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Old 03-02-2018, 02:09 PM   #1
ful-rac
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Fish Cleaning Hell

I'm gonna call this one fish cleaning hell. We call it that because that's exactly what it is. After getting up really early in the morning to go fishing, commuting to wherever we plan to fish, unloading/setting up, fishing until the afternoon, breaking down loading up and then making the commute back home. If we are lucky enough...and I'm not even sure if that's even the right word...We will have some fish to clean at the end of an exhausting day.

Recently I have been "lucky" enough to catch some halibut. It's always nice to be able to target find and catch halibut in the "off" season. Generally it's tough finding them in their usual summertime haunts as those areas seem to be void of any signs of halibut activity. After putting in hours and hours of endless drifting in several different areas many different depths, hours and hours of Greg's video surveillance. We were able to focus our efforts in a specific depth and area. Only to finally reach our destination of, FISH CLEANING HELL!




Starting out the day with my co-captain my dog Coco.



Success! Halibut 1 down! Halibut 2 down! Returning to base! Hey Coco make sure no pelicans try to steal our catch!




Back at home base...it's the start of the much dreaded fish cleaning hell....When I process my fish I always take my time to do the best possible job I can, because when I'm bringing home such a premium product as fresh halibut, I want to keep it that way as much as I can. So I will go above and beyond when I'm processing my fish. It all starts with labeling my bags....




Damn...I got some work to do...




Ok, time to choose my weapon of choice...Hmmmm let me see the 6" dexter russell carbon steel knife. Excellent! Perfect size and shape to break these suckers down easily, quickly and cleanly.




Halibut Slabbed out.



Don't forget to cut out the Halibut cheeks! Some of the best meat go'in on a halibut!




Another Dexter Russell product...the Cleaver! Makes quick work of breaking the carcass down for making the most amazing fish stock or for easy disposal...your choice of course.




Both halibut slabbed out!



Extra bonus! Halibut Cheeks!



Halibut skinned and portioned...I'm really tired....I'm getting sleepy. I gotta get this done!



Time to fire up the Vacmaster and get sealing....



And the final result of the day's effort...a whole lot of halibut fillets, ready to make into yani's latest recipie...or what ever I can come up with.



Fish Cleaning Hell is now officially over.

OH WAIT A MINUTE!!!! It's not over...now I gotta clean up all this mess, and put away all my equipment!!!! DDDAAAAMMMNNN YOU FISH CLEANING HELL!!!!!!!!!






Fast Forward to the next week....
I got a ton of halibut, it's cold...and I'm hungry. Ok it's time to check out Yani's website...

Hmmm....Yani's Halibut Chowder ayyyy?!

POOF!



Halibut sandwich with fries and onion rings ayyyy?!...

POOF!



Yeeeeaaaahhhh!!!!


Well if anybody needs some pointers on taking their own trip to fish cleaning hell...come on down to the Fred Hall show in long beach next week to the Team Sewer seminar! I'm sure Greg will have a nice halibut video package all ready for you guys. To all you new kayak anglers looking to catch that first halibut off your kayak, or to the guys that have some experience and want to get a few pointers that will help you along your way...you guys might want to join us for awhile.


SEE YOU GUYS THERE!
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:40 PM   #2
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I need to be a better fisherman

Damn Tony! How am I going to hunt Red Snapper now? I want some Halibut!
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBentRod View Post
Damn Tony! How am I going to hunt Red Snapper now? I want some Halibut!
That's not fishing that's catching. Way different than what many of u s on this site does. as Tony points out...catching is Sometimes very exhausting.

Poor frigging guy.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:24 PM   #4
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That's the kind of hell and hard work I'd like to be doing more often.
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Old 03-02-2018, 04:39 PM   #5
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Great post Tony. I canít remember who itís was, but a few years back at one of the BT tourneys I was taking to someone and they said ďTony takes FOREVER to fillet his fishĒ Itís because you do it the right way and donít waste.

Dammit! Now I want a halibut to practice on!
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ful-rac View Post
Time to fire up the Vacmaster and get sealing....
Good to see they are only $750 on Amazon Prime

https://www.amazon.com/VacMaster-VP2...A1B7M9EQGNCLQA
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Old 03-03-2018, 12:54 PM   #7
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I have one question about your excellent waste-free cleaning and packaging job Tony:

It looks like there is meat missing from the bones that I don't see on the fillets.

After you cut off the fillets, do you scrape the bones with a spoon to remove the rest of the meat?

Is the meat on the tail not good? (OK, 2 questions)
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Old 03-03-2018, 02:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mr. NiceGuy View Post
I have one question about your excellent waste-free cleaning and packaging job Tony:

It looks like there is meat missing from the bones that I don't see on the fillets.

After you cut off the fillets, do you scrape the bones with a spoon to remove the rest of the meat?

Is the meat on the tail not good? (OK, 2 questions)


Well first of all itís not waste free...there always is some waste. There is a bit of meat missing, very observant of you to notice. I usually cut a little Off the ends of my fillets to make them square and as uniform as possible. That meat is not thrown away itís an end cut so it gets used for other purposes like soup. As far as scraping the bones...no I donít do that. If I want to recover that meat, itís usually through boiling the bones for soups and or stock.

