How to Fillet Halibut
With Rafe Oliphant, Head Captain, Kodiak Legends Lodge
Produced by Fish Alaska

How to fillet halibut like the pros? Quality fish care makes a huge difference. We were so impressed on our trip to Kodiak Legends Lodge that we wanted to give you a step-by-step guide to perfecting your halibut filleting techniques.

How to Fillet Halibut

  1. Start with the brown side, use the back of your fillet knife to scrape off any surface slime to ensure the skin is clean and dry.
  2. Cut across the tail to the bone.
  3. Cut up along the bottom of the fish to the gut cavity. (Note, don’t cut the gut cavity to avoid spilling any stomach contents.)
  4. Cut up along the dorsal side to the halibut’s head. Follow through with the cut down the gill side.
  5. From top of the ribs to tail, perform the lateral cut.
  6. Locate the end of the gut cavity and cut just behind it, making sure not to cut the stomach.
  7. Use your fillet knife to follow the lateral cut, repeating this motion, slightly flexing your fillet knife, to remove the fillet.
  8. Repeat on the bottom to remove the second fillet.
  9. The halibut cheek cut is performed by locating the bone behind the eye, and tracing the cheek plate with your fillet knife to remove the cheek.
  10. On the white side, use the back of your fillet knife to remove any slime, being sure to rinse your knife to keep the fish as clean as possible.
  11. Cut the tail across to the bone.
  12. Perform the dorsal cut, slightly deeper than the other side.
  13. Cut along the bottom to the gut cavity, being careful not to rupture the stomach.
  14. Cut along the lateral line to the tail.
  15. Locate the end of the gut cavity and cut down.
  16. Repeat the lateral cut, flexing the fillet knife to remove each fillet. Use smooth strokes to keep your fillets looking great.
  17. Locate the bone and remove the cheek.

Now that you’ve mastered how to fillet halibut, check out our halibut recipes here!