There are many different ways to fillet a bluegill, but the most common technique is to use a sharp electric knife. The blades on an electric knife are usually made from stainless steel or ceramic which means they will stay sharper for longer than traditional knives. This makes it easier to cut through the skin and bones of fish.
In this article, we will explain how to fillet bluegill using an electric knife – giving you all the tips and tricks you need to know to make this process seamless – let's get started.
Before starting to fillet bluegill with an electric knife
Before you start filleting the fish, it is important to determine where you want to stop cutting and where you want to cut the fish into sections. This will help you cut your fish in the fastest and most efficient way possible. Once you have determined where you want to section the fish, it is time to start filleting.
Note: When filleting bluegill, you can use either the top or bottom of the stomach as a guideline for cutting up each side of the green gill – this decision is entirely up to you and what feels right for your fillet knife skills.
Step 1 – Cutting through the skin
Start by cutting just beneath the skin at one of your cut lines. When using an electric knife, it is important to start cutting just beneath the skin as opposed to inline with it – this will help you avoid mistakes and ensure your cuts are straight. Make slow, controlled movements with your knife, and take care not to cut any of the inner meat of the fish. A large fillet knife or even an electric fillet knife work best for bluegill as they allow you to access all parts of the fish without damaging any of its muscle meat.
Step 2 – Cutting through bones
Once you have reached your first cut line, use short strokes to break through any bones at this point to make sure that the blade on your electric knife doesn't get damaged. Use long, flat strokes when you try to break through any ribs or stray bones in the bluegill. This is not as easy as it sounds and could take you a few attempts before you can break through these areas of bone – take your time. (Note: If you struggle with breaking through ribs or large pieces of loose, irregular bone, it might help to ask someone else for help.)
Step 3 – Trimming off excess meat
After you have broken through any major bones with your electric knife, trim off any excess meat that is hanging outside of the fillet area. Use short strokes to cut away this extra meat and try to avoid cutting into the actual fillet too much. Once you have trimmed away all excess meat from around your first set of cuts, use long and slow strokes to cut through your second set of cuts. This is where you will be able to see the white meat beneath the skin of the bluegill.
Step 4 – Removing any tiny bones
Now that you have made it down to the final layer of fillet, you need to make sure there are no more small pieces of bone or hard cartilage between this layer and the meat. To do this, use short strokes while gently pushing against a flat surface such as a cutting board with your other hand (this helps push anything trapped in your previous cuts out).
Once you have removed all of the small bones and cartilage from your bluegill fillets, you are finished. Once you have mastered this art, it is easy to fillet bluegill in roughly ten minutes – give it a try.
Tips to remember to successfully fillet bluegill with an electric knife
Electric knives also have safety features like a handguard and auto-off function to prevent accidental injuries. They are a great tool to have around the house because you can use them for more than just filleting fish.
In fact, electric knives are much safer than traditional knives and often come with a safety guard, locking blade button, and an automatic power-off feature to prevent injuries from occurring
Make sure your hands are dry when using an electric knife so you don't accidentally slip while cutting into the fish's flesh
Before you purchase an electric knife, check to make sure it is the right size for your hands and that you like the way it feels when you use it
Use a sharpening stone or whetstone to sharpen any dull parts on your electric knife – this will prolong its life and save money in the long run
Electric knives are great for filleting fish but can also be used to carve meats, chop vegetables and break down large pieces of meat
Final thoughts on how to fillet bluegill with an electric knife
When cutting up the fish using an electric knife, make sure to use slow and steady movements when you reach either end of its body (usually underneath its stomach or near its head). Unlike other knives which tend to be made from the material which can easily dull, a great electric knife will not lose its sharpness after numerous uses.
This makes it both simple and safe for just about anyone to handle. They also allow you to fillet large fish without damaging any of their underlying muscles.