Filleting a Sunfish

April 23, 2013 11:23 am0 commentsViews: 458

I keep a fish scaler in my tackle box. I grew up scaling my sunfish and crappies and often still do.  The thought of filleting them seemed odd to me at first as these are not big fish.



However there is a lot to be said for a nice batch of potato sized sunny chips, and the fact that they are bone free is a real plus. Particularly if you have fish shy eaters who use fear of bones to dampen your enjoyment of a great fish feast.

Filleting takes a little practice, and a sharp fillet knife. If you have the knife and it’s sharp, there is nothing better than practicing on a batch of freshly caught panfish.

In the video below, Mark Buesgens does a nice job of showing the process of filleting a sunfish.  It’s not hard at all – just takes a bit of practice. Once you have mastered the art you may never scale a sunny again.

And if you have scaled more than a few, you will probably not miss the inevitable spine pokes I seem to get in the process.

One little point to make. Mark mentions it when he does the second side in the video, but rather than making the first cut straight up and down, I like to angle back to get more of the meat on the side of the head.  It’s thicker there and no sense in wasting it.


One of the most important items of course is the knife you choose to use. See my post about slecting fish filet knives



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