To those of you who dont know. I thought I would bring this back up, for people who just dont understand how it works. For years I didnt really know until about ten years ago which is a long time since I am ....... Anyway I call it 2 UP. Thats all you have to remember. 2 LINES AND UP. Wrap the pike in newspaper for a half hour to soak up the slime, and leave it in the paper while you do it to save cleaning up all the slime. Fillet with the skin on, scrape with your knife from back to front on the meat side, this will show you the 2..... lines. The upper Y line and the center vertabrae line. Fillet UP on the top line as you would do upside down on a rib cage. Thats the backstrap and it isnt very big. The next step is very important to not waste a lot, some people cut straight down on the center line. Do not do this. Cut UP on as sharp an angle as you can. Thats the 2 lines and the UP. Hope this helps a few of you to enjoy pike as much as I do.
Fillet Pike easy
That's the exact technique I have been using this summer and bones have not been a problem at all. I've had some amazing pike fillet dinners this year. I am disappointed in myself for not catching/cleaning/eating pike in the past as I now realize what I was missing. Until this summer, my pike fishing has been focused on winter tip up fishing for bigger ones and mostly CPR. I've had a blast this year taking breaks in musky fishing and specifically targeting pike....catching well over 100 this summer so far (most released), keeping a couple each time out for a meal.
When doing 5 fillet technique I hold pike on its belly, the first fillet cut is just behind head, just to the spine. Turn blade flat to cleaning board and cut following spine to the dorsal fin. Both back loins should come off with this cut. This should expose the very top tips of the Y bones. Put fish on side and fillet off rear tail sides from dorsal fine to tail on both sides. Put fish back on belly. You need to be able to see the top tips of the Y bones. Use those as your reference to fillet just outside the bone tips. Just like filleting the sides off a blue gill. Do both sides. For a final touch pick up your back loin cut. There will be both loins with a section of cartilage between the loins holding them together. Use your fingers to pinch between cartilage and loin at one end. They should start to separate. Then grab loin and smoothly pull down and it will strip away from cartilage. Repeat on other loin and grab strip of cartilage and pull down. It will strip away. This will leave you two separate loin pieces ready for the fryer.
I tried this method for the first time a few weeks ago - I think it is a bit easier than doing your fillets the normal way, and then filleting out the y bones.
I will say, you have to have a fairly light knife stroke to get the back fillet and avoid the y bones.
If you want to keep smaller pike and struggle with one of of the bone-free methods of filleting, you can food process the fish and make fish cakes.
Ya gotta work fast! The slime is like glue. A ball of newspaper glued to the fish makes it tough but it’s better than having a slimy cutting surface. CARPIO
I am aware of the 5 piece method, however wrapping in newspaper is a great idea.
I came across the five piece method several years ago and have been using it ever since. Before that I would seldom keep northern pike because of the y-bone. When I did I would fillet it off the backbone and ribs and then trim out the y-bone section, that was a slow process and seamed to waste too much meat. Once I learned the five piece method it became quick and easy to do with less waste. Any method used works better on a larger fish but I found the five piece works quite well on smaller pike too.
I dont get that method, every time I tried it I got the tips of the y bones. Probably went too deep on the top, as I would go all way the to the back bone instead of feeling for the top of the y. I used to save all the y bone meat for pickling
I do enjoy eating pike. Almost more than walleye. I used to do this same technique to fillet pike for years and it does work.
A number of years ago I came across the 5 fillet technique for pike and was amazed at how quick and easy it was and how quickly I learned the method. I now show all my fishing buddies this simple technique. Look it up on you tube and give it a shot. I do find it is best with pike over 22 inches long and I don't like to kill pike over 30 inches. I will start using the paper wrap to decrease the slim of the northern. This should make the method even easier.
I am not saying the zip method is wrong or difficult. It is an excellent method, but I found the 5 fillet method easier for me. I wish I would have knew technique earlier.
hop over to youtube and search for...DERAILERMAN....easiest way I have found...do like the wrapping in newspaper suggestion, didn't think of that