How To

How to Fillet Trout

Picture this: you’re up in the mountains, fresh air filling your lungs, and the sound of a rushing stream by your feet. You cast your line out, waiting in anticipation for the tug that signifies a bite.

After a few moments, you feel it. But as you start to reel it in, you realize that the fight is tougher than expected.

You finally manage to get your catch to shore… only to discover that it’s a trout. Now what? If you’re like most people, your first instinct might be to throw it back.

But with just a little bit of know-how, that trout can make for a delicious meal. Here’s how to fillet trout in a few tips.

  1. Start by cutting off the head just behind the eyes with a sharp knife.
  2. Place the fish on its side on a cutting board, and insert the knife into the flesh just below the base of the head at an angle towards the tail.
  3. Slice down along the length of the fish towards the tail while following the curve of its belly.
  4. Continue slicing until you reach the center of the fish’s underside, then turn the knife and slice up towards where you started at the base of its head.
  5. Turn the fish over and repeat steps 3 and 4 on its other side so that you have two fillets. 
  6. For each fillet, locate the row of small bones running down its center and insert your knife just above it.
  7. Slice horizontally along each side of these bones towards the edge of each fillet until they are completely removed.
  8. To remove any remaining bones, gently run your fingers along each fillet feeling for any bumps or protrusions. If you find any, use tweezers or needle-nose pliers to pull them out.
  9. Use a sharpening stone or honing rod to sharpen your knife if necessary, then rinse each fillet under cold water and pat dry with paper towels before cooking as desired.


With just a little bit of know-how, that trout can make for a delicious meal. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to fillet trout like a pro in no time so that you can enjoy your catch without having to throw it back!

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