.

  2. Skin on fish - Snappers, Redfish and other fish that have heavy scales can be prepared with the skin on. We simply season the meat and then put the fillet scales down on the grill.

  3. Skin off fish - Many fish will be far better with the skin removed. Dolphin or Mahi are easy to pull the skin off like a piece of tape. With a super sharp knife, you can also remove the skin in a more traditional way with the knife held to the table and the fillet pulled across the blade .

  4. Bones - No one wants bones in their fillet. As you get better and better at filleting, bones become a rarity. It is easy to remove the fillet from each side of the fish and then trim the fillet to remove rib bones and any errant bones you may have included when filleting the fish. A sharp knife like the 6 inch Bubba Blade is great for trimming and leaving a clean and symmetrical fillet.

Most importantly, get some good knives like our Bubba Blades. Then go catch some great fish. Get the fish on ice or in an ice water slurry immediately. Have ice ready at the cleaning table and start working on your fillet skills. Put the fillets back on ice rather than on the table in the hot sun as soon as possible. Taking care of your catch will result in a far better dish on the table.


See you next time on Into The Blue

Capt. Scott Walker & Capt. Steve Rodger