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  #1  
Old 03-13-2021, 08:14 AM
andreindy andreindy is offline
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Default Fish Cleaning Hatchet Job

Had to smile at a Canada memory today and remembering my brother JP struggling to clean fish our first trip to Ontario. Drive to lake, O'Sullivans up by Nakina. It was important that everyone learn. So one evening we are alone in the camp fish shack and I gave another lesson...blade angle, how to use the tip, pressure, etc. He says "I got it bro. I will clean the rest of these walleye up" so he put the next walleye on the cutting board. As I was preparing to leave, a gang of grey-beards walk in with their catch and settle directly across from my brother JP. The kind of fellas that could bonelessly fillet a fish with an ice scraper. My brother got a really anxious look on his face, and I smirked and abandoned him.

As the story goes, my brother took the next eternity cleaning those 3 walleye. Like for-real sweaty arm pits, praying to look competent eternity. My brother would butcher them so badly that he even caught one of the guys wince. He said it was like taking a final hands on exam in front of Al Lindner.

I was in the cabin kitchen preparing the pan fry when JP walked in, pale, deflated and he mumbled out the story above. Well, where are the fillets? Over there, he points and we both look to an empty spot on the counter. ...his fillets were so bony and awful they were mistaken for scraps and Dad threw them in the garbage moments earlier. JP said a few choice words and almost fell over.

God, I love reminding him of this story. And they will remind me of the first time I tried boning a northern...
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2021, 01:58 PM
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HeHooksHimself HeHooksHimself is offline
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The first time I ever went fishing I had a pocket knife. I caught a walleye, probably bigger than allowed but I didn't measure it, was unaware there was even a slot. My buddy said you clean it and I will get a pan ready. I had no clue and after half hour and a bloody mess I just threw it all in the trash. We had hot dogs. I am still no surgeon, but I am much better at it now!
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Old 03-13-2021, 07:47 PM
Mojo-NC Mojo-NC is offline
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The first year I brought my my new battery operated filet knife with me to Canada, the Ontario Wildlife Officers decided to stop by our camp and check our boats, catches, freezers, and even our cabin refrigerators. We were all legal but it was incredibly intimidating to have these guys watch over my shoulder while I was cleaning our fish. I did ok and didn't hack them up too badly even though I was really nervous. They turned out to be very friendly guys but I suspect they wouldn't have been so nice if we hadn't been legal. They were definitely thorough.
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Old 03-13-2021, 08:41 PM
tandm tandm is offline
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My Grandfather taught me, and all of my cousins, how to clean fish when we were barely tall enough to work on the fillet table. Some of my fondest memories are of him holding my hand as we guided the knife thru the first several fish. After cleaning enough to his satisfaction, he would retire to a cold beer and let us finish. If my grandmother would have known what we were doing, she would have thrown a frying pan at him. His teaching was effective. None of us ever got more than a nick from the sharpened butcher knives he used, I've honed my skills over the last ** years, and I now enjoy a cocktail as my grandchildren fillet the daily catch.

Thank you Grandpa. You'll never know how excited I was when you told me to take the knife myself and finish.
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Old 03-14-2021, 07:37 AM
Walleye2242 Walleye2242 is online now
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Was 7 on my 1st trip to canada. was taught how to clean fish. Then we went into town for a few supplies and dad bought me my 1st rapala fillet knife. He said....do not open it in the car...wait until we get back to camp. What do i do....open it in the car and cut my finger open. Now i yell at my kid for not listening.
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Old 03-14-2021, 08:06 AM
pjshorthorn pjshorthorn is online now
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I think we have all been on the fish cleaning struggle bus and everything that comes with learning how to clean fish. I can’t recall anyone teaching me during my youth. I just started to do it on my own and made a ton of mistakes along the way.....including filleting my finger in the middle of nowhere. Duct tape fixes that “ minor” issue and prevents infection too

I did ask VBay Gord to give me a few tips on cleaning fish, since he is a master at it, but he threw in the knife after one fish.

PjShorthorn
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Old 03-14-2021, 09:50 AM
bbheli bbheli is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walleye2242 View Post
Was 7 on my 1st trip to canada. was taught how to clean fish. Then we went into town for a few supplies and dad bought me my 1st rapala fillet knife. He said....do not open it in the car...wait until we get back to camp. What do i do....open it in the car and cut my finger open. Now i yell at my kid for not listening.
Man that is exactly what happened to me. My dad bought me the knife, said it was extremely sharp don't open it yet and of course I could not wait. I still have the scar. Deepest cut I ever had needed several stiches.
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Old 03-14-2021, 12:03 PM
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ackvil ackvil is offline
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Two knife stories cleaning fish.

Last year we were cleaning fish when my buddy borrowed my fillet knife. My fillet knife is sharpened on both the top and bottom portion with the top used to cut through the tough skin and the bottom portion to make the fillet. My buddy did not give me a chance to explain that and got a nasty cut

A few years ago one of the guys at our cabin was new to fishing. He had purchased everything new including a nice looking fillet knife he got at Wal-Mart. Unfortunately, that knife was not all that sharp when he bought it and got worse after using it just one time. No matter how we tried to sharpen it, the blade would dull after cleaning one fish. Well, he insisted that the knife would work and he started to clean a walleye. When he got done with it you could not imagine what the mess looked like.
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Old 03-14-2021, 01:28 PM
Hewhocookstomuch Hewhocookstomuch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walleye2242 View Post
Was 7 on my 1st trip to canada. was taught how to clean fish. Then we went into town for a few supplies and dad bought me my 1st rapala fillet knife. He said....do not open it in the car...wait until we get back to camp. What do i do....open it in the car and cut my finger open. Now i yell at my kid for not listening.
One of the regulars got a new knife. There were three others who cleaned our fish. He wanted to get better at cleaning so they let him try. On the very first fish he slipped and almost removed his thumb. Luckily we had a medical professional in the group. That's right we called him Doc. He stopped the bleeding and after a couple of shots(for Doc) he sewed Pat's thumb up. Thankfully no infection and hardly a scar. Pat is great at cleaning fish now that he knows to cut away from his body. Me, I am the cook and do not want anything to do with cleaning fish.
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Old 03-14-2021, 02:36 PM
stjoeguy stjoeguy is offline
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Heck of a way to get out of cleaning fish, Pat!
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