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Will finally start to eat some cnbg. What is the best method to clean and/or fillet 8 inch cnbg? Is a electric knife out of the question? I have one but don't even own a regular fillet knife of any brand, Any suggestions or advise for preparing such small fish? I can do lmb with no problem just don't want to waist meat on these little guys. Thanks


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I'm not very good at filleting them but after a few hundred I'm getting better. Now it does not seem like such a chore after getting a little better at it.

In my case, we have such an abundance of BG I do not worry about wasting meat at all. Wife and I both fillet them by basically cutting around the rib cage and leaving the entire fish body and guts intact. Rather than cutting through the rib cage and cutting the rib bones out after the filleting process, we just cut around the ribs while getting the fillet out and leave the ribs and guts attached to the head and back bone. I do not even try to save the belly meat. Just cut across and take out what would be the tenderloin on an animal. End up with two small strips of fish stick meat.

I probably did not explain that very well. But where our LMB are not keeping up with thinning out enough BG, we have an abundance of 6-8" BG. Have about 40 out in the holding pen right now we will fillet tomorrow afternoon (likely to add to that number today). So we do not worry about loosing some meat around the rib bones or the belly.

Just the way we do it. I know some like to eat them whole with the bones. We tried that once and my wife just has no intention of doing anything that is not boneless. Far be it for me to be the one who argues with her.

Sorry, no suggestions on knives. We have one set of three that came in a case with a sharpener that I only use the smallest of the three knives and wife has a separate one. I think they all came from Wal-Mart so likely are not the best. Keeping them sharp with the sharpener seems to be the main key, then they work pretty well. My wife is pretty keen on having good knives as she does a lot in the kitchen. Some of her knives I know better than to ask what they cost knowing that it is better I do not know. But she seems to be happy with the fillet knives we use and they are not particularly "name brand" like her kitchen knives are as far as I can tell.

Last edited by snrub; 11/04/17 10:39 AM.

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Personally I use an electric fillet knife and it works fine. Granted it's been a few years since I've filleted a BG but that will change next year with the pond! I cut through the ribs and cut them off but I'd agree with snrub that if I had 40 to fillet I would ignore it. Use what ever you want, try electric and try a normal knife, whatever you are more comfortable with you should use.


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FWIW I've used Rapala knives since I was old enough to clean a fish. Not expensive, flexible and hold an edge well. I have the 4, 7.5 and 9 inch so I can fillet the little guys all the way up to the big ones.


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I use a non-stainless Dexter Russell. Inexpensive, easy to sharpen. After trying many of the usual makes, this one is my go to.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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After being shown how to fillet with an electric knife, that's the only way to go. Sort of going from riding a horse to the store vs. driving a car.....


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Originally Posted By: esshup
After being shown how to fillet with an electric knife, that's the only way to go. Sort of going from riding a horse to the store vs. driving a car.....


I would love to have a pro with an electric knife give me a lesson. I waste way too much meat when I use one.


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Electric is far quicker no doubt. To me however, cleaning fish is part of fishing. Its the conclusion to a successful outing, and while it may not be glamorous, I think its important. I find a satisfaction in doi ng the best job I can, simply. The way it was done a century ago.

I can shoot far and fast with an AR platform rifle. And while I enjoy doing so, there's still a simple, satisfying pleasure gained by working the lever on an 1873 that the black rifle cannot match. I suppose it comes down to preference.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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I'm right there with you SPRKPLUG. The fish I pull from my pond get filleted with one of my old Rapala 4" wooden handled slicers.
Last weekend I traveled to the deserts of Wyoming and took a right and a left of antelope with my handloads in my .45 Colt M92 SS Rossi lever gun.
I'm cutting and wrapping the speed goats right now. It's just part of the hunting in my book.

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I use the short Rapala. I do not clean over 15 at a time. I have never tried electric on BG

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Thank you everyone. I too have plenty of fish so a little waste would not hurt. Prob. would never have to clean more than 20 at a time and most of the time only about a dozen.I will practice with my electric but will go purchase a good fillet knife for backup. Does anyone clean,scale, and fry whole any more??


