How to Fillet a Muskie Fish

by David Harris

The muskellunge, also known as the muskie, is a large game fish found in the fresh waters of North America. Relatively uncommon, the muskie is found in the upper Midwest of the U.S. and the central provinces in Canada. Not only is the muskie difficult to catch, but filleting can also be somewhat difficult. Muskie, like other fish in the pike family, have a good amount of Y bones, which makes eating them difficult. However, you can learn how to fillet a muskie so its flesh makes for a good meal.

Hold the fish so you can cut it on an angle starting from the behind the head in front of the pectoral fin, and stopping when the knife hits the backbone. Flip the fish over and repeat the same process.

Cut along the backbone, starting at the front of the fish and stopping when you hit the Y bones. Push the knife through the fish and cut through to the tail.

Begin at the front of the fish again, cutting through the Y bones. Cut around the main ribs to remove the filet and then do so on the other side. Remove the skin from the fillets. Cut away the section of the filet that was near the anus.

Feel for the Y bones at the top of each filet. Cut down on the bones vertically until the knife hits them. Turn the knife at a 45 degree angle and cut through the filet.

Turn the filet over and cut halfway through the meat. Turn on an angle to cut along the bone. You should three pieces of meat. Throw out the one in the middle with the bones and reserve the other boneless pieces.

About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.