Canadian tournament ace Alex Keszler likes to keep a few walleyes from time to time. And when he does, he follows a very specific care and cleaning routine to ensure the fish is the very best table fare possible.

For starters, Alex “bleeds out” his walleyes in the live well during the run from his last fishing spot to the landing. Alex simply takes a knife and punctures the white fleshy area between the two gill plates on the fish’s underside. Within 5 to 10 minutes the fish will completely bleed out into the live well water.

Once on shore and live wells drained, the next step is to take the fish and place them on ice or in a cooler until you reach your destination.

Why bleed ‘em?

The benefits are many. First, you can almost guarantee the walleyes will be dead by the time you take to them with a knife. There’s also a whole lot less mess and you’ll end up with whiter fillets and improved flavor.

So what’s the best way to fillet walleyes?

Probably Alex Keszler’s routine—about the fastest and most efficient I’ve ever seen. Definitely minimizes unnecessary steps, making for faster, easier fillets. Also like how he “zippers” out Y-bones. Although the bones can cook out during frying, removing ‘em is probably the best idea when cooking for kids.

Watch this video and decide for yourself!