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topdog1961

Skin/No Skin?...Electric?

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topdog1961

I went bluegill fishing again yesterday with the elderly gent who has become my regular fishing buddy. He's a lonely widower so he's always ready to go. We did pretty well, brought home 46. He's been wanting to show me his fish scaler so I went to his place this morning to clean fish. He's a veteran of many bluegill trips to Canada with his departed wife, where they cleaned fish on an industrial scale. Personally, I've always just cut the scales off with the skin, it only takes a few seconds. I haven't tasted fish with skin on probably since I was a kid. 

 

His de-scaler held all 46 fish at once in its stainless drum. It had a bunch of holes punched through from the outside with the sharp edges inside. He put about 3 inches of water in the bottom, turned it on, and 1/2 hour later they were descaled and the smaller ones were almost white.  We enjoyed a cup of coffee while his gizmo did the work.

 

Afterwards we cleaned them using fillet knives. Neither one of us are electric knife fans. I've tried them and and make a stinky mess because I cut through the guts, spilling its contents while I cut off the ribs with the fillet, flip the fillet over and deskin.  Then I cut the ribs off with any belly meat and always seem to end up with a lot less meat than hand filleting leaving the ribs on the carcass. My nephews, on the other hand, are pan fishermen par excellence, and clean hundreds of gills in short order using electric knives to clean and de-skin using assembly line techniques. They think the meat loss is minimal and worth the time savings. 

 

I will say that unless this bluegill with skin on is OMG better than skin off, I'll keep skinning. What about you? Skin on or off, old school or electric fillet knife?  I'm sure opinions will vary by individual and by species. 

 

 

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SelbyLowndes

It takes a big bluegill to get what I deem usable filets.  Besides my wife likes them just scaled gutted and the heads cut off.  A big one will fill up a skillet or a dinner plate.  That's the way I grew up eating bream.  I didn't know about filleting until I got into bass fishing.  We also used to bake a big bass with tomato dressing in the cavity...U'mm good...SelbyLowndes

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TimJ

It looks like you've got a bunch of good eating fillets right there.

I grew up eating scaled bluegills. I don't mind the skin but don't like the scaling so it's been a while since I've eaten the skin. 

 

In my mid teens we switched over to cleaning with an electric knife. Over the past 30+ years I'd say 95% of my fish cleaning I've done has been with them. When I only have a couple fish I'll use a regular knife. Most of the fish I clean are crappies, it's like they were made for fast filleting. 

 

Tim

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topdog1961
1 hour ago, TimJ said:

It looks like you've got a bunch of good eating fillets right there.

I grew up eating scaled bluegills. I don't mind the skin but don't like the scaling so it's been a while since I've eaten the skin. 

 

In my mid teens we switched over to cleaning with an electric knife. Over the past 30+ years I'd say 95% of my fish cleaning I've done has been with them. When I only have a couple fish I'll use a regular knife. Most of the fish I clean are crappies, it's like they were made for fast filleting. 

 

Tim

 

You have a good point there. Crappie is the only fish that I seem to be able to do a good job on using an electric fillet knife. Being a soft fleshed fish, the colder the better for cleaning. 

 

For or bass I could use the electric knife but the limit is 6 and I usually have 3 or less so it's not worth getting it out. 

 

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WMassGriff

Well, I don't mess with Gills, but focus wholly on Crappies. That said I use a fillet glove to hold em and 7" knife (regularly touched up) to fillet them without the skin. Thought about electric knifes but I seem to do ok without. Finished off my last bag of fillets on Friday so I need to go out and get some more in the freezer before hunting season!

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TimJ
35 minutes ago, topdog1961 said:

 

You have a good point there. Crappie is the only fish that I seem to be able to do a good job on using an electric fillet knife. Being a soft fleshed fish, the colder the better for cleaning. 

 

For or bass I could use the electric knife but the limit is 6 and I usually have 3 or less so it's not worth getting it out. 

 

 

I'm a big believer in throwing crappies right on ice as we catch them. They clean easier and the meat looks better.

 

With walleyes I will do it with electric if a couple of us have 6 or 8 but for 2 or 3 than it's usually a regular knife. Like you the time saved isn't worth it.

