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How to Fillet a Walleye (Video)


How do you fillet a walleye? Professional Guide, Tony Roach, shows us the cuts to make for bone-free walleye fillets.


Hi, I'm Tony Roach. We're here on Mille Lacs Lake, one of the most premier walleye fisheries in the country. You know, I've filleted countless numbers of walleyes and I'm going to show you the easiest way how to fillet a walleye with the minimal amount of waste.

I'm going to start with Rapala's Fish 'n Fillet® knife, probably one of the most recognizable fillet knives on the market today. And I'm going to just start with one simple cut here. Okay right behind the gills and angle backwards towards the spine. Stop. And then I'm just going to turn my knife until I reach just behind the dorsal fin and then I'm going to cut all the way through. Like that. It's important to feel down the rib cage. I like to go right around the ribs. ...You kinda feel around those ribs. Slide down the rib cage with the knife, like so. And then boom, you have your fillet. Now this is almost 100% completely boneless except for one thing. There's thin y-bones in here. You can feel the y-bones across this lateral line. You just simply slice down the knife. Pull those y-bones out. Now I'm going to slide the knife at an angle, right along the skin, making that a 100% boneless walleye fillet. I'm just going to flip the fish over. Do the same thing.

Once I have my boneless fillets there’s two things I like to cut out: the cheeks and the butterflies. And I’ll show you just quickly you can simply make a couple of cuts and have a little bit more meat. You know the cheeks are kinda like the fillet mignon of the walleye if you will. Let me show you. Just a little bit of extra meat you can get out of your walleye and I tell you what. Once you’ve tried a butterfly and the cheeks, you’re really going to love the flavor.

Rapala's Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife is my favorite electric knife to use. You know, it’s the fastest, most durable knife on the market today and I tell you what, I am a true believer in using electric. I’ll showing you a real quick and easy way that you can run an electric knife with minimal amount of waste.

I like to fillet my walleyes with the Electric Fillet Knife much like I do with the conventional knife where I’ll start, I’ll go towards the head, work down the backbone, and work parallel with the spine, and as soon as I get past the dorsal fin, slide the knife in and then come right around the rib cage. You know a lot of anglers like the cut through the rib cage. I like to go around the rib cage. Minimal amount of cutting and minimal amount of bones to take out afterwards. And then I simply run my fingers right down the lateral line, taking the pin bones out here, halving the tail, angling my knife right along the edge, making a perfect walleye fillet.

This is the fastest electric fillet knife that I have used bar none, and it cuts with these great cuts. Whether you choose Rapala's Heavy Duty Electric Fillet Knife or Rapala's Fish 'n Fillet Fixed Blades, just know that they’re the best knives on the market for minimizing the amount of waste. Look at that fish right there. Hey I’m Tony Roach. Check out all of Rapala’s filleting products on Rapala.com.