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I do, I prefer it that way when eating bg. I will also do the same with up to a 10" crappie or red ear.

Last edited by TGW1; 11/05/17 09:11 AM.

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My mother still prefers her bg prepared whole, and I will do so when cleaning fish for her. Growing up, it was the only way we ate fish at home.

Flame, I'm glad you're going to get a fixed blade knife also. I'm betting that most here would promote learning to drive a manual trans vehicle, even when an automatic was the vehicle of choice. Like mastering manual shifting, becoming proficient with a non- electron knife is a valuable skill to have.


"Forget pounds and ounces, I'm figuring displacement!"

If we accept that: MBG(+)FGSF(=)HBG(F1)
And we surmise that: BG(>)HBG(F1) while GSF(<)HBG(F1)
Would it hold true that: HBG(F1)(+)AM500(x)q.d.(=)1.5lbGRWT?
PB answer: It depends.
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I have close to 1/2 dzn Rapala fillet knives. Both short and long, wood and plastic handles. All work great. 2 of the wood handled ones I bought when I was a kid, One I bought at a flea market for $2, one I found along a river and I forget where I got the others. The finish is about worn off of the wood handles on the 2 oldest ones.


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I use the Rapala too...but I fillet backwards compared to most people. With bluegills (and most other fish) I start at the tail and cut toward the head, follow the top of the ribs, pull the meat toward the bottom of the fish and just let the tip of the knife bounce off the ribs. It works just as well and quickly as using an electric knife and doing the usual cutting of the ribs then removing bones - but without all of the hassle.


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Just don't bury the remains in your back yard. If neighborhood dogs sniff it out, very bad things can happen.

VERY BAD. sick

Learned that when I was a kid...

Last edited by anthropic; 11/05/17 06:59 PM.

7ac 2015 CNBG RES FHM 2016 TP FLMB 2017 NLMB GSH L 2018 TP & 70 HSB PK 2019 TP RBT 2020 TFS TP 25 HSB 250 F1,L,RBT -206 2021 TFS TP GSH L,-312 2022 GSH TP CR TFS RBT -234, 2023 BG TP TFS NLMB, -160




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Here are the knives we use. Best? Doubtful but I really do not know as we have used nothing else.

I could not find a name anywhere on the one my wife uses which is the one with the black handle and the individual case. She likes it the best because it is more flexible than the KVD which are the ones in the three knife kit with the sharpener. I use the small KVD fillet knife. I suppose we might use the others some day if we ever clean larger fish, but about the biggest thing we clean to date is 3# CC and we clean a lot more BG than CC so the small knife is plenty big.

The other pictures are just some of the cleaning we did today. Don't have a final count on the fish (wife will do that when she counts the fillets as she freezes them) but it was at least a 5 gallon bucket full of BG with about 10% HBG and a few GSF. Ended up with right at 10# of filleted boneless meat.

Carolynn works where she is standing and I work off the end where the green hose and stool is in the picture.

The description is wrong on the picture as it should read the "near end" as I am standing where I fillet when I took the picture. In the last picture if you look at the end of the dock on the right hand side, there is a cage floating in the water. That is where we keep the fish till ready to clean a big bunch at once like we did today.

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Last edited by snrub; 11/05/17 09:30 PM.

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I am a HUGE fan of high carbon, non stainless, for any cutting knife.


It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

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I love my American Angler PRO electric fillet knife. Bought it as a replacement for my old Rapala electric fillet knife and now use it for everything. I hunted all over, read a lot of reviews on different forums and was advised to check over this guide https://pickadvisor.org/best-electric-fillet-knives/ Maybe, it would be helpful for someone as well.
What I like in American Angler is the selection of blades and a comfortable handing. So, maybe you would check over it as well.

Last edited by vseprosto90211; 02/18/20 11:13 PM.

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