The tail meat is edible but I usually stay away from it due to the presence of thick tendons that are chewy and not all that good to eat.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:34 PM   #9
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Inspired! I am making that chowder this week, tonight trying some baked with lemon butter sauce and capers.
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Old 03-03-2018, 05:55 PM   #10
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Quality looking fish product/production....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ful-rac View Post
I'm gonna call this one fish cleaning hell. We call it that because that's exactly what it is. After getting up really early in the morning to go fishing, commuting to wherever we plan to fish, unloading/setting up, fishing until the afternoon, breaking down loading up and then making the commute back home. If we are lucky enough...and I'm not even sure if that's even the right word...We will have some fish to clean at the end of an exhausting day.

Recently I have been "lucky" enough to catch some halibut. It's always nice to be able to target find and catch halibut in the "off" season. Generally it's tough finding them in their usual summertime haunts as those areas seem to be void of any signs of halibut activity. After putting in hours and hours of endless drifting in several different areas many different depths, hours and hours of Greg's video surveillance. We were able to focus our efforts in a specific depth and area. Only to finally reach our destination of, FISH CLEANING HELL!




Starting out the day with my co-captain my dog Coco.



Success! Halibut 1 down! Halibut 2 down! Returning to base! Hey Coco make sure no pelicans try to steal our catch!




Back at home base...it's the start of the much dreaded fish cleaning hell....When I process my fish I always take my time to do the best possible job I can, because when I'm bringing home such a premium product as fresh halibut, I want to keep it that way as much as I can. So I will go above and beyond when I'm processing my fish. It all starts with labeling my bags....




Damn...I got some work to do...




Ok, time to choose my weapon of choice...Hmmmm let me see the 6" dexter russell carbon steel knife. Excellent! Perfect size and shape to break these suckers down easily, quickly and cleanly.




Halibut Slabbed out.



Don't forget to cut out the Halibut cheeks! Some of the best meat go'in on a halibut!




Another Dexter Russell product...the Cleaver! Makes quick work of breaking the carcass down for making the most amazing fish stock or for easy disposal...your choice of course.




Both halibut slabbed out!



Extra bonus! Halibut Cheeks!



Halibut skinned and portioned...I'm really tired....I'm getting sleepy. I gotta get this done!



Time to fire up the Vacmaster and get sealing....



And the final result of the day's effort...a whole lot of halibut fillets, ready to make into yani's latest recipie...or what ever I can come up with.



Fish Cleaning Hell is now officially over.

OH WAIT A MINUTE!!!! It's not over...now I gotta clean up all this mess, and put away all my equipment!!!! DDDAAAAMMMNNN YOU FISH CLEANING HELL!!!!!!!!!






Fast Forward to the next week....
I got a ton of halibut, it's cold...and I'm hungry. Ok it's time to check out Yani's website...

Hmmm....Yani's Halibut Chowder ayyyy?!

POOF!



Halibut sandwich with fries and onion rings ayyyy?!...

POOF!



Yeeeeaaaahhhh!!!!


Well if anybody needs some pointers on taking their own trip to fish cleaning hell...come on down to the Fred Hall show in long beach next week to the Team Sewer seminar! I'm sure Greg will have a nice halibut video package all ready for you guys. To all you new kayak anglers looking to catch that first halibut off your kayak, or to the guys that have some experience and want to get a few pointers that will help you along your way...you guys might want to join us for awhile.


SEE YOU GUYS THERE!
I will have to try that chowder recipe when I get some liberty time in the kitchen....it looks delicious.
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Last edited by MITCHELL; 03-03-2018 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 03-03-2018, 06:26 PM   #11
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Please make a video or describe your approach and technique for removing the fillets so cleanly with so little meat left on the bones. You appear to be an artist at this.

I have watched many youtube videos and there are different opinions about this. My work is OK, but still pretty rough by comparison.

I respect fish and try to render every sumptuous morsel to the best of my ability. I believe in making soup stock from the rest.

What I'm doing works, but I'm not sure my technique is the best. The bones are not as clean as yours after the knife work. What I can't finesse with a knife, I finish by scraping with a spoon.

If you have any favorite youtube links for this, please share.

Halibut is precious, and should be prepared accordingly.
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:32 PM   #12
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I've cleaned a lot of fish and I do my very best to deliver boneless, skinless fillets to the chef without wasting any of the catch. From the photos I see I am a clumsy amateur. You are talented, skilled AND have a great ethic for doing this part of fishing right. My hat's off to you. I second the request for video or other tips on how others might learn what you know. :-)
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:26 PM   #13
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Love the pics.....don't love seeing them twice! Wish there were halibut here to practice on!
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:41 PM   #14
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As much as I hate going to fish cleaning hell...I gotta say I don't mind serving my time there once and a while. I do take pride in my fish cleaning so I force myself to go the extra step. Besides, I get to play with my knives which isn't a bad thing...


Next time I catch a halibut I'll take the extra time to take photos cut by cut, since some of you guys seem interested. Through cleaning many halibut, I come up with some techniques that work pretty well for me, and should work pretty well for you guys too.

In the mean time here's some more "fish cleaning porn" for you fish cleaning porn addicts.


Nothing special here, just a few rockfish I caught yesterday, in that shitty ass weather we had. Those conditions were tough yesterday....

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Old 03-05-2018, 06:57 PM   #15
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impressively surgical
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Old 03-08-2018, 12:11 PM   #16
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Wonderful job!

Sidebar: Will you goofballs stop quoting the whole original post? You're making me hungry!
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