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  • Tonya Gilley

Cleaning & Cooking Your Crappie

If you've recently caught crappie on your fishing trip, you may be wondering how to clean and prepare them for cooking. Cleaning crappie is a fairly simple process that can be done at home with a few basic tools. In this blog post, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to clean and prepare crappie at home.

Step 1: Gather your tools and supplies

Before you begin cleaning crappie, you'll need to gather the following tools and supplies:

  • A fillet knife

  • Cutting board

  • Clean water

  • Paper towels or a clean cloth

  • Plastic bag or container for storing the cleaned fish

Step 2: Scale and gut the fish

Start by scaling the fish. This can be done using a fish scaler or a spoon. Hold the fish firmly by its head and scrape the scales off in a downward motion. Rinse the fish under cold water to remove any loose scales.

Next, use your fillet knife to make a small incision on the belly of the fish. Use your fingers to carefully pull out the guts and discard them.

Step 3: Fillet the fish

Lay the crappie on the cutting board and make a cut behind the gills to separate the head from the body. Then, make a cut along the spine of the fish, starting at the top of the head and working your way down to the tail. Be sure to keep the blade of your knife as close to the backbone as possible.

Next, turn the fish over and repeat the process on the other side. Once you've filleted both sides, use your fillet knife to remove the rib bones and any remaining bones.

Step 4: Rinse and dry the fillets

Rinse the fillets under cold water to remove any remaining blood or debris. Pat them dry with paper towels or a clean cloth.

Step 5: Store the fillets

Place the fillets in a plastic bag or container and store them in the refrigerator until you're ready to cook them. If you're not planning on cooking the fillets right away, they can also be stored in the freezer for later use.

In conclusion, cleaning and preparing crappie at home is a simple process that requires only a few basic tools. By following these steps, you can enjoy delicious crappie fillets that are fresh and ready to cook. Remember to always follow food safety guidelines when handling raw fish, and enjoy your delicious meal!


Crappie are a popular game fish and are highly prized for their delicate, white meat. It is a versatile fish that can be cooked in a variety of ways, including frying, baking, grilling, and broiling. Here are a few cooking methods to try: Frying: Coat the crappie fillets in seasoned cornmeal or flour and fry them in hot oil until golden brown. This is a popular way to prepare crappie, as it results in a crispy, flavorful exterior and tender, flaky interior. Baking: Place the crappie fillets in a baking dish and season them with herbs, lemon juice, or butter. Bake the fillets in a preheated oven at 375°F for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork. Grilling: Brush the crappie fillets with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Grill the fillets over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes per side, or until the fish is cooked through and has grill marks. Broiling: Place the crappie fillets on a baking sheet and broil them in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and lightly browned on top. Serve with lemon wedges and your favorite side dishes. Regardless of the cooking method you choose, be sure to handle the crappie fillets gently to avoid breaking them apart. Remember to cook the fish to an internal temperature of 145°F to ensure that it's safe to eat. Enjoy!




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