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How to Fillet a Fish (With Video and Simple Recipe for Cooking Fish)

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I grew up fishing and continue to enjoy fishing trips with my husband.

Hubby 1942-2014

Hubby 1942-2014

Fishing With Men

My husband is going to show you how he fillets his fish. I'm going to tell you what it's like fishing with two men. We use to fish all the time. I loved fishing and so does my husband.

This is my experience fishing with the guys. We were once fishing on some rocks by a lake where my husband grew up. It was my brother-in-law, my husband, and me. It was getting dark and we were getting ready to pack up and go home when we noticed my line go out. My husband and my brother-in-law started screaming, "Set the hook! Set the hook!”

You should have seen those men jump up and down. I set the hook and started to reel in. The drag was real loose, but after about 15 minutes I got the fish in, an 8½ pound walleye. I wish I had a picture of it. They were so excited and I don’t get as excited as they do. I thought they were pretty funny.

I guess I first started fishing with my grandpa. We would go down to the creek and fish. Before, I would go frogging with my Mom and Dad. Just had to put a little red piece of cloth on the hook and frogs would take it. Frog legs are great I love them.

We have lots of lakes for fishing in this area. Our area attracts many tourists and many cottages and big homes around here belong to the tourist.

Now, my husband loves ice fishing. I have tried, but really I hate it. I don’t like being cold. I would always crawl in the truck and take a nap. I’m a southern lady and the ice has always made me a little nervous. It doesn't bother my husband and our kids love it.

Me and My Fish

Me and My Fish

Son and Hubby

Son and Hubby

Hubby and Our Boys

Hubby and Our Boys



Living on the Lake

Later we lived on a lake, It was a good lake for fishing. We always had muskies under our dock and I tried my best to catch them, but I never did. The men in the family caught lots of good size fish on this lake. It was fun to just jump in the boat and go out fishing anytime we wanted to.

We sold the house, with water taxes and retirement on the way; we decided we couldn't afford it. My brother-in-law still lives on the lake, so on the opening day of a fishing season our son and my husband go out there to fish. They enjoy it, all the guys get together bring food, have a contest for the biggest fish, and so on. I usually make a big pot of soup and something really sweet.

When the fishing season opens here it's not usually real warm. I don't like going if it's cold and this is the guy's weekend. This year, the ice just went out the week before the opening day of the fishing season. The guys were really getting worried they weren't going to be able to fish.

Kids and Dogs on the Lake

The kids and the dogs also like to go fishing. The little girls loved going out in the boat. We always took them somewhere so they could at least catch some little panfish. They were proud of their fish.

The photos above are of granddaughters and one of the granddaughters acting like a fish. The little lady in the bottom picture loved fishing by the lake and looking in the rocks to see what she could catch.

The dogs thought it was great riding in the boat, every one of our dogs from Poodles to our Labs and Springers. The picture is of Sabrina our dog riding in the pontoon boat. Every dog we had loved the pontoon. Some of our dogs—if my husband didn't take them with him—would jump in the lake and swim after him. We lost one of our dogs in the lake. He fell through the ice in the winter and drowned.

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Ice Fishing His Favorite Thing To Do and PBR

Ice Fishing His Favorite Thing To Do and PBR

Ice Fishing

The men in my family love to ice fish. My husband and boys stay on the frozen lake all day sitting on their buckets, sticking their hands in frozen water to pull up fish, drinking their PBR's. If they have a shanty they sit in. Wearing all the heavy clothes.

They go to every ice fishing jamboree they can. In the photo above, my husband won something.

Years ago I use to go but when I went I got sleepy and climbed in the truck and went to sleep. This was silly why not just be at home getting things done so I stopped going. It's just too cold for me I still have some of the southern blood left and can't take the cold.

Big Catch

Big Catch

Fried Fish

Fried Fish

Pan Frying Recipe

Here is how my husband fries fish:


  • 20 fillets of fish (any fish—walleyes, catfish, or perch—whatever you catch or buy)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon season salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • vegetable oil or shortening (about one inch in your frying pan)

How to Pan Fry Fish

  1. Add oil to the frying pan and heat until very hot for frying, (He uses my cast iron pan).
  2. He then puts the flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Coat fish with flour mixture by adding fish to the bowl of flour turning.
  4. Add coated fish to hot grease.
  5. Brown on both sides.

The fish cooks pretty fast this way. This is the southern way my grandmother, aunts, and mom fry fish—never using egg.

