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Offshore Academy-Capt. Scott Goodwin Thread, Evolution of Tuna Cleaning. in TribeNwater Fishing; As the title mentions, I am in a constant state of learning. Practice and exposure to other's techniques, help dial ...
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Old 02-17-2007, 04:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Evolution of Tuna Cleaning.

As the title mentions, I am in a constant state of learning. Practice and exposure to other's techniques, help dial in a system for cleaning a particular fish. After thousands of tuna, this technique allows for speed, access to meat and clean, ready to eat fillets.

Slice down behind the head/gill area until you hit the spine.



Slice towards tail along the back, only and inch or so in.



Start slicing along the belly the same as the dorsal side and connect up to gill slice.



Continue this 360 degree slice inward using the bones as a guide until you meet at the spine.

Now stop on that side, flip the tuna over and repeat on the other side. Leaving both sides intact supports the fish making it easier to fillet the uncut side.

Now slice up a couple inches from the tail, lift up fillet and cut a finger hole in the end.







The meat on both sides is only connected right on top of the spine. Lift with your finger hole and slice the connection towards the head. I use this method on most larger fish.



Repeat on the opposite side and toss the carcass. Any meat left above the spine is great sushi!



Now remove the rib section, slicing at an angle to save some meat.



Now we have two fillets with bone and dark meat down the center. Using the finger hole, slice down through the skin on either side of the bones in the center line








Now we take the meat off of the skin. Start with half of the fillet. On a big fish just do an 10" chunk at a time.





Now you have two loins with no bone but a concave peice of very dark meat. This dark meat is the fishy portion and needs removing. Trim this out in small slices taking a little at a time until you hit the lighter meat.





Now these loins can be sliced into steaks of your desired thickness. Cook med-rare to retain moistness. Tuna will continue to cook on plate after removed from heat so take it off while still red in the middle.

Use this same method for all tuna.

Last edited by Capt. Scott Goodwin; 02-17-2007 at 05:16 AM.
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Old 02-17-2007, 05:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My cousin showed me that trick a few years ago. I think Dan-o off the Ocean Obsession showed him. Works AWESOME!

Now I'm hungry though.
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Old 02-18-2007, 10:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Im going to have to give that one a try. I have a few questions. When you sliced through the belly did you go all the way through the gut package? What knife are you using? I just pick nick in my Forshner 10" Cimatar and Im looking for a new knife.

Great tutorial Capt. Scot.
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Old 02-18-2007, 06:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Dexter Russel Knife

Glad you liked the report. The kife I use for almost all of my fish cleaning is a Dexter-Russel S-138 fillet knife. It is their 8" Wide version. All of their knives take an edge back when they start to dull. You can throw them in the dishwasher and keep them looking great. About 17 to 20 dollars depending on where you shop.

As for the belly cut, I do slice the belly, but don't go up into the guts themselves. Just slice the belly skin. Then as you remove the fillet, you will exspose the guts, but they won't be diced and too messy. Hope this helped and thanks for your time.

PS I just looked back and saw I was using a Forshner knife in the picture. They are good too, but I normally use the Dexter.

Last edited by Capt. Scott Goodwin; 02-18-2007 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 02-18-2007, 07:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Now i just need to catch a tuna so I can try.
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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We do it a little different on the left coast. But that'll work. It's all about speed for those of us who work on the big sportboats. 2 deckhands may have 300 tuna to fillet on the way home. Gotta be fast!!! Believe it or not, even going fast, the right deckhands sacrifice no quality...
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh, great pictures and tutorial by the way!!
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Old 02-19-2007, 08:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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That is how one of the 6 packs I fish handle the big WSB. Gotta go with Smudge, speed is the key on the left coast when albies/yft go wfo.
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Old 02-24-2007, 04:29 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smudge View Post
We do it a little different on the left coast. But that'll work. It's all about speed for those of us who work on the big sportboats. 2 deckhands may have 300 tuna to fillet on the way home. Gotta be fast!!! Believe it or not, even going fast, the right deckhands sacrifice no quality...
Can any fishing boat fillet their catch offshore california?
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Old 02-24-2007, 09:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes, that's a big difference between us and FL. Certain species must have a skin patch or the entire skin still attached to the fillet, and there are minimum fillet lengths per specie.

For me on a 1/2 day fishing boat I deal mainly with bass, rockfish, yellowtail and barricuda. We have to finish filleting in the ocean or the main part of San Diego Bay, we cannot cut fish in the boat basin.
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