 

Now I'm hungry for some crispy crappie fillets. 

 

Tim

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mccuha

Other than trout. If my fish are not big enough to filet I don’t keep them and I catch a lot of titty bream.   I only use an electric knife. I can whiz right through them.  I use just a regular home type electric filet knife.   I tried a plane old filet knife once and just wasn’t good with it. With red fish I filet them but leave skin on to grill. 

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dogrunner

I usually skin all my fish and just use a hand knife.  I got an electric but with smaller fish I cannot use it very good. 

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aje4

On small panfish I use a filet knife and skin them.  Everything else is electric knife and skinned.....

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C.J.L.

They make a pull behind the boat scaler that scales fish as you motor.  If you're in NW OH you know Netcraft. They used to have those in their catalog years ago and where we got ours.  I see them on Amazon these days.  I grew up on Lake Erie and we would fish for perch out of the Rocky River west of Cleveland and the old man would put our fish in the scaler, motor slow for 5 minutes or so and those perch were scaled.  It worked great.  

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SelbyLowndes

They used to call Snook "Soapfish".  Turned out the soapy taste was in the skin.  Filet and skin'em and they're one of my favorites...Selbylowndes

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topdog1961
On September 18, 2018 at 10:22 AM, SelbyLowndes said:

They used to call Snook "Soapfish".  Turned out the soapy taste was in the skin.  Filet and skin'em and they're one of my favorites...Selbylowndes

 

Same goes for bass. True to my southern roots, I love to eat bass. Some say they don't like it because it taste strong, but I suspect that's because they don't "zipper" the red blood and bone streak out of the middle of the fillet. Regardless of what the skin taste like, you have to skin it first, then you can pull each half of the fillet off the bad streak, leaving nothing but tasty white meat. 

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mccuha
On 9/8/2018 at 1:57 PM, topdog1961 said:

I went bluegill fishing again yesterday with the elderly gent who has become my regular fishing buddy. He's a lonely widower so he's always ready to go. We did pretty well, brought home 46. He's been wanting to show me his fish scaler so I went to his place this morning to clean fish. He's a veteran of many bluegill trips to Canada with his departed wife, where they cleaned fish on an industrial scale. Personally, I've always just cut the scales off with the skin, it only takes a few seconds. I haven't tasted fish with skin on probably since I was a kid. 

 

His de-scaler held all 46 fish at once in its stainless drum. It had a bunch of holes punched through from the outside with the sharp edges inside. He put about 3 inches of water in the bottom, turned it on, and 1/2 hour later they were descaled and the smaller ones were almost white.  We enjoyed a cup of coffee while his gizmo did the work.

 

Afterwards we cleaned them using fillet knives. Neither one of us are electric knife fans. I've tried them and and make a stinky mess because I cut through the guts, spilling its contents while I cut off the ribs with the fillet, flip the fillet over and deskin.  Then I cut the ribs off with any belly meat and always seem to end up with a lot less meat than hand filleting leaving the ribs on the carcass. My nephews, on the other hand, are pan fishermen par excellence, and clean hundreds of gills in short order using electric knives to clean and de-skin using assembly line techniques. They think the meat loss is minimal and worth the time savings. 

 

I will say that unless this bluegill with skin on is OMG better than skin off, I'll keep skinning. What about you? Skin on or off, old school or electric fillet knife?  I'm sure opinions will vary by individual and by species. 

 

 

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Told a coworker about the descaling gizmo.  Can you tell me the name of manufacturer and where you can get one. He wants one

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topdog1961
10 hours ago, mccuha said:

Told a coworker about the descaling gizmo.  Can you tell me the name of manufacturer and where you can get one. He wants one

 

It''s a Tumble Drumm model TD-6075-05. I note Cabelas and BassPro carry Tumble Drumms, along with numerous other web sites. Prices start at about $225. 

 

I note their new models have plastic end caps on the drum, instead of all stainless drums.  Like most things, newer models do not appear to be built as well as the older ones. Other features, including capacity of 50 panfish, seem the same. 

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C.J.L.

They are on Amazon as well.  

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