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Question: Crappie, time of year and their meat...

Discussion in 'Panfish Discussions' started by TritonBill, May 12, 2004.

  1. I'm just learning to crappie fish and Thanks to JimG(CrappieWisdom book), Bigggcountry for showing me how to use the 10' Telescopic Crappie pole(lol) and others getting along very well for my 2nd year of doing it.

    I have a ? though...It seems to me that I recall someone saying that the crappies get soft??? meaning the meat I'm assuming. What causes this to happen, the warmer water? Is there a point and time after the spawn that the crappie meat isn't as good to eat? Maybe I heard wrong...just curious though if anyone has any insite.

    Some of the fish I fileted last night seemed a lot softer than others. Most of them were females with eggs.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. steelmagoo

    steelmagoo Enjigneer

    I've noticed it too and wondered about it. Maybe more often in late spring? Sometimes the meat is mealy and mushy.

  3. From the years I have gone after those Silver Flashes I have found in the Spring I use a clip stringer to keep my catch alive as long as possible. Also it's great to fill a cooler with ice and have the fish remain as cold as possible till you clean them,
    The best fish are fresh caught fish, but by taking extra steps you can cut down on the mussy texture.
    Hop it helps,
  4. I have noticed that the bigger ones are softer than smaller ones. I like white bass or bluegills better because the meat is more firm.
  5. Thanks Jim! I usually keep mine in a livewell but then I just threw these in bucket for a 20 minute ride home and then left them their till I was done cleaning them(1 1/2hrs max time before they were soaking in water fileted. So it would be better I guess to keep them on ice until you put them on the cutting board?

    I normally soak mine in water with salt for 24hrs.... then I either eat them or Freeze them. Is that what you do also?
  6. Fresh is best but if you freeze them put them in ziploc bags with water and tap the bag a little and make sure there is no air bubbles in the bag and enough water to suround the meat, they wont get freezer burnt this way and will be good for a very long time. I have found bags of fish in the freezer that were over a year old and still tasted fine.
  7. It's a fact that Crappies will start to turn as soon as they die, so this time of the year I keep a cooler in the trunk at all times and buy 24 pounds of ice which last about 3 to 4 days in the cooler. That's why I use a clip stringer for you can hook them through the lip and they will stay alive in the water till I go to leave , then in