Filleting Striped Bass

Filleting a Striper

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If you are going to keep Striped Bass for the table the preparations start right after you catch the fish.

Striped Bass Nutrition Facts

I know this may sound a little messy, but is well worth it in increased flavor. You start by bleeding the fish (cutting the throat making sure to hit the vein.) If the weather or water is cold you then just put the fish in the live well (( if its big enough I have found out most boats live wells are just too small )) or on a secure stringer beside the boat or bank.

After the fish has bled out good put it on ice and clean as soon as possible. If the weather is hot you can fill your live well with ice before going out or take along a large ice chest. Below is general description on Filleting a Striper, this method is the most widely used in our area. You should wear a fillet glove (( steel mesh )) when filleting any fish, a glove can save the day and and fingers.

You can use an electric fillet knife or regular fillet knife. If you decide on an electric knife get one with metal gears.

Filleting a Striper starts by hosing the fish and make your first cut with a 45 degree angle behind the head down to the back bone.

Cut along the back bone with a a slight downward pressure, feeling the rib bones when you reach the end of the rib cage extend the knife all the way trough the fish still holding down against the backbone.

If the striper is not to large (( This works better with an electric knife )) you can cut all the way through one half side starting at the head and through the rib cage bones all the way to the tail. On larger fish it may be easier for you to cut one side off completely before starting the other side.

Continue until you reach the tail with smaller fish don't cut   throughout the skin at the tail.
Flip the fish over. (It is easier if you get both sides started before completing either side.) Make the cut along the head on this side.
Cut along the dorsal fin and backbone on this side.
Continue to the tail
Using the forward curved part of your blade, slide it along the backbone until it reaches the skin at the tail end of the fish and until it reaches the ribs on the head end of the fish.
Slide the blade part of the way up the ribs on the head end of the fish. Then cut the skin pulling the fillet away from the fish. *Do not cut the skin where it is attached to the tail.

*On Large Fish it can be easier to cut off at tail then fillet side.

Flip the fillet over the tail, using the attached skin to help hold the fillet stationary. Position the fillet at the edge of a cutting table, so that the knife blade can be held parallel to the table with part of your hand below the table.
Slide your knife blade along the fillet maintaining slight downward pressure on the forward part of your blade to keep from leaving too much meat on the skin.
Turn the fillet over with the side that was attached to the skin up.Trim red meat on sides matching knife where red meat stops on each side of fish.
With red streak left in center of fillet
Cut all the way to the cutting board. Be careful to follow the red meat closely to not lose the white meat.
Cut the same way along the other side of the red meat.
Your fillet will now be in two pieces.
Trim the remaining red meat that you missed from the fillet.

To keep that fresh taste without freezing for a few days before cooking:

a. Wash the fillets good and put them in a sealable refrigerator bag get as much air out as possible.
b. Place the sealed bag in a bowl, covering the fillets with water.
c. Fill the bowl the rest of the way with ice cubes, making sure the bag is completely covered with ice.
d. Place in the refrigerator. Replace ice as it melts.

This keeps the fillets as cold as possible without actually freezing them. The fish can still spoil, so cook them within a few days. Wash them thoroughly again before cooking.

If you are freezing them for a future meal, using a suitable freezer container, make sure the fish is completely covered by water.

"There are many things in life that will catch your eye,  but only a few will catch your heart.....pursue those."

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Filleting a Striper