There has already been a couple threads on this, and rightfully so. One of the best tips I've picked up here. If you haven't tried it do so. We cut straight under throat, bleed out in filled livewell, then toss in cooler. Well worth the couple minutes. I might try scissors on the gills next trip out. Sounds safer.
i personally just bleed the fish that are about 5 lbs and up. for me it's not necessary to bleed these 2003 fish. it makes a big difference with the big ones tho', taste a lot better. especially the 8 lbers and up.
Just started doing it this year myself, and will continue from now on for all the reasons already mentioned... less mess, whiter filets, better taste. I learned how to zipper also, another great tip to learn.
Make a vertical cut (1"-1 1/2" long) in the throat between the gills. There is a soft spot there...make sure you go in far enough when making the cut. You'll know it's right when the blood starts to flow out.
I learned how to bleed and zipper them this year also. I'll be doing both from now on. On the boats ive been on the fish are usually dead in about 10 mins in the bucket when bled. Makes it easier to clean physically and mentally when their not flopping around on the cleaning table.
Make a vertical incision about an inch deep just between their gills on their throats. You'll know when you hit their jugular when the blood startes to gush out.
Some captains knock them out before they bleed them and some don't.
I learned that this year too...at the "Hetfield Inn Turtle Creek Extravaganza". It might be hard to explain without seeing, but I'll give it a try:
1. After the fillet has been stripped from the skin, and the bone/stomach section has been skimmed off with the electric knife, take a sharp filet knife.
2. At the tail you make two incisions, one on either side of the center...there is a darker section of meat there, some people call it a "mud vein"--so that's the terminology I will use henceforth. Make about a 1/2-inch cut on either side of and parallel to the mud vein.
3. Now grab one of the sides of the fillet in each hand and pull apart. The fillet should "zip" apart.
4. The other side of the fillet will now have the mud vein. Pull that apart too. Ideally, the mud vein will pull off and you will have a single strip with bones and red ugly meat. Throw that away and keep the two nice, clean sides of the fillet.
If you lay the fillet skin side down and lightly rub your hand over it, you will feel a row of bones that run lengthwise with the fillet, just about in the middle. If you take a sharp knife, and run it down both sides of them, you will have a vitually boneless fillet. You'll know if you get too close to the bones, because you will feel your knife hitting or cutting through them.