Ways To Fillet a Crappie That Every Panfish Angler Should Know

Hey what’s going on guys Cayleb here today I’m going to show you three different ways that you can use to fillet a crappie I’m going to show you how to use a conventional knife then I’ll show you how to use an electric fillet knife, and then I’m going to show you another method that I’ve found that I am using a lot more lately. that’s a really fun way to fillet and eat crappies so stick around for that one. I think you’ll like it now before I get going on the actual fillet technique here. I did want to let you know this video is going to be very similar to my bluegill fillet video however it’s going to have a few new tips in it and there is a few nuances to crappies that are a little bit different than bluegills. I wanted to also let you know I am aware that some of you guys, especially down south, really like to cook them whole. I did a video on that as well so I’ll leave a card for that one here too if you want to watch that they’re delicious that way but I know a lot of you guys want nice clean boneless fillets safer for the kids the family likes them so that’s what we’re going to go through today let’s get started with method number one the conventional knife.

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Alright guys for our conventional knife I’m going to be using a seven inch Bubba tapered Flex fillet knife it’s got a little bit of flex to it but not too much. It’s perfect for crappies of this size so I’ll leave a link for this knife in the description below as well as for the electric knife we’re going to use in a little bit all right guys we’re starting with the conventional fillet knife I’ve got about a 12 inch crappie here 10 to 12 inches are great eating crappies perfect size for this and we’re going to start with the fish with the belly facing away from us right here.

Okay so we’re going to face that back towards us and I’m going to Simply grab I usually grab right under the Gill right here for a handle I’m going to slide my knife just under the fin right here and I’m going to cut at an angle to try and get as much meat as possible up here in the head and there’s not much meat down here in the belly that we need to be worried about. I’m going to cut straight down and angle just about like this all the way down to the backbone and you’ll feel the backbone it’s it’s pretty hard you’re not going to cut through that so that’s our first cut just like that now you don’t have to go slicing down through the guts just get through the skin and to the backbone and that’s about as far as you have to go next I’m going to turn my knife this way to follow that backbone. There’s a raw bones that come from the backbone and extend all the way almost to the skin here we’re just going to follow over the top of those bones not cutting through them just laying right down the top of that fish stand on this side of that fin right there.

Now as soon as you get to the end of the soft dorsal fin right here all you got to do is push all the way through keep your knife angled down just a bit. You can goall the way to the tail now some people like to leave a little bit of skin here so they can flop the fillet over and just skin it that way I prefer to cut through that’s just how I do it but I’ll show you that technique a little later. So now we’re just going to grab the the meat right here and we’re going to pull up slightly and then we’re just going to continue slicing along those bones we’re going to cut a little bit down here until you feel the rib bones. This is the rib bones right here you can hear my knife ticking along there we have to angle up and over the top of those now in this method and we’re just going to cut right over the top and you’ll feel it cutting through a few small bones okay they’re real small they’re not heavy duty like the ribs but you’re going to cut right through them as soon as you get over the ribs you’re going to start angling down again on the other side, just like that so we’re just following that rib cage down until right there.

Now we have one side almost completely off except for this little flap of skin right there now that’s one side of the fish and that is beautiful you can see we didn’t really lose any meat at all in here there’s a little bit that you lose around the ribs here but we’ll show you how to get that in method number two a little bit cleaner so we’ll push this guy to the side and we’ll get this thing skinned now whenever I have guts on the table I always like to squeegee them off just to keep my fillets super super clean so whenever I skin a fish I always move that fillet to the edge of the table so my knife handle isn’t bumping the table and I can go nice and low like so so we’re just I usually just put my finger here and just slice a little bit so I can grab that skin but I actually have a tool that a friend sent me and these are pretty cool it’s called the filet claw and you can just put that fillet claw right there and just push down on it slice to the just to the side of it and this thing works really slick for holding that skin. Then you can actually move it forward if you want to to hold it again you just slide that knife right under the skin there like so and that is a super clean fillet. There’s nothing left on the skin nothing left on the carcass to speak of and now with all these crappies that are this size there’s those rib bones that we cut through that we’re going to have to get rid of now so they were coming off the spine and they basically run right here you can actually feel your glove or my glove sticking on them. All I’m going to do is Slice on one side of them here like so all the way to the table. So we’ve split that and now the bones are right here and now I’m just gonna do the same thing on this side right here and just cut that little strip out

Hardly any meat wasted at all there so that is a boneless crappie fillet number one method and we’re going to do the other side the same way and move on to the next one I’m going to do it a little bit quicker I’m not going to go through all the Motions quite so much just so you can see how quickly this can be done once you get some practice in. It’s a really an easy method once you understand how everything lays in there and you get some muscle memory you can fly through any panfish really this way and it’s kind of therapeutic just cutting up panfish. I really enjoy the old conventional knife work and it can be actually kind of enjoyable to clean fish this way so that’s it that’s method number one.

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