To properly fillet a fish you’ll need a few items:

  • A fillet board with a clamp to hold the fish in place.
  • A fillet glove (this is a must if you value your fingers, tendons, and not spending time in the emergency room).
  • A sharp fillet knife.
The steps involved are to
  1. Clamp the fish down on the board by the nose or front of the fish.
  2. Cut behind the gills for an access to the next cut.  Don’t cut through the backbone.
  3. Run your blade from the access cut to the tail of the fish.  Keep the knife as close as possible to the backbone without cutting into it.  Don’t worry if you are getting some guts in the cut (you’ll remove that later).
  4. Trim the fillet of fish of any guts, stray bones, or fins that may have gotten on the fillet.
  5. Cook it on the grill or freeze pack it for later eating.
Be sure to take all safety precautions.  If you don’t feel comfortable wielding a fillet knife (which are sharp) ask someone else to fillet your fish.
Don’t use a dull knife as the extra pressure you exert may damage the meat or even be dangerous to yourself or others.
Don’t use a knife that is too small for the fish you are filleting.  You should be able to cut through the entire width of the fish without multiple cuts.