Lessons From The Trail Episode 3 How-To Clean A Pike

Lessons From The Trail Episode 3 How-To Clean A Pike

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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.

Ted with a 9lb Northern Pike. Photo: Jim Baird
Ted with a 9lb Northern Pike. Photo: Jim Baird

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.

Step 2 . Jim Cleans a Pike in the headwaters of the Du Pas River. Photo: Ted Baird
Step 2 . Jim Cleans a Pike in the headwaters of the Du Pas River. Photo: Ted Baird

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.

We found this Miskrat in the stomach of the 9lb Pike Ted caught in this video. Photo: Jim Baird
We found this Muskrat in the stomach of the 9lb Pike Ted caught in this video. Photo: Jim Baird

 

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Jim Baird is an Adventurer, videographer, writer, photographer, and talent. His previous rolls include extensive work with a map company as well as guiding and prospecting. Jim has shot video for Cineflix productions, BBC Worldwide, 13 Minds, and The Weather Network US. He's produced video series such as “The Kesagami River Solo” and “Lessons From The Trail with Jim Baird”. Jim’s content has also appeared in print for several publications that include Explore, Canoeroots, Real Fishing, Ontario Out of Doors, Outdoor Canada, Canoe & Kayak, and Field & Stream magazines. Jim is an expert woodsman, white-water canoeist, survivalist, and a bold wilderness navigator. His expedition experience includes a solo trip down the canoe eating rapids of the Kesagami and then along the tempestuous James Bay coat, an 800-mile snowmobile expedition across the Northwest Passage, 300miles above the Arctic Circle. A month long descent of the Northwest Territories Kuujjua River in the Arctic Archipelago, followed by 120-kilometers of paddling on the Arctic Ocean. He's also completed a 33-day canoe expedition via four rivers including the Adlatok in northern Quebec and Labrador.

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