Large fish should be filleted for both curing and smoking. In most cases, a slab of fish is cut off either side of the backbone. Of course, the process should waste as little meat as possible. In my opinion, it’s best to start the cut from the tail, then cut through the ribs as you approach the head; this will leave the rib bones intact. For completely boneless fillets, you can cut out the rib section or remove the bones one at the time. There are other methods of filleting, and some people may prefer to work the knife in at the head and toward the tail. In either case, leaving the skin on the fillet will help hold it together during curing, smoking, and handling.