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Clean and Care of Your Catch

Safety Tip

Make sure to always work the knife away from you to avoid injury.

How to Fillet a Black Crappie

If using a traditional fillet knife, ensure your blade is good and sharp. Begin by laying the fish flat against the cutting surface. To start, make a vertical cut just behind the gills. Once you reach the midpoint of the fish, turn your knife at a 90-degree angle and run the blade along the backbone all the way to the tail. Then cut around (and remove) the ribcage. Finally, use your blade and separate the fillet from the skin starting at the tail and working towards the wider portion of the fillet. Gently wash your fillets with cold water to wash away any blood or scales. Keep fillets cold prior to cooking.

Care of Your Catch

If not eating immediately fillets can be kept in a refrigerator, at 40 degrees or below, for up to 2 days. To store, pat fillets to remove excess water and place in a sealable plastic bag. For long-term storage, vacuum sealed freezer bags are recommended and can be kept for 3-6 months in a freezer. For more information on keeping your catch, check out the resources offer by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).