Caught from cold water, the firm, white flesh of northern pike or chain pickerel will rival fillets from any freshwater fish. Some think pike is the best eating of all! However, the pike’s bones layout differently than any other fish, so a special method of filleting is required. The result will be five boneless fillets from each pike.
FISH FILLET EQUIPMENT:
1. Fillet Knife – must have a flexible blade that will hold its edge. Grip of hard material such as wood, plastic, etc. is desirable as it provides the best feel. Some filleting techniques especially require “feel” which soft grips inhibit. Shorter blades are also more sensitive, but for filleting fish it’s better to have a blade that’s too long rather than too short; 8- to 10-inch blades are most common.
2. Filleting Glove - the same kind of glove used in commercial meat processing prevents nicks and cuts to the off hand and enhances grip on slippery fish and fillets.
3. Cutting Board – the bigger the fillet board the better. Surface should be smooth to allow for easiest skinning and cleaning.
4. Vacuum Sealer - for any fillets you’re not going to cook and eat immediately, vacuum sealing is by far the best way to preserve quality in the freezer for the longest time.
5. Trash Receptacle – for entrails.
Check out the fishing tips and find more information about pike and pickerel fishing at Bass Pro Shops 1Source.
WATCH VIDEO: YouTube video showing how to do a Northern Pike 5 cut boneless fillet.
Click here to see a larger view or print out the how to fillet northern pike and chain pickerel graphic.