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amateurfishing

Crappie Fileting

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yup, just do a search on youtube, there are a couple methods. I like the one where you cut the filet away from the ribcage without cutting through the bones. Keeps my knife sharper longer. And the guts all stay with the carcass/head

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I have got so use to useing an electric knife, thats all i use now. They work great and are fast.

You are better man that I, Otter. I make such a mess of the fish with an electric I might as well be using a chainsaw

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If you can get your skills honed to avoid the rib bones on crappies your doing worlds of good for your blade. I never got good at that so I bought an electric. Will never go without one again. Just go ahead and rip through them with the electric and then take the skin and rib bones off with your regular knife.

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yup, just do a search on youtube, there are a couple methods. I like the one where you cut the filet away from the ribcage without cutting through the bones. Keeps my knife sharper longer. And the guts all stay with the carcass/head

Exactly. Just like filleting a walleye.

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thx for the help, looks like i have been doing ok just need to fine tune a little bit...really like the one that cuts up to rib cage then goes all way through right after it to tail and come back to finish filleting around rib cage at end. practice makes perfect.

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I personally like cutting thru the bones and removing them later. I did it the other way for years then a buddy showed me this trick. Its by far faster and easier and I use an electric and would never go back.

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Keep your knife sharp is the best tip.

I cut it away from the rib bones and not through them. I use a regular knife, I'm a bit of purist. The chainsaws are not for me. I like the simplicity of me, the knife, and the animal I'm about to turn into food. The chainsaws depersonalize it a bit.

As far as filleting crappies goes, really if you can get the thickest piece of meat above the ribs and it looks like a massacre where the ribs start, you are doing OK. Might not look pretty, but you aren't going to get any meat off the ribs.

You should be able to get a decent piece of meat after you slip the knife through behind the ribs though.

You really need to massacre a couple limits worth of crappie before you get the hang of it and end up with nice looking filets.

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Without having a fish in front of me, I had to think about it, but here's what I do everytime: I start with the crappie on the board with it's headfacing left and belly to me. Cut from top of back down to belly behind gills. Flip fish over and make same cut, then cut in from top along spine on that side down to top of rib cage. Go back to first side and cut along spine down to top of rib cage, following ribs all the way around down to belly and then completing the rest of the cut to tail for this fillet without cutting all the way through the skin at the tail. Flip the fillet over and remove the meat from the skin. I then go back and finish cutting around the ribs on the first side, complete that cut but not off at the tail, then skin that fillet.

Sorry this got a bit long and run together, but that's how I do it and the remains are all in one piece.

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What the others said. All I'll add is that what I found it takes to get good at it is practice, practice, practice. I had a terrible time the first couple years I learned; wasted a lot of meat back then. But I just kept at it and I'm fairly good now. If I can do it, so can you.

BTW, I like a sharp knife, but not really sharp. I find that if the knife is like a razor, I have trouble cutting through the skin when I peel the filet off the skin.

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BronzeBrother, that way is great except, I don't remove the skin until the rib bones are off, and when I take the skin off, I put it directly into clean water. I try to keep the meat from any of the fish slime.

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That video was pretty good but there are some pretty bad examples on youtube as well...what a waste of meat just to go fast smirk

JP

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I found this video on youtube. This is the way I like to do it, leaving the ribs intact on the carcas. Might take a bit longer but when you consider you don't have to go back and remove the ribs, it might not. Next time I try, I might leave the filet attached at the tail, then flip over and take the skin off. That might save a bit of time.

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Many years ago I was up on the Red cleaning 30 crappies by myself, it was a 4+ beer ordeal, when 3 young guys came into the cleaning shack with a couple coolers full of crappies and started to have at them with electric knives, they ran thru all those crappies in no time. Got back home and bought an electric knife. I used it a few times on crappies but as someone else mentioned it seems like the chainsaw massacre. Nowadays I fillet my crappies with a knife, its part of the harvest, I actually enjoy it. I'm an over the rib guy, and one tip I would give is that I have a seperate knife to make the cut behind the gills, keeps my fillet knife sharp.

Practice, practice, practice and you'll get the hang of it.

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Blackjack: I like the idea of using a seperate knife for the behind the gill cut. Thanks....and you're right practice, practice, practice. Guess I'm not an expert but got a lot better a few years ago when my 2 uncles and I caught 60 perch on Mille Lacs. They didn't want the fish so I kept them and cleaned them all. It was good practice.

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It is the only way to go once you figure out how to do it. The first couple fish that you cut you will probably butcher them. Just takes a couple of them to get use to it. I use mine for everything.

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I found this video on youtube. This is the way I like to do it, leaving the ribs intact on the carcass...

I like this vid in that it shows a very important part I think some may not know. By cutting at a diagonal across the fish towards the "forehead", you get a lot of thick meat and only lose some skimpy belly meat compared to cutting perpendicular to the fish. I filet the same way as the vid as I use a simple knife.

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I like this vid in that it shows a very important part I think some may not know. By cutting at a diagonal across the fish towards the "forehead", you get a lot of thick meat and only lose some skimpy belly meat compared to cutting perpendicular to the fish. I filet the same way as the vid as I use a simple knife.

+1. I've seen lots of people not do it that way.

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Well how did they taste? I too like an electric knife and would never go back. Getting rather good at it over the last 12 years. Goes real fast and the fish guts stay with the body for easy clean up. Good luck, go catch some more and hone them skills in a little more.

I will add that in most cases I will soak the filet's in salt water for a good six hours and then freeze them before eating. Rinse the salt water off them before freezing. When doing a shore lunch that is not the case. I am usually hungry and ready to eat the bait in most cases. Lol

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mcGurk....thats the one i liked the best,i was just butchering too much of the tail, but by feeling for rib bone then going completely thru after that i should be able to salvage much more laugh

my other issue which i realized after the fact was they were all still half frozen as well, that did not help much

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my other issue which i realized after the fact was they were all still half frozen as well, that did not help much

Toss them in a plastic bag or bucket with a bit of water and don't let them freeze. They will be easier to cut and less slimy.

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