Cleaning and cutting the fillets from fresh black cod is a simple but essential process that removes the bones. The goal is to retain as much of the fillet meat as possible. It's critical that the fish be cleaned and filleted shortly after being caught in order to maintain its freshness. So whether you are on a camping trip or preparing fish in your own kitchen, knowing how to properly fillet a black cod fish will maximize your catch.
Wash the fish under cold water and place fish on a clean cutting board. Cut off its head at the gills using a good sharp knife. A dull blade can lead you to forcing it through the fish, which can increase the chance of injury.
Grab the fish by the tail and cut away from you: from the tail to the cut that removed the head. Make the incision almost in the center of the fish, so you basically cut it into a left and right half. Cut just above the fish's ribs, which you will be able to feel with your knife and use as a guide.
Pull the fillet away from the fish’s body once the blade reaches the top of the fish (the head end). Inspect the fillet for bones. Bones will look like small, thin white pieces of plastic. Pull the bones gently out of the fillet with the fork.
Separate the scales and skin from the meat with the knife by cutting under the skin and pulling the skin slowly away from the fillet from the front to the back. The skin should be a thin layer with little to no meat on it.
Repeat these steps with the other side of your fish and discard bones and left over fish parts.