I like to use a four-inch bladed knife which helps a lot for just moving around these smaller fish getting around the ribs and up the backbone. You start out with just your standard filleting method.
You take the knife put it under the fins and you cut down to the backbone all the way up to the top of the head. Then you run the knife along the top of the fin. Once I get about halfway down I go back and have the knife tip in all the way and just run it along the top of the rib cage.
As you are going along the rib cage you just peel the meat back. Then you stick the knife all the way through towards the tail here and run it through. Then you repeat the same thing on the other side.
The next step is to remove the skin from the meat. I like a 6″ knife for this because you are able to reach through both sides and take the meat off in one sweep.
The last step I like to do is along the top of where the rib cage was there’s a row of bones that people call pin bones. In most fish you’ll probably won’t be able to fry them out. The easiest thing to do is feel them with your finger take the knife on either side you just make a thin little strip cut remove this little chunk of meat and there’s your finished fillet.
You can use these fillet tips when you are cleaning fish to maximize the amount of meat you get off of the fish when you fillet them.