How to Fish

How To Fillet A Flounder Or Halibut

How To Fillet a Flounder Fast

All species of flounder and halibut are known for their excellent eating, but many people are hesitant when it comes to cleaning them. Because of their odd, flat shape, flounder look much harder to clean than they actually are, and getting perfect fillets from a flatfish isn’t as hard as you might think.

This simple method works with the anatomy of any flatfish.

One thing to note, however, is that some states such as California require that you keep your halibut fillets whole and don’t quarter them. They also say you must keep the skin on them. So, make sure you know your state’s regulations for filleting halibut and flounder before you start cutting.

1) Make a crescent-shaped incision just behind the head and under the pectoral fin. Cut down as deep as the spine.

 fillet flatfish flounder

2) Now cut downward on top of the spine, following down the length of the fish.

 fillet flatfish flounder

3) Next, let your blade tip fall off the spine and make small cuts letting the knife slide along the bones outward until you get to the thin part at the fin base. You’ll have to repeat this step in each direction, top, and bottom. When complete, you will end up with four parts to your fillet or two per side.

 fillet flatfish flounder

4) On the underside of the fish, you cut down to the belly and angle the blade up before you pierce the gut cavity.

 fillet flatfish flounder

5) Now remove the skin by holding the knife at a shallow angle and working it along the fillet. Peel off the little sections of ridged fin meat on the outside edge of the fillet as it may be too fishy for most people’s taste.

 fillet flatfish flounder

There you have it, an easy way to fillet flounder, fluke or halibut. Always use a sharp knife like this Dexter, and enjoy the fish’s delicious, flaky white meat.

Capt. Scott Goodwin
Capt. Scott Goodwin started fishing in the lakes of Kentucky where he grew up. A move to Florida, however, brought him into a whole new realm of fishi...