Spring Walleye Fishing

     Take advantage of today, the last day to try for some monster walleyes coming in to spawn on the Seagull River.  There are usually a couple of big ones caught each spring but if you happen to catch a smaller one then go ahead and enjoy a fish dinner.  This excerpt of how to fillet a walleye is from the On the Lake website.

Start as you might normally start: fish belly towards you and fish head on your left. (This method is for a right-handed person; rotate the position of the head 1800 to the right if you are a left-hander.) Make the first cut down and into the fish just behind the pectoral fin. Then, turn the knife and, keeping pressure on the back of the blade, cut along the backbone and through the rib cage all the way through to the tail and out. The whole side of the fish comes off and the rest of the rib cage remains attached to the fillet.
Turn the fish over so that the back or dorsal side is now facing you and repeat the process. You now have two fillets with rib bones intact and waiting to be removed.



From here, I originally learned to remove the rib cage by placing the fillet skin-side down and cutting down behind the ribs. I had to follow the curve of the rib cage with my knife. I did OK and actually got very good at removing the rib cage… eventually. But following the curve of the ribs was difficult and inefficient. This “new” method has me place the rib cage-side of the fillet down. It is more effective and actually easier.
No matter which fillet you are going to de-bone, place the knife at the anterior or front end of the fillet and just above the rib cage. Use one hand to apply downward pressure to the fish – and the rib cage – to flatten out the rib cage.


Cut towards the belly of the fish and gradually work toward the posterior or tail of the fish, allowing the knife to simply follow the now-flattened rib cage. Flattening the rib cage makes the cut easier and straighter and results in less waste of good fillet.



If you don’t already save the "cheeks" from your walleyes, I encourage you to do so.  These morsels are easily removed and considered to be the "fillet mignon" of the walleye; they can be used to make several fish dishes as well as a great "Walleye Cheek Dip".