Thursday, June 03, 2010

How To Fillet A Mighty Fish

Last weekend my nephew Paenney caught a walleye, mighty and true. This is a great feat on our lake. For many years there have been bass, sunfish, and muskies (which everyone dreams of catching and I wish they would because knowing there are 7-foot fish with lots of sharp teeth lurking in the waters makes swimming a little stressful for the likes of me), but the walleye have been scarce.

When Paenney reeled that mighty fish in he proclaimed, as my Grandpa Mike would say to little 5-year-old me when I caught a tiny, potato-chip-sized bluegill, it's a keeper!  And so Paenney brought the mighty walleye in from the lake and his dad, Pinky, showed him how to fillet it.  I thought I'd sit in on the tutorial, even though I have no intention of catching a fish much less filleting one. 

The first step is to make sure your fish is dead.  I didn't want to witness this.  So I didn't. 

The next step is to start cutting, right about here...

And then you cut like this...

Don't forget the rib bones...

Take off the skin with those nasty scales.  They taste terrible and get stuck between your teeth.

And there is your perfect walleye fillet.

Flip the fish over and repeat.  Then put the little mighty pieces of meat in a bowl of water until you plan to cook them, which should be soon.

Charlotte (Paenney's mom) cooked the beautiful fillets of the mighty fish with some flour, salt, pepper, and butter.  Finally, Paenney's efforts in wrangling the mighty fish from the lake paid off. 

It's true, if you give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day.  If you teach a man to fish, there will be bait in the refrigerator forever.  The combination of Paenney's fishing abilities, Pinky's filleting abilities, and Charlotte's cooking abilities made for one mighty tasty lunch.

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