Fishing Saltwater

How to Clean a Halibut

Halibut are some of the strangest looking fish in the sea. As the largest flatfish in the ocean, halibut average about 25 pounds, but they can grow up to 400 pounds or more. In what is perhaps one of nature’s most bizarre adaptations, halibut begin their lives swimming like a salmon, with an eye on each side of their head. However, after 6 months, one eye passes to the other side, giving halibut their signature double-eyed appearance. At that same point in their life cycle, the side of the halibut that has both eyes will darken, providing the fish camouflage from predators who lurk above them. Low in fat content, and sporting a firm, dense texture, halibut make for great table fare. A single halibut produces 4 fillets.

Though some confuse halibut with flounder, the two fish have distinct differences. Halibut scales are smaller, making their skin appear to be smooth. Flounder tend to have sharper, arrow-shaped teeth, while halibut teeth are cone-shaped. It’s also a little-known fact that flounder meat turns mushy when cooked, which makes halibut far more preferable. The abnormally shaped halibut can give inexperienced ocean anglers a bit of trouble when it comes time to cut and clean.

No worries, pay attention below to the cuts made on this Pacific Halibut, pulled from Alaskan waters.

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