How to Clean a Walleye in 10 Seconds

Walleye are one of the most targeted Fish in Northern waters.

These are cool water fish and some of the best eating fish you can find.

When you have a stringer of Walleye, you want to clean them quickly.

Learn how to wash and clean Walleye in ten seconds flat.


How do you Clean Walleye in 10 seconds?

  1. Lay the fish horizontal to you.
  2. Lift the pectoral fin, which is just below the gill opening.
  3. Cut straight down until you hit the spine but DO NOT cut through the spine.
  4. Turn the knife flat so the blade is angled to the tail.
  5. With the tip of the knife near the spine, begin cutting straight down the spine to the tail. Cut through the rib bones.
  6. The filet will come off the fish.
  7. Turn the filet flesh side up, and you will see the row of ribs.
  8. Take the knife and place it horizontal where the ribs meet the flesh.
  9. Slice thinly under the ribs keeping the knife angled at the ribs and away from the flesh. Using this process, you will save more meat on the filet. As you slice, pull up on the ribs to expose the cutting zone. As you cut, the ribs will peel away.
  10. When the ribs are removed, run the knife between the flesh and skin, angle the knife-edge at the skin. Lift the flesh as you cut. As you cut, the skin will come off the flesh in a single piece.
  11. Flip the fish over and repeat for the other side.

How to wash a walleye in 10 seconds?

Washing the Fish means washing the filets.

Blood and small bone particles will remain on the flesh and sometimes even fish scales when you filet the Fish.

To wash the filets, run them under running water and remove the flood and any loose debris.

When washed, the filets are ready to go into zipper bags and be frozen or into a pan for cooking.

As you wash the filets, you will feel if there are any bones in the flesh.

Single bones are easy to remove with a pair of pliers or a sharp knife.

To remove a single bone, grab the thicker end of the bone with the pliers and pull upwards and back, peeling the bone out of the flesh.

Walleye Canadian Technique

Cleaning a fish Canadian-style is much the same as the instructions above. Y

  • Place the Fish flat and horizontal.
  • Make a deep cut at the pectoral fin down to the spine without cutting through the spin.
  • Turn the knife flat with the blade pointing towards the tail.
  • Cut down the spine and through the ribs to the tail.
  • Turn the filet flesh side up and remove the skin.

Either way of cleaning a walleye may seem complex, but as you get the hang of it, you can clean a walleye in 10-seconds.

How do you wash Walleye without bones?

To wash a walleye without bones, run the filet under running water.

Coldwater is best as warm or hot water will begin to cook the Fish.

You may need a knife to help remove blood pockets.

When the blood, bones, and debris are gone, the filet is clean and ready to cook.

How to fillet a large walleye?

Large Walleye are easy to clean.

You follow the same techniques listed above.

In many ways, cleaning a large walleye is more manageable than cleaning smaller Fish.

However, the filets are thicker, as are the bones.

To overcome this, you use more pressure on the knife to cut through the rib bones.

An alternative way to clean big Walleye is to:

  1. Cut down at the pectoral fin through the spine to remove the head.
  2. Take the point of your knife and insert it point down through the first rib bone. Cut down the spine through the ribs.
  3. Turn the Fish over and, using the plant of the knife, cut down through the rib bones to the tail, leaving the tail attached.
  4. At this point, you have removed the head and the spine.
  5. Make a horizontal cut along the belly if needed. The goal is to leave the tail connected.
  6. Unfold the filets and make a horizontal cut from along the rib bones to remove them
  7. Turn the Fish and repeat so that you remove the ribs from both filets. What is left to do is to remove the skin.
  8. Using a horizontal cut, slice the knife blade between the skin and the flesh and keep the blade’s angle pointed slightly towards the skin.
  9. The filet will come off of the skin and is now ready to be washed.

This method is a little slower but can save more flesh.

The thing about Walleye is that you can easily catch 20 or more per day.

So, quickly cleaning them is a handy skill.

With that many Fish, you don’t have to worry too much about wasting some small bits of flesh.

How to clean frozen Walleye?

The only difference in cleaning a frozen walleye is that you thaw it out before you filet it.

Then, follow any of the two styles of cleaning and filleting the Fish as described above.

How do you grab a walleye?

Hold Walleye horizontal to remove the pressure from the spine.

Use your fingers to gently hold them at the gill opening without touch the red gills.

Use your second hand to support the belly area.

Do Walleye have Y bones?

Yes, Walleye have Y bones, and they are easy to remove. Y-bones run down the center of the filet.

To remove them, make two cuts on either side of the Y-bone strip.

First, hold the filet up and grab the flesh.

Then, gently pull down, and the flesh will come away from the Y bone segment like undoing a zipper.

Repeat for the other side.

The filets are now boneless, and you can discard the section of y-bones.

This method works well and wastes little of the walleye meat.

Do you scale Walleye?

There is no need to descale Walleye as you remove the skin before cooking.

Any cooking tips?

The best way to cook Walleye is in a hot pan with plenty of oil.

You can dredge the filet through a bit of flour with salt and pepper to help keep the meat from sticking.

Walleye is one of the best fish for eating.

Season with salt and pepper, and lunch or dinner is cooked.

Final thoughts

Walleye is an easy fish to clean and wash.

Fishing for Walleye is something everyone should try.

They are prolific, and when you hit a pocket of Walleye, you can catch a fish every minute.