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Inshore Saltwater Fishing Discussion Discuss inshore fishing, tackle, and tactics here!

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  #1  
Old 10-20-2014, 08:10 AM
legallimits legallimits is offline
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Default Cleaning techniques

So I'm used to fishing Big Lake and keeping several 16-19 inch reds that are easy to clean with an electric knife. Fishing VBay, I'm finding a whole lot more reds that are large pocket red or bulls. Those suckers can still be good eating, if prepared right, but they are always a pain to clean.

When it comes to trout, I've stopped using an electric knife. Following the lead of a couple guides I know, I've realized that I'm just as fast with a good filet knife as I am with electric, and I end up with a better filet.

But on the big reds, even the electric knife isn't strong enough. I end up taking several of them home to hit them with the Sawzall with a nine inch wood blade. Anybody got a better method? Perhaps a different way of cleaning to avoid the scales? I'd love to hear it, especially if it allows me to clean them when I'm out there so that I don't have to bring the fish guts home.
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2014, 09:25 AM
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Serrated Dexter
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  #3  
Old 10-20-2014, 09:56 AM
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^^^^^ This
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  #4  
Old 10-20-2014, 10:06 AM
Andy C Andy C is offline
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And start at the tail and work towards the head
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2014, 10:32 AM
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Get a good glove for your off hand while using a serrated dexter or you will lose a pint of blood on the cleaning table like I did.
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2014, 10:41 AM
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Take a dremmel tool and cut the mister twister blade to fit in saw I can do 20 reds in under 15 min


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Old 10-20-2014, 10:46 AM
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I clean about 70 bull reds and a couple dozen bull drum each year. I work from the head to the tail.

To separate the fillet from the back of the fish, I use a well sharpened, fixed blade buck knife with a 6" blade, 119 special or something like that. My left hand grips the head of the fish (using the eyes) so the knife in my right hand is always working away. The first cut is perpendicular to the cleaning table right behind the gill and marks the place where the fillet will begin behind the head. The second cut is along the spine parallel to the dorsal fin and runs from the dorsal fin to the ribs. I make no attempt to cut bone, so the ribs remain in place. Working front to back, once I reach the back end of the ribcage (near the anal fin), this cut is then from top to bottom separating the fillet from the spine parallel to the cutting table.

At this point, the fillet is still connected to the fish by the scales, skin, and meat along the rib cage. It takes some practice to get the locations and angles right, but then I go back to the head hold the knife more or less parallel to the rib cage and complete separating the fillet from the rib cage (rib cage still attached to the fish). The left hand secures the head (using the eyes) so the knife is always moving away from the left hand. The blade faces upward while the tip of the knife is inserted into the fillet as far as it will go, with the tip of the knife forming a pivot point where the ribs meet the spine. Then the knife cuts upward through the meat, skin, and scales as it is rotated about the pivot point. Repeat working backward until the fillet is free from the fish.

Then I use a 7" Dexter Russel fillet knife to separate the fillet from the skin and scales, working front to back and using a pair of pliers to hold the skin/scales in my left hand while working the knife with my right.

It takes longer to explain than to do it. I can work through a 100 qt ice chest with 3-4 bull reds in 15-20 minutes.
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2014, 10:49 AM
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Time for this again
Fish Cleaner Man at CoCo Marina; Cocodrie, LA.3GP: http://youtu.be/lvcxk0ZAyFw
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2014, 11:57 AM
legallimits legallimits is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clampy View Post
Time for this again
Fish Cleaner Man at CoCo Marina; Cocodrie, LA.3GP: http://youtu.be/lvcxk0ZAyFw
That is ridiculous. I would have stabbed myself six or seven times in that one minute moving that fast.

A. I wish he was at the boat launch so I could just pay him to clean my reds.

B. It looks like he's using a fillet knife to do that. It must have a thicker and heavier blade than an average filet knife though. Either that or somebody is removing some scales before the fish gets to him. Anybody have a thought on what type of knife it would take to do that technique but taking about 10 times as long to do it?
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2014, 12:25 PM
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A serrated dexter will slice those scales like butter.
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  #11  
Old 10-20-2014, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legallimits View Post
That is ridiculous. I would have stabbed myself six or seven times in that one minute moving that fast.

A. I wish he was at the boat launch so I could just pay him to clean my reds.

B. It looks like he's using a fillet knife to do that. It must have a thicker and heavier blade than an average filet knife though. Either that or somebody is removing some scales before the fish gets to him. Anybody have a thought on what type of knife it would take to do that technique but taking about 10 times as long to do it?
he is using a dexter
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  #12  
Old 10-20-2014, 02:04 PM
legallimits legallimits is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meaux fishing View Post
he is using a dexter
Is he just using the Dexter butcher knife? It doesn't look like he's using anything serrated. If I could clean a bull red in three to four minutes I'd be happy.
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2014, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legallimits View Post
Is he just using the Dexter butcher knife? It doesn't look like he's using anything serrated. If I could clean a bull red in three to four minutes I'd be happy.
looks like a really sharp filet knife, but you can do the same thing with the serated one
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  #14  
Old 10-20-2014, 02:27 PM
legallimits legallimits is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meaux fishing View Post
looks like a really sharp filet knife, but you can do the same thing with the serated one
Alright... so I'm a believer. There's enough people on here saying that the Dexter serrated is the way to go. I'm guessing the one they use is the Dexter Utility Knife. Is that the one to use? 6 inch or 8 inch? Or there's also the V-Lo series. Crap, they all look good. As long as they can cut through those scales, they will work for me.
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  #15  
Old 10-20-2014, 02:35 PM
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9"
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  #16  
Old 10-20-2014, 02:37 PM
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This is the one I use.

http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/...L13xoCO0rw_wcB
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  #17  
Old 10-20-2014, 02:37 PM
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he could be using this one looks like a filet knife, but is serrated
http://fishboneknives.com/sgl156nsc-...utility-knife/
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  #18  
Old 10-20-2014, 02:41 PM
legallimits legallimits is offline
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Fantastic feedback. You guys have been great. I ordered it and plan to clean some reds with it this weekend. Thanks.
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  #19  
Old 10-20-2014, 03:07 PM
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Welcome
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  #20  
Old 10-20-2014, 04:21 PM
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If u cut behind the rib cage lot easier than trying to cut thru the ribs.
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