How To Fillet Mangrove Snapper (Quick & Easy Way)


Want to learn how to clean mangrove snapper the quick and easy way?

We recently went out with Capt. Mark “Hollywood” Johnson of and caught a ton of keeper mangrove snapper using cut bait.

Fish tacos were on the menu that night, but first, we had to clean them.

Since Capt. Hollywood has cleaned thousands of these delicious fish, he agreed to show us how he fillets them in this video.

You’ll learn:

  • How to fillet mangrove snapper (while getting the most meat possible)
  • How to skin the fillets so they’re ready to throw in the frier
  • How to get rid of the bones so you don’t get an unwanted surprise at dinner time
  • And more

Check it out below.

How To Fillet Mangrove Snapper [VIDEO]

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Before you start filleting your fish, you always want a sharp fillet knife — this will make the job much easier.

Now, here’s how to clean mangrove snapper step by step:

Step 1: Cut the fish diagonally behind the gill

Step 2: Place your knife in the cut and slide it along the backbone (but stop just short of cutting the fillet off the fish)

If you angle the knife down just a little bit facing the backbone, you’ll get the most meat from the fish possible.

Step 3: Cut the fillet off of the skin

Again, angling your knife down a little bit will help you get as much meat possible.

Also, keeping the knife handle off of the table and the blade parallel to it will help maximize the size of your fillet.

Step 4: Repeat on the other side of the fish

Step 5: Cut the rib cages out of the fillets


mangrove snapper tacos

I don’t know about you, but I love me some mangrove snapper tacos!

Filleting them is easy and if you follow the instructions in this video, you’ll be able to skin and de-bone them easily, too.

Have any questions about filleting mangrove snapper?

Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re in the Florida Keys and want to book a trip with Capt. Hollywood and his crew, you can find them at

And if you know someone who wants to learn how to clean mangrove snapper, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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1 year ago

Good way to get best fish fillets. Thanks for your Hollywood Tips. I use the same techniques on bigger eaters, but use an electric knife to cut near or through bones. I keep my knife sharp longer that way for skin and bone removal.. It would be great to see your knife sharpening gear and technique on another video sometime soon. Thanks! Wisconsin Bob

Brett Laws Laws
3 years ago

Hollywood makes it look easy. I’m assuming you would bread and fry them? Any other recipes you would suggest?


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