Recommendations for fillet knives and boards for halibut

#1
What do you guys recommend for fillet knives, especially for halibut? I have a Rapala fillet knife with 7.5 inch blade, but it does seem long enough to do the job. I keep it sharp but it still seems to take too much effort. Do you recommend a knife with a longer blade?

Also, do any of you use a fillet board? No matter how much I wipe down a halibut, it's slimy and slips and slides around. I don't have a fillet board yet, I just use a large plastic mat that I can wash afterwards.
 
#2
You may be overthinking this...

I use a 6.5" (blade length) rib knife, extremely sharp. This allows dexterity and precision that a larger knife doesn't, and I get four perfect fillets in less than 15 minutes. Yes, I've been doing this for some time, so experience helps, but halibut is probably the easiest fish to butcher. I have a sheet of plywood (2' X 3') that works well. I don't have a problem with slippage anymore, but I used to do what Chicagoans do when the melting snow is dangerous: SALT. A little sprinkle of salt will give you traction without harming the fillets.

Halibut is one of the few fish that comes with its own set of instructions: cut along the dotted line. Make your incision from tail to head (this allows you to hold onto the tail with the other hand if need be). Cut deep to the bone. Then it's a matter of training your blade upward or downward to separate the fillets. Practice helps--which means you need to go out and catch more halibut! Win-win.
 
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#4
You may be overthinking this...

I use a 6.5" (blade length) rib knife, extremely sharp. This allows dexterity and precision that a larger knife doesn't, and I get four perfect fillets in less than 15 minutes. Yes, I've been doing this for some time, so experience helps, but halibut is probably the easiest fish to butcher. I have a sheet of plywood (2' X 3') that works well. I don't have a problem with slippage anymore, but I used to do what Chicagoans do when the melting snow is dangerous: SALT. A little sprinkle of salt will give you traction without harming the fillets.

Halibut is one of the few fish that comes with its own set of instructions: cut along the dotted line. Make your incision from tail to head (this allows you to hold onto the tail with the other hand if need be). Cut deep to the bone. Then it's a matter of training your blade upward or downward to separate the fillets. Practice helps--which means you need to go out and catch more halibut! Win-win.
Thanks for your suggestions! I had never considered a shorter rib knife. Makes total sense that it gives you more control. And thanks for the tip about salt.

--Thomas
 

Skyhook

Active member
#5
Bubba Blade just came in the mail. My son bought it for me after hearing me complain about trying to fillet larger halibut with the stiff, cheapie, American Angler knife I've been using for years. This new knife feels well made and seems to have the right amount of flex. I'll try to post a review soon, provided I can catch another large fish. 22693F94-1CEB-4B98-B7AD-0298E32E86DE.jpeg CAA664D7-6547-4806-92A4-AEE220E8206B.jpeg