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The 3 Different Ways to Filet a Crappie

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"Crappie is one of the most popular fish around partly because they make an excellent meal when they are prepared correctly. Catching the crappie is just the first step to a good meal."

   The next step is preparing them to be cooked.  The method used for this preparation is called filleting.  The main piece of equipment needed for filleting crappie is a really good sharp knife with at least a six-inch blade.

You should also have newspaper:
1. Gather up all of your supplies and start by filling the bowl with salt water
.  Make the first cut parallel with the gills. This will be right beside the directional fin.  Push the knife into the fish until you feel the bone but try not to cut the bone.

2. When you feel the bone you need to switch direction so the knife is parallel with the table.  You will find that it works easier if you cut through the rib cage and now you are ready to start removing the meat.

3. You do need to keep the upper portion of the blade near the upper dorsal spine and lower part in the belly while cutting.  When you reach the back fin all the meat should be separated.

Repeat this process on the opposite side.
4. Now it is time to remove the rib cage and skin from the crappie.  Slide your knife between the meat and bone cage and then between the skin and meat to remove them from the fillet.

5. Now that you have two fillets of crappie you need to rinse them right away with cold water, then place the fillets in the bowl of salt water.  Soak the fillets for twenty-fours and they will be ready to cook up for a delicious meal.

Third Method:
   Let the crappie dry for a little bit so they will not be so slippery and you are ready to begin filleting. Place a wood block
 on the newspaper and put the crappie on this.  The block makes it easier to get the knife parallel with the fish.

   Put the knife under the front fin and behind the gills and start cutting.  The top part of the knife needs to near the top of the fish and the bottom should be along the stomach.  Cut towards the head of the fish angling the knife towards the center and when you feel the backbone stop before you cut it.

   Start over doing the same thing only cutting towards the tail of the crappie and extend the top of the knife past the fin at the top.  Don't cut through the backbone but you do need to go through the stomach cavity and allow the bottom part of the knife to extend past the bottom fin.

   This method will allow you to cut the fillet off the bone in nice even sections.  Do the same to the other side and remove the stomach and rib bones by sliding the knife at a thirty degree angle between the fillet meat and the bones.  Remove the skin the same way and discard these in the bucket for the remains.

Author: Dan Eggertsen is a fishing researcher and enthusiast who is committed to providing the best crappie fishing information possible.

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