Tuna Belly How To

Harvesting a tuna's belly is easy and this fatty meat tastes incredible.
Charlie Levine
We timed our trip to Sport Fish Panama Island Lodge to coincide with the annual yellowfin bite, and the fishing was off the charts. Each day we landed multiple tuna over 90 pounds using poppers and cut bait. The crews did an expert job cleaning the fish, and harvested the fatty belly meat from all of the big fish using Bubba Blade fillet knives. They started by removing the tuna loins. Photos by Charlie Levine.
Once you've removed the loins, place the tuna on one side and begin removing the belly meat by making a cut under the gill plate, slicing under the fish's jaw. Presented byBubba Blade.
Slice just behind the finlets under the chin as you work around the fish's jawline. Presented by Bubba Blade.
Follow the gillplates as your roll the fish's body over to harvest as much of the belly meat as you can.
Having a sharp Bubba Blade with the nonslip grip helps you keep the knife in place, even if you get blood and fish slime on your hands as you finish your cut.
Separate the belly meat from the fish's head by slicing toward the fish's pectoral fin.
Once the belly meat is cut away from the head, trim the other end away from the bottom of the fish to remove the entire belly.
This is what the tuna belly will look like once removed. This meat has no bones to deal with. Notice the white fatty tissue in the meat. This extra layer of fat makes the belly meat so desirable for sushi and sashimi. To load up on yellowfin tuna visit fishpanamatoday.com

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