How To Clean A Walleye

How To Clean A Walleye

If you’re an angler who loves fishing, then you know that there’s nothing quite like the thrill of catching a walleye. However, once you’ve caught your walleye, the next step is to clean it. Cleaning a walleye can be a little tricky if you’re not familiar with the process. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to clean a walleye easily and quickly.

Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you get started with cleaning a walleye, you need to gather all the necessary tools. You’ll need a sharp fillet knife, a cutting board, a pair of pliers, and a bucket or container to collect the scraps.

Remove the Scales

The first step in cleaning a walleye is to remove the scales. You can use a scaler or a spoon to scrape the scales off the fish. Make sure to remove all the scales from both sides of the walleye.

Remove the Head

Next, you need to remove the head of the walleye. Use a sharp knife to cut through the bone just behind the gills. Make sure to cut all the way through the bone to remove the head cleanly.

Remove the Innards

Once you’ve removed the head, it’s time to remove the innards. Use a pair of pliers to grab onto the gills and pull them out. Then, cut along the belly of the fish and remove the entrails.

Remove the Fillet

Now it’s time to remove the fillet from the walleye. Place the walleye on its side and make a cut behind the gills and down to the backbone. Then, turn the knife and cut along the backbone, working your way down to the tail. Repeat this process on the other side of the walleye to remove the second fillet.

Remove the Skin

Once you’ve removed the fillets, it’s time to remove the skin. Place the fillet skin-side down on the cutting board. Hold the tail end of the fillet with one hand and use the knife to cut between the skin and the flesh. Use a sawing motion to remove the skin from the fillet.

Cut the Fillet into Portions

Finally, you need to cut the fillet into portions. Place the fillet skin-side down on the cutting board and make a cut through the middle of the fillet. Then, cut each half into smaller portions that are the appropriate size for cooking.


Q: Do I need to descale the walleye?

A: Yes, it’s important to descale the walleye before cleaning it.

Q: Can I use a regular knife to fillet a walleye?

A: No, you need a sharp fillet knife to fillet a walleye properly.

Q: Can I eat the skin of a walleye?

A: Yes, you can eat the skin of a walleye, but you need to remove the scales and cook it properly.

Q: How do I know if the walleye is fresh?

A: Look for clear, bright eyes and firm flesh. The gills should be bright red, and there should be no foul smell.


Cleaning a walleye may seem intimidating, but with the right tools and techniques, it’s a simple process. Follow the steps outlined in this article, and you’ll have a perfectly cleaned walleye ready for cooking in no time.