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Crappie Fish Cleaning Tips


This technique is nothing new for you old fishing folks, but for the new ones this will help you get started.

A lot of folks like using the Electric Knife, and I guess I am like the old dog that does not want to learn new tricks, not to mention that it will waste a lot of meat. I recommend using the manual Fillet Knife.

Warning, this is a very sharp Knife and it does not know the difference between Crappie and your fingers.

This will take about no more than 5 minutes per fish and the great part is you do not have to scale the fish like Granddad use to when cleaning the catch.

I like to have a working station, meaning I use a section of plywood, a large trash bag, water hose, and ice chest. I have found that the plywood will not slip while you're cleaning the fish, where as plastic or glass is too slick. The water hose is to keep the station clean and allows me to keep my knife clean also.

Let's Clean Some Fishcrappie fish cleaning tips

Step One:

Slice the fish behind the gills all the way to the Back Bone, but do not sever. You want to angle the knife towards the head, so you do not waste any part of the crappie fillet.

Step Two:

As you will see in the picture I have two number two's I will explain. Start up where you made the first cut at the top and work the knife along the Back Bone being careful not to cut through it.

You want to run the knife all the way to the tail. Here again being careful not to detach the skin. Here is where the second number two comes into play. Go back to the head and work the knife at the bottom of the crappie toward the tail, and again do not cut the skin off.

Step Three:

This should allow you to lay back the fish, skin side down. Run the knife between the skin and the meat staying as close to the skin as possible. That is why they make the fillet knives so they have a little bend in them. By applying a little pressure, you can glide the knife to the tail.

Step Four:

You will cut away the fillet leaving the skin

Step Five:

Take your Fillet Knife and go under the ribs from the top to the bottom cutting the rib bones free. You will see how important it is to have a clean and very sharp knife to do this step.

Step Six:

Rinse the fillet off and if not headed for the grill, skillet, or oven, place it in a plastic sealable bag and fill it with water until the fillet is submerged. This will eliminate Freezer burn.

Step Seven:

Flip the fish over and repeat Step 2 thru 6.

Here is an added bonus. Do not throw the remains away.

Set them to the side for that special spot you have where you plant your tomatoes. Put the remains down in the ground and sprinkle some dirt on top then set your tomatoe plants on top. You will be amazed at how big your tomatoes will get. Last year, I had one plant that grew as tall as my roof and put out some of the best tomatoes.

This is where you get the reward of your hard fishing times, ENJOY.

Keep the Hooks Wet!

Steve McGoldrick 

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