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I just found my four inch Rapala fillet knife in a kitchen drawer after looking for it all winter. My wife actually admitted that she must have put it there instead of my normal spot for it. At least she didn't throw it away! I find it alot easier to fillet panfish and perch using this smaller knife that with my six inch knife. I like to use the six inch knife for skinning though. I think the smaller knife is easier to use because you are gripping the handle closer to the tip of the knife where all the work occurs. Here's a picture of the two knifes and some bluegills showing that I cut around the ribcage rather than through it.

When I was a kid, my dad used to clean bluegills by cutting off the head and fins, slicing open and removing the guts and then using a "skinner" machine to take off the skin. You were left with a fish that still had all the bones left in it. I can't believe he went through all that trouble and was left with an inferior result. Here's another picture of three pounds of fillets off of 25 gills. This time I kept anything seven inches and up, although I prefer 7 1/2 inches and up.
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