There is a clean crappie.

A haul of fat, delicious crappie is the best reward after a long day on the river.The fish have to be prepared for the frying pan or the freezer before you can finish your work.You don’t have to be an expert to catch fish.Cleaning crappie requires a single knife and a working knowledge of the fish’s body.

Step 1: The crappie should be against the cutting surface.

The fish’s tail should be placed on the same side as your dominant hand.You will be able to work more fluidly.As you prepare to cut the crappie, hold it by the head.If you are left-handed, arrange the head of the fish so that it is on your right.If you don’t have access to a cutting board, look for another level surface to set the crappie on, like a smooth rock or the edge of the boat.

Step 2: Just behind the gills is where you should make a vertical cut.

The knife’s tip should be between the back of the gill plate and the pectoral fin.At an angle to the head, cut into the gills.Continue cutting until you reach the backbone, but be careful not to sever it.As you will use it as a guide when cutting, it is important to keep the backbone intact.You don’t need to remove the head or tail if you carve along the back of the fish.

Step 3: The knife should be turned in the cut.

Once you have made contact with the backbone, keep the blade in the incision and twist it until the edge points towards the tail.There will be no need to make other clumsy cuts if you do this correctly.You can use the first cut to open up the fish and create an entry point to strip it.To keep the edge as close to the skin as possible, angle the blade downward.

Step 4: The blade should be run along the back of the body.

Holding the head firmly, begin dragging the knife down the crappie.If you want to see the meat, push the blade and let it go.When you reach the rear section of the fish, stop.As you push the knife through the rib, you should be able to feel the shape of the individual rib.If you hold the loose flap with your opposite hand, it will give you more stability and leverage.

Step 5: The meat should be separated from the skin.

Place the fillet against the cutting surface.Then, starting at the tail, slide the edge of the knife between the skin and meat and make a clean pass from one end to the other.The piece should be smooth.The blade should be tilted slightly to not cut into the meat.You can leave the skin on until you cook the crappie.It can be quite tasty.

Step 6: The ribcage should be removed.

The ribcage is still attached to the head end of the fillet.To trace around the ribcage, use the curved tip of the knife.The fillet should have a V shape.After peeling back the first piece of meat, look for the ribcage.If it’s covered by meat or other tissues, it won’t be visible immediately.You can pry out the rib bones with a knife, a pair of tweezers or the tines of a fork.

Step 7: On the other side, repeat.

The procedure starts with a vertical cut behind the gills.When you are done, leave two fillets that you can cook or put away for later.

Step 8: The unused parts of the fish should be thrown away.

If you keep a trash receptacle nearby, you will have a place to dispose of bones, skin and entrails.It is best to put the unused bits in a separate bag that you can close and tie off before tossing them out.If not thrown out immediately, raw fish can become a health concern.

Step 9: The fish should be put on ice.

Bring a cooler with you if you are cleaning the crappie on site.You can be certain that they will stay fresh until you can get them home.You can either stick the whole fish in the cooler or dress them in plastic bags to make the most of the space you have.It is possible to use saltwater ice.The salt will help preserve the fish.Make sure the cooler you bring is large enough to hold the harvest.

Step 10: Before cooking or storing, rinse the fillets.

If you want to wash off blood, scales or other tissue, run the crappie under the water.pat the fillets with a layer of folded paper towels to absorb some of the water from inside the fish.Watery fish can be difficult to cook, and will often turn out with a dull flavor.

Step 11: The crappie should be cooked immediately.

Fresh out the water is the best way to enjoy crappie.Put the fillets on ice until it is time to eat, then grill, broil or deep fry them, or simply throw them in a hot pan with some oil and a dash of salt and pepper.The fish’s mild, slightly sweet flavor makes it a good choice for a variety of dishes.The crappie will taste better if it is not exposed to warm temperatures.You can use crappie in some recipes that call for freshwater fish.

Step 12: The crappie can be kept in the fridge or freezer.

It is important to keep your catch at a temperature of less than 40F.You should get them back home as soon as possible.If you want to make a fish dinner, you can either cover them in plastic wrap or vacuum seal them and freeze them.If you bring your catch home, try to consume it within a few days.crappie will stay good for up to a year if properly frozen.People who like to catch and eat fish use a vacuum Sealer.