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Depends on my fish stock.
And I ain't got no fish!

If a cat can eat it , I can fillet it.
Potatoe chips sized fillet potential fish (legal sized of course) beware if nothing bigger is showing up. Lest a dozen go for a ride.
Yessir! I love hauling up jumbos all day but if a 6 or 7 inch looks at me the wrong way its going to be released to the grease. I can get a great fillet off the small fish, my kids love the smaller ones and so do I, bigger ones got those Y bones that you feel in the back of your throat, the small ones crunch up nicely.
 

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Sounds like Fletchers. First time I ever fished it (icefishing) a few years ago, we didn't touch an 8" gill but we did have plenty of 7-7 1/2"ers along with some BIG crappie. Those gills all had "shoulders" to them and filleted up nice.
Exactly. When I made my first comment here, fletchers was the specific thought in my head. Last time I ice fished it, I brought home 2 days of limits but all 7-7.5. On the Detroit River I don't keep anything under 8.
 

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It really depends on the day. If I am catching 8inch plus gills, anything smaller goes back. In my book, an 8 inch gill is a REALLY nice gill. Anyway, I'll throw some 7 -7.5 inch gills in a bucket most days.
Crappie, probably closer to 10 inches. Perch, 8 inches or bigger.
Here are some of the gills from a limit last weekend (minus the Crappie). Made for a nice dinner!
Food Vertebrate Smile Seafood Fish

Some specs
Fish Staple food Ray-finned fish Seafood Animal product

Organism Fish Ray-finned fish Font Seafood

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It really depends on the day. If I am catching 8inch plus gills, anything smaller goes back. In my book, an 8 inch gill is a REALLY nice gill. Anyway, I'll throw some 7 -7.5 inch gills in a bucket most days.
Crappie, probably closer to 10 inches. Perch, 8 inches or bigger.
Here are some of the gills from a limit last weekend (minus the Crappie). Made for a nice dinner!
View attachment 810546
Some specs
View attachment 810547
View attachment 810548
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I'll have what he's havin.
 

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I'll have what he's havin.
I'll add that I'm not always out for a limit.
Yesterday afternoon I probably threw 25 7-7.5 inch gills back and only kept 12 in the 8 - 10 inch range.
Cleaning fish can get old really fast!
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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Yessir! I love hauling up jumbos all day but if a 6 or 7 inch looks at me the wrong way its going to be released to the grease. I can get a great fillet off the small fish, my kids love the smaller ones and so do I, bigger ones got those Y bones that you feel in the back of your throat, the small ones crunch up nicely.
Or clean them with no bones. ;)
 

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Or clean them with no bones. ;)
lol good point...
Are you zippering them to get the ybones out? Thats all I can think where the bones are coming from I never thought to zipper a perch or cut that lateral line out near the front of the fillet. This is what my fillets look like but on the bigger perch theres bones on the orange line. Assuming you guys trim that off...
Fish slice Fish products Cuisine Animal product Feather
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
lol good point...
Are you zippering them to get the ybones out? Thats all I can think where the bones are coming from I never thought to zipper a perch or cut that lateral line out near the front of the fillet. This is what my fillets look like but on the bigger perch theres bones on the orange line. Assuming you guys trim that off...
View attachment 810617
Should be able to go under them while cleaning, leaves em out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Ill have to give it a try, didnt know you could cut around them...how did I not know this 😭😭😭...well on the little ones they're not noticeable lol
Go down to where your orange line is, you'll hit them, flip yer knife, go under, go back tight too belly meat. You'll have one nice piece of meat boneless with a little tiny line missing outta the filet (where bones were) perch, gills, walleye all the same.
 

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I cut out the rib cage but I dont zipper panfish so theres always that small ybone that sticks out on bigger perch...maybe we are filleting differently...how do you do yours differently to get those little bones out?
I have eaten a good number of 12-14.75" perch and have never noticed any bones. But then again I lay the fillet skin side down, and cut straight down in a J shape along the rib cage. It cuts the entire lower half of the fillet off with no lateral line until just above the bhole. Quality over quantity.
 

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I simply start behind the head and cut down to the back bone, then down and over top of ribs and to the back of the ribs and then find the back bone again and puncture down through that back 1/2 of the fillet to the bung hole and then back to the tail along the backbone. From there I simply peel the rest off from the ribs down toward the belly and don't take any belly meat off of any fillet as there isn't much anyways. Doing that the only place I ever have a bone is right at the back side of the ribs and I simply just make a little V cut to take it out and usually the mud vein (if it's called that) comes out right along with it and they are always totally bone free. I use a thin bladed 4" knife with some flex in it with all my panfish but when I'm on hog crappies sometimes I'll use the 6" to get through those tougher scales needing a little more rigidity. BTW, the crappie I got 2 days ago ate nicely last night with a corn casserole, slaw from KFC, and some home made sweet potato and regular fries. Be back at it in the AM.
 
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