Home Fishing Tips & Advice How to Sharpen a Fillet Knife Like a Pro

How to Sharpen a Fillet Knife Like a Pro

So you’ve caught the perfect fish and you’re ready to bring it home and serve it up for dinner with a side of green beans and golden potatoes. However, your fillet knife simply isn’t sharp enough to break through the skin on the fish. Sharpening your fillet knife is one of the most important parts of keeping it clean and healthy, but doing it wrong can be damaging.

If you’re looking for that professional sharpness that allows you to cleanly cut through the fish and serve it up without any issue at all, you’ll need a professional’s tool set. There are many different products available that will help you keep your fillet knife sharp, but finding the best one for you requires a bit of prior knowledge about the mechanisms and what they offer.

Don’t let your fishing trip be spoiled simply because your fillet knife wasn’t properly sharpened. Find the perfect sharpening system for your knife and get back behind the counter, serving out the fish that you caught and cleaned yourself. The first step to sharpening your fillet knife like a pro is to choose the type of sharpener you’re going to use.

Different Tools for Sharpening

With so many different types of sharpeners available, it’s impossible to suggest which one is the best for everyone. If you’re looking for efficiency, then the electric sharpener might be the best. If you want to get the satisfaction of knowing you’re the one who did this all yourself then the rod will be great. Cost effectiveness goes to the manual sharpener and a taste of the past can be found in the stone. Choosing the perfect sharpener comes down to your preferences.

Manual Sharpener

This type of sharpener can be brought with you no matter where you go. You don’t need a special set up to keep it safe or an outlet to get it working. Simply clear up a spot in your tackle box and toss your favorite manual sharpener in there with the rest of your equipment. It’s portable and easy to use. With a manual sharpener, you won’t have to worry about hitting the right angle or the process of sharpening. Simply put your fillet knife in the slot and start sharpening right on the boat.

Sharpening Rod

A sharpening rod is a staple of any great kitchen and will likely be found hanging around any fillet shot. They’re dependable and fun to use and will give you one of the best sharpens you’re likely to encounter. It’s never boring to hold something shaped like a sword and to glide your fillet knife along the edge of it. It’s not quite as portable as a manual sharpener in most cases, but the edge you’re likely to give your knife will be one of the cleanest.

Electric Sharpener

The slow, laborious method of manually sharpening your knife is a thing of the past. No longer will you have to work to get that perfect cut. Simply place your fillet knife in the slot, select your preferred settings, and get to sharpening without hassle. With an electric sharpener, efficiency and effectiveness are the name of the game. However, you are losing portability so make sure your fillet knife is well sharpened before you take off on your day at sea.

Sharpening Stone

There’s nothing quite like the classic and sharpening with a stone is as classic as you can get with your fillet knife. There’s a reason why humans used whetstones for most of human history to achieve the perfect edge – it’s reliable and quite effective. Modern sharpeners won’t give you nearly as clean of a blade as the classic stone sharpener. Make sure you select a precision whetstone as most of them are made to sharpen kitchen knives with larger blades.

Keep Your Knife Clean

Depending on the manufacturer, keeping your knife clean could be as simple as tossing it in the dishwasher and giving it a good rinse. However, most fillet knives will slowly wear down and rust if tossed in the dishwasher so it’s important to know beforehand what the manufacturer suggests. Washing it improperly could lead to you needing to sharpen it much more often.

Taking care of your knife is a long process, but it’s well worth it when that knife glides through the fish and serves it up with no resistance at all. As long as you keep your knife clean, there should be no issue at all with sharpness until you’ve been using the knife for years. It’s also important to note the frequency of use. If you use it almost every day, you might have to sharpen it monthly.

Cut Like a Pro

While it’s important to ensure that the knife is sharp and clean, if you don’t know how to fillet a fish, then all of that work could be for nothing. There are hundreds of guides available that will go in depth on how to properly fillet a fish, but we have a few of the most basic preparation tips that should help you out to further your pro status with that fillet knife.

Start by bleeding the fish if it’s fresh. The newer the fish, the more important this step is. Make sure the blood and any fluids in the fish are out before you cook it. Next up is scaling the skin – the scales aren’t good for eating and should be removed with the back of the knife. Finally, it’s important to gut the fish before the filleting occurs. Make sure all of the innards are out and the only thing left is the meat and skin. After all of this is completed, you can start the proper filleting process.

Sharpen your fillet knife like a pro and close out the glorious day of fishing right. Always remember to take care of your fillet knife in order to preserve its lifespan. The better your sharpener the cleaner the cut. Sharpen, clean, and cut like a pro in no time.