There is no doubt that there is a certain amount of technique required to quickly make boneless filets from the big Silver Salmon, or King Salmon, Halibut, or other fish you just caught.
That being said the right tools make all the difference. Lets start out with the knife. A good filet knife is a combination of sharpness, strength, and flexibility. The knife needs to be strong enough to push through the flesh of the Salmon along the backbone. It also needs to be sharp, and hold its edge well, so that you can glide the knife through the fish instead of having to saw through it. Lastly is flexibility, you want a knife with a little bend in it, so that you can skin your filets and glide the knife down the backbone without your hand and knuckles grinding along the table like some kind of caveman.
One knife is used more than just about any other by fishermen here in Alaska, including the comercial guys, is the white handled Dexter-Russell Filet Knife.
This knife has a great combination of what we talked about before, holds and edge well, has a great handle with excellent grip, and cleans up super easily.
Another problem for fishermen is how do you get out those pesky pin bones without losing a buch of the meat. One popular solution is needle-nose pliers. Make sure they are clean and do not use the pair from your shop. A better solution might suprise you.
They are called needle holders, or sometimes needle drivers. It is a surgical tool used by doctors and dentists to suture wounds in tight spaces.
Why are these so much better then pliers? They lock in place, they do not slip, and they let you pull out bone after bone without having to repeatedly clean off the tip. You can pick up pairs of these surgical tools inexpensively online, and impress your freinds while the struggle with pliers.
Good Luck fishing and Tight Lines to you. For more information on Fishing in Alaska be sure to subscribe and read this blog regularly.