Cleaning a Redfish

01
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Initial Cut

Initial Cut
The initial cut cleaning a redfish. Photo by Ron Brooks

Make a cut with a sharp knife from behind the gills down to the stomach portion of the fish. This cut should go to but not through the backbone.

02
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Starting the Filet Cut

Starting the Filet
Starting the cut that will make the first filet. Photo by Ron Brooks

After cutting down to the backbone, turn the knife toward the tail and begin cutting down and alongside the backbone. Several heavy rib cage bones will have to be cut at first. The the meat is cut away from the backbone down to the tail.

03
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Continuing the Cut of the First Side of the Fish

Continuing the Cut
Continuing the cut on the first side of the fish. Photo by Ron Brooks

Continue to make your cut toward the tail. Be careful not to cut this filet completely away from the fish. Leave it attached at the tail.

04
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Starting the Skinning Cut

Starting the Skinning
Starting the skinning cut on the first side of the redfish. Photo by Ron Brooks

With the filet still attached at the tail, place your knife flat and slightly down and into the meat. With a slight sawing motion, move your knife at this slightly downward angle back toward the tail. This separates the skin from the fish filet.

05
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Continuing the Skinning Cut

Continuing the Skinning Cut
Continuing to skin the filet from the first side. Photo by Ron Brooks

While holding the skin with one hand, continue running your knife in a sawing motion under the meat of the filet. The meat will separate and leave a very nice filet. To cut out the rib cage bones for a boneless filet, first find them with your fingers. They will run from the middle of the filet down and through the stomach portion. Place your knife along the edge of the bone line and cut this portion off the filet.

06
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Finished Filet Cut on Side One

Finishing the Skinning Cut
Finishing the skinning cut on the first side. Photo by Ron Brooks

A finished filet will have all the meat. Skinning fish in this manner takes practice to learn not to leave meat on the skin.

07
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Beginning Side Two

Beginning Side Two
Making the initial cut on the second side of the fish. Photo by Ron Brooks

Start with a gill cut just like side one.

08
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Finishing Side Two

Finishing Side Two
Finishing the filet cut on side 2. Photo by Ron Brooks

Finish the filet the same as side one - be sure to leave the tail connected.

09
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Side Two Skinning Cut

Side Two Skinning Cut
Making the skinning cut on side two. Photo by Ron Brooks

Begin the skinning cut the same way we did on side one. Turn the knife flat and slightly down. Use a sawing motion and push the knife toward the tail.

10
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Finishing the Skinning on Side Two

Finishing the Skinning on Side Two
Finishing the Skinning on Side. Photo by Ron Brooks

With the second filet done, you are left with a rather neat carcass, all things considered, and two very nice clean filets!