Fish filleting is easy. All you need is a sharp four- or six-inch fillet knife, a board or flat piece of driftwood, and legal-size fish.

Step 1

Lay the fish flat on a cutting surface and make a slit along the belly from the anal fin to just under the jaw.

Step 2

Make a cut just behind the head from the top of head to the jaw joint, stopping when the knife hits the backbone. (Don’t cut through the backbone!) Turn the blade to cut the fish lengthwise and follow the backbone down toward the tail—cutting through the rib bones as you go and stopping before you sever the fillet completely from the tail. Leaving the fillet attached to the tail will give you something to hold onto for the next step.

Step 3

Flip the fillet over and, working from the tail end, cut a slit between the skin and the meat. With a gentle sawing action, slice the meat away from the scaly skin.

Step 4

Finally, cut away the rib bones for a perfectly boneless fillet.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski