View Full Version : How to skin a Mackerel???
06-09-2006, 08:52 PM
Just finished cleaning my catch etc etc. All the reefies I had no trouble at all filleting and skinning, but that darn Mackerel!!! Must be a trick or knack to getting the skin to come off cleanly? How do you all get it off or do you not bother?
10-09-2006, 11:52 AM
Don't bother. Will come off fairly easily when cooked - or just eat it.
13-09-2006, 08:27 AM
nearly all fish can be skinned the same way, regardless of variety, just put fillet skin side down on a cutting board, get a good sharp flexible knife, start a little bit from the tail and grab skin, leave knife still (maybe slight movement) and pull skin, and hey presto the knife will cleanly seperate skin with nearly no flesh lost (after a bit of practice)
13-09-2006, 09:56 AM
We pretty much skin all our fish, all bar macks and dollies. Just not worth it. All we do with the macks is use the knife to scrape the slimy coating off the skin before filleting or steaking.
13-09-2006, 12:00 PM
Thanks guys, I had no trouble at all doing the reefies and have skinned plenty of barra and bass before, using pretty much the same technique described by noelm, thanks noel, but that mackerel had me beat. I finally got the skin off one fillet and left it on the other. In future I won't worry too much about it.
26-09-2006, 01:25 PM
Try this mate -
Hold the fish skin side down and with a sharp knife make a cut down through the flesh to the skin and then flick knife sideways and take off the flesh; kinife heading backwards towards the tail. Then turn the whole thing around and you will have a nice piece of skin attached to the body of the filett - hold the skin and run the knife forward under the remainder of fish............... I find this much easier and quicker on schoolies and spots which show a tendency to tear the skin (soft)
I start my tail section where the last bones finish so end up with nice boneless mackerel tails and then do the same on the remaing section up to where the head would have been - flick out the rib bones/cage - slice down the middle to take out the central bones and you are left with a solid shoulder fillet and solid bottom half fillet.
If its a spaniard - the skin is tough and Ive never had it tear - in fact its so tough we once caught a spaniard that had a single gange hook through one centimetre of skin and it held..........................until we got the gaff in it. Unluckiest Spaniard ever I reckon.......LOL
26-09-2006, 05:32 PM
Just steak it, it is easier. The flesh is then an even thickness so cooking is easier and it presents well on the plate.
Then when it is cooked you can either eat the skin or just peel it off easily.
27-09-2006, 11:57 AM
Like your idea Phill. Will give that way a go over summer. At least you get plenty of practice ;)
17-10-2006, 09:19 PM
Apart from the suggestions here, it actually sounds like you kknow how to skin fish OK, just need the practice with macks. If you are filletting instead iof steaking (I prefer fillets) sometimes easier to make cuts along the fillet according to what size you want, so you only skin small sections at a time.
I will have to agree with Moondancer.
I fish for mackeral quite often, so I like to think I've had plenty of practice filleting them.
I also think fillets taste better by a country mile.
As for skinning, it's a lot easier to skin if the fillet is not one huge slab, so I often cut it down the lateral line and go from there.
If the fillets are going into the freezer I prefer to leave the skin on, then one side is protected from freezer burn, then skin before cooking.
21-10-2006, 07:36 PM
Missus said " Put it in the blender " [smiley=hammer.gif]
21-10-2006, 10:23 PM
Roz is right in my book.We mainly crumb or batter the spanish,so boneless fillets are the go.Cut down the lateral line and whip 3-4 inch pieces off,once the knife is through the flesh and against the skin,I turn the blade and slide left hand fingers carefully in the cut to hold it in place while I part each piece from the skin.I then cut the bloodline off and throw it into the waiting mouth of one of our dogs.Much rather fillet the spanish and trout than other reefies like emperor and sweetlip which have tough scales and bones and tend to knock the edge off the knife real quick.The best thing about is that it is only practice to become proficient ,so you will just have to go fishing more often!!!
22-10-2006, 12:39 PM
filleted a GT once....... never again - how thick are the bones in those buggers - I much prefer filleting mackies, they are sooo easy!
Just like Roz said, we slice the fillets straight down the cental blood line before skinning. I've got an 8inch Wusthof fillet knife but it's still much easier to skin a 3 to 4 inch wide section than a 6 to 8 inch fillet.
Can't wait for summer and bbq cajun spotties.
You may have to share the BBQ cajun recipe, sounds good.
25-10-2006, 10:56 PM
chuck the fish or fillets in the freezer for about 15 - 20 mins. It will firm them up a bit.
They are a breeze to skin after that ;)
30-10-2006, 12:19 PM
Thanks for all the tips, I'll have to go get me some more mackies now to give them all a go.
31-10-2006, 10:55 AM
I usually start at the tail and once I've gone a short way along I poke the knife through the skin so I can hook a finger into the hole. Stops me losing my grip on the fillet. Oh and every now and then wet the knife, makes a big difference. ;)
31-10-2006, 01:56 PM
Thats how I do all mine as well, don't have a problem with most fish, just the mackies. I'll go catch me some more and try a few of the sugestions.
For what it's worth, I've always found them easier to skin if they have been well chilled.
Try freezing the fillets with skin on, when ready to thaw the fillets throw them into a sink of water for about 10 seconds then just tear the skin off. Really does work and the flesh is undamaged because it's still solid. Cheers Mike.
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