How To Clean Flounder & Halibut Like A Pro! [Video]

By: Luke Simonds on September 7, 2015
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how to clean a flounder

It’s “Doormat” Time!

While pursuing snook, redfish, and trout on the flats, the one fish that I always enjoy crashing the inshore fishing scene is a flounder… (aka Fluke, aka Doormat)

First of all, they’re a pretty darn cool looking fish… I remember being completely baffled by them as a kid when seeing a fish with two eyes on one side.

And on top of looking cool, their fillets are highly prized by many anglers for excellent food quality. I am always down for some fresh flounder!

But a big problem I’ve seen at local cleaning tables and in some of the online fishing forums is that many people don’t know how to properly fillet a flounder to get all of the meat…

Because the filleting technique for flounder (and other flat fish like halibut) is very different than what is needed for most other species.

And when not cleaning a flounder, halibut, or any other flatfish properly, a lot of good meat is missed.

flounder eyes

See below for a list of steps and to see how the pros do it… and make sure to watch the girl clean the big halibut in under 90 seconds.

Holy Halibut!

Core Steps To Fillet A Flounder or Halibut

The most important thing to keep in mind when filleting a flounder or halibut is that each side needs to be segmented into two separate sections… with the spinal column being the dividing point.

This is because the raised spinal column would otherwise block a high percentage of their meat from getting extracted.

And as you’ll see in the flounder filleting video shown below, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to divide each side into two separate fillets…

Here are the steps:

  1. Cut a vertical line from the top of the fish down to the bottom just past the side fin (angle it towards the top to capture the thick meat above the head of the fish)
  2. Skim along the backbone of the top or bottom section of a side
  3. Cut over the spinal column to expose the other half
  4. Skim along the backbone of the other side
  5. De-skin the fillets
  6. Cut out the rib bones

Check out the great videos below to see the steps in action…. these pros show how to do it at amazing speeds:

flounder strong shirt

How to Clean Flounder

Watch our friend Capt. Sean Lowe from over at “Chasin’ Tail TV” fillet a flounder in under 15 seconds after a quick tutorial on how to do it.

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How to Clean Halibut

This girl fillets a good-sized halibut in under 90 seconds making it look incredibly easy.

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Filleting a flounder, halibut, or any other “flat fish” species isn’t nearly as tough as many anglers think… as you saw in the awesome videos above, the process can be incredibly fast when done properly.

When you do it right, you won’t be leaving any wasted meat behind for the pelicans either…

And the best part is how great the great fillets will taste at the dinner table!

Hope you learned some great tips on how to clean flounder from this video post.

Please share this with your fishing friends so they can see these amazingly fast flounder and halibut fillets by the pros. I would greatly appreciate it, and so will they!

Related Post: How To Catch Flounder

P.S. – If you have any questions or other fillet tips to add, please leave your comments in the comment area. Hope to hear from you!

P.P.S. – Tag a friend if you know anyone that can beat Capt. Sean Lowes’ 15-second fillet time!

Fish On!

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11 months ago

What kind of knife do you recommend? Is the key just having the blade very sharp?

2 years ago

Do you scale the flounder before filleting?

Michael G.
4 years ago

I think you’ve done that before. Thanks now I just need to go catch some.

John Taylor
4 years ago

Good stuff! What type sharpener do you use on your fillet knives?

4 years ago

A few days ago I caught a flounder and after filleting it I said to myself that I need to find a video on how to do it properly. So great timing with this video! These guys (and gal) rock!