How to Fillet Redfish

How to Fillet Redfish
Part 1 fillets, backbone, and ribs.
Part 2 throat of the redfish.

Cleaning Your Redfish
  1. Place the knife just behind the gill and make a lateral cut across the body, down to, but not through the spine. (Note: Redfish are tough, their scales and rib bones can wreck the edge of a good knife in short order. I prefer the electric knife with serrated blades to honing a fillet knife.)
  2. Split the belly from the cut just made all the way down to the vent. This helps you stay lined up during the next step.
  3. Place the knife back in the first cut, turn the sharp edge toward the tail, and begin slicing. Stay in contact with the spine, but do not cut through. Run the knife down to the tail, do not sever the skin, this helps keep a handle on the fillet during skinning.
  4. Flop the fillet over, start at the tail and slice the meat away from the skin while canting the blade slightly toward the skin. As I mentioned, redfish are tough, it’s almost impossible to slice through the skin, not so on trout and other soft-skinned species.
  5. Lift the fillet off the skin and place it flat on your working surface. Align the blade with the rib bones that are protruding from the flesh. With an angular slicing motion, cut the ribs and attached belly flesh away from the fillet.
  6. Do not slice in a perpendicular direction, follow the ribs remove the rids, clean and save for next months recipe.
  7. Repeat Step 1 through 3 for the other side. Rinse and deliver to the cook.

Redfish on the Half Shell

8. Now for the other side: Repeat Steps 1 through 3, except this time we’re making grilling slabs. When you come to the tail, slice right on through. We grill these skinside down. Removing the ribs now wastes a lot of meat. We leave ‘em in and pick around them with our fork… they almost fall out.

Throat of the Redfish

9 & 10. While we’re at it, let’s not waste any. Some call the throat of the redfish a ‘saltwater quail.’ Cut down the inside of the jaw on both sides, all the way through to the chin.The throat section falls right out. This meat is as tasty as the rest of the fish and puts another 1/4 pound of redfish to good use.