Pan Frying Recipe Fish

The Video

Whatever you call it, filet or fillet, both words are right. McDonald's uses for their fish sandwich Filet-Of-Fish. Below is a video on my husband filleting a walleye. He does fillet all his fish this way including pumpkinseed, crappie, and perch. I'm not sure if everyone does it this way. The best thing about filleting a fish it gets rid of all the bones.

When he fries his fish in a pan he just coats them in flour, salt, and pepper. He puts a small amount of oil in the pan.

If he deep-fries them he usually uses Shorelunch to coat the fish and fries in a Fry Daddy type of machine.

How to Fillet a Fish and Fishing With the Guys

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


moonlake (author) from America on June 25, 2014:

Peggy W, No he doesn't cut first. He really does make it look simple and to him it is because he has done it so often. Thanks so much for stopping by and for the pin.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 09, 2014:

I have never fished and obviously do not know how to filet a fish. I have watched chefs do it on TV and now seeing your hubby using an electric looks simple enough. Were the fish gutted first or is it even necessary the way he does it? Sharing this hub, up votes and will pin to Awesome HubPages.

moonlake (author) from America on September 13, 2013:

Au fait, Sorry I'm running so behind missed your comment. Thanks so much for stopping by. The children are our granddaughters. The boy at the top our son. Thanks for the pin, five stars, share and vote.

C E Clark from North Texas on September 06, 2013:

I'm not a fishing person, but I know a lot of people are and the instructions here can be very useful to people who would like to fish and fillet their own catch but don't know how. I think your recipe looks delicious and I gave you 5 stars on that.

Who are the adorable children in the photos? You have some really nice photos here and I suspect they are family . . .

Voting this up and useful, pinned and will share with my followers!

moonlake (author) from America on June 05, 2013:

Angelo52, Thank you. Fresh fish are so good. Thanks for the thumbs up and shared.

moonlake (author) from America on June 05, 2013:

rajan jolly, Thank you and thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the vote and share.

Angelo52 on June 05, 2013:

These are the kinds of fish I caught when I lived up in northern Illinois. Scaled, gutted and fried. Thumbs up and shared.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on June 05, 2013:

Great pictures., amazing video and a wonderful recipe.

Voted up, interesting and sharing.

moonlake (author) from America on April 08, 2013:

I know people here won't eat carp but they will if they are pickled. Thanks so much for stopping by and thanks for the Pinning, Tweet and Facebook.

Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on April 08, 2013:


This is a very interesting hub, and I also found the video very useful. I now know how to filet a fish! I never went fishing that much when I was a kid, but I did at times try my luck at the creek which passed through our land. On some summer days I would catch big carp. My folks didn't like the way they tasted, so we would give them away to black people who loved them. Our cats also loved eating the carp. Late one spring I remember catching a bass! Voted up and sharing with followers and on Facebook. Also Pinning and Tweeting

moonlake (author) from America on February 01, 2012:

Brett.Tesol, Thanks for stopping by. This is what my husband does with all the fish he catches, no bones when done this way.

Brett C from Asia on January 31, 2012:

Interesting hub. I actually came to it as I was interested in how you fillet a fish, as there are some fantastic fresh fish markets in Asia, but I've never known how to do this ... about time I learned!


moonlake (author) from America on December 02, 2011:


Thank you, for stopping by. Guys are so funny they get so excited over fish. It is fun to fish and relaxing seating in boat on a lazy summer day.

Derdriu on December 02, 2011:

Moonlake: What helpful words and lovely photos with which to describe filleting a fish and fishing with the men in your life! The YouTube is most helpful.

Thank you for sharing, etc.,


P.S. Congratulations on catching the walleye and making such sustained, valiant efforts in pursuit of the elusive, evasive walleye.

moonlake (author) from America on November 15, 2011:

writer20, Thank you for visiting my hub and thanks for the vote.

Joyce Haragsim from Southern Nevada on November 15, 2011:

great hub, you're lucky to have caught a walleye. Voted your hub up

moonlake (author) from America on November 15, 2011:

Movie Master,

Thank you, for visiting my hub. Walleye are so good. My husband always does a good job on them cooking or cleaning.

Movie Master from United Kingdom on November 15, 2011:

I have never heard of a walleye fish, your husband made filleting look so easy!

A wonderful hub and a great read, thank you for sharing.

moonlake (author) from America on November 14, 2011:

Dale Mazurek,

Thank you, for stopping by and glad you enjoyed the hub.

Dale Mazurek from Canada on November 14, 2011:

What a beautiful hub. If you get to know me you will see that fishing is my life. My favorite fish is walleye. I believe I just found new best friends and will attempt to look over more of your hubs. Thank you for keeping me interested and writing about my favorite topic.

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