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How to Fillet a Pike (Video)

How Do You Fillet a Pike? Ryan DeChaine of Wired2Fish Shows How.

Well, we just got back to the houseboat right now on Lake Nipigon. We got a couple nice pike tanked. We’re gonna eat ‘em for dinner tonight and I have a couple of basic tools in front of me that are really nice to have in any fish cleaning scenario, and they’re also portable too, so if you’re gonna go on a Canadian expedition like we’re on now and you’re gonna be cutting a lot of fish, it’s nice to have these available.

Number one is a Rapala® Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife. And I like these because I can make precision fillets out of walleye and pike and I can do it in short order. The Lithium Ion Battery has a lot of life and I can run it through a long time without a recharge. The power’s not an issue. You always gotta have a trusted and true Rapala Knife. This gets it done all the time and I prefer to use it for small bones like taking the y-bones out, and I’ll use these knives to generate a lot of really nice fillets quickly. So I’ll show you how I go about cutting a pike.

This is a perfect cutting pike. Four pounder. Beautiful fillets out of a cold clear lake like this. First thing I like to do is remove these anal fins back here, and I’ll show you why I do that. So you just go in with the electric knife. Okay as you can see there I got a nice hole in the belly, and what I like to do is end up with two really evenly proportioned fillets. So I’ll just take this knife and I’ll run it up here, and then I’ll do the same backward. Now you can see I got the fish evenly split and that’ll assist me in making the fillets about the same size. I’ve already made that cut so the only cut I’m concerned about right now is just riding this Electric Fillet Knife down the dorsal. So you just simply go way down, make your right angled turn, and it’s really, really simple. You can just ride the backbone with that electric fillet knife and look at the results. You can see how clean that fillet is and how little meat there is left on the actual fish. Then I’ll just do the same with the other side. You can see on this one I left the dorsal on there but the bottom line is: look at that fish, there’s not much left. I’m gonna go through, take my skin off. Then I’ll do a y-bone removal, and that’s it.

As far as ribcage removal, the electric knife works great with that, too. I like to just start at one end, generate kind of a cut line all the way down the whole fish. Then I’ll just start working on one end down, just ridin’ that ribcage, riding the underside of that ribcage. Get rid of all that belly fat. Look at that beauty. Just a beautiful pike fillet.

Tail piece on a pike, that’s always bone free. So I’ll always take that off, that’s the choice meat. That’s the one my Mrs. likes to have. Not that it matters because you’re going to remove all the bones anyway. But I start out taking the tail piece off. Then there’s this nice lateral line. This kind of breakpoint between the two fillets. What I like to do is just take my fillet knife and run it down that. It almost pulls apart naturally with your fingers, but it cuts very easily because it’s already a cleavage plane in the fillet. This was the belly portion. That’s completely bone free. That’s ready for the frying pan right now. I’ll just make that into two nice even portions so right off the bat I got a tail piece and two belly pieces of meat that have no bones.

Now for the y-bones, this is the back of the pike right here. So what I like to do, I can identify, I can see with my naked eye right now this row of y-bones. You can hear them with the knife. I like making a slight cut right along the y-bones here. I can hear the knife just slightly cutting them, and then I’ll just kind of angle the knife and ride those bones all the way down to get that really nice chicken finger piece that fries up so well. So there we go. There’s that back piece. Now that’s completely bone-free. That’s great finger food fresh off the frying pan or deep fat fryer. Then I’ll take this back piece and I’ll actually remove a nice chunk of meat that remains on the back side of the y-bones there. And that’ll give you my last good piece. So there’s that, and I’ll cut that in half to make two nice chunks. And then here’s what’s left: the y-bones. Not a lot of wasted meat. And that’s it. Pike ready for the frying pan and it’s gonna be good.

It’s a great way to enjoy fish. Come out here with some basic tools. Catch a few nice fish, bring ‘em back in with a can of beans and it makes for a real nice trip.

Check out Rapala’s Lithium Ion Cordless Fillet Knife or any of Rapala’s Electric Fillet Knives here at