How to Fillet Walleye and Yellow Perch
Slice fish behind the gills all the way to the backbone but don’t sever. Now do the same on the other side of the fish. Then make a cut up the center of the belly to the vent hole. (fig #1)
Place knife into first cut behind the gills and work knife along backbone being careful not to cut through it. Flip the fish and do the same to the other side all the way to the tail.
Now lay the fish with the skin still attached, skin side down. Take your sharp fillet knife and go under the rib bones from the top to the bottom, cutting rib bones free. (fig #2)
Now on the center line of the fillet, running your finger over it you can feel the straight bones.
Take your sharp fillet knife and cut down to the skin on each side of these bones. (fig #3)
Now you are ready to take the skin off. Grab your fillet by the tail end. Take your fillet knife and cut to the skin. Then tip your knife between 30-45* angle and pull your fillet toward you in a side to side motion. (fig #4)
With the skin removed, the small finger of bones will be hanging from the fillet. Cut loose and discard.
This is a simple way to clean a great eating fish.
Another quick way to remove the rib bones was shown to me by my good friend Kenny Herman Toftland. Instead of having the skin side down and removing the rib bones the above described way, turn the fish skin side up and press down on the fillet and slide your sharp fillet knife over the top of the bones and slightly down and back.
You will find that with practice, you can cut the time it takes to clean perch and walleye by a considerable amount. Nobody I know wants to spend hours cleaning the fish they caught.