Fishing for Pike in the shallow weedy headwaters of the Du Pas was excellent. It was August so the massive Pike had retreated to deeper waters and are harder to catch from mid to late summer. Still, in many places we were catching smaller Pike around 5-8lbs on almost every cast. We were even getting hits while paddling at a good clip while our lures skipped along the surface.
Granted, there is more than one way to clean a Pike to minimize bones. For example, filleting the pike and removing the “Y” bone is the other method I use, especially for larger Pike. I find the “Five Cut” method I demonstrate to work very well, and it minimizes wasted meat.
Follow these steps to clean a pike using the “Five Cut” method:
1. Cut down to the spine from the back of the head and then slice along the spine to the tail to remove the back strap.
2. Slice off the skin after lying it skin side down.
3. Placing the pike on it’s belly, cut down the inside of the skin on the fish’s sides from the top on either side.
4. Following the spine with the knife, cut the skin-less, meaty fillets off from the head to the dorsal fin.
5. Fillet the remaining meat from the dorsal fin to the tail on both sides and remove the skin.
Don’t be surprised if you find a partially digested muskrat in the stomach of a big pike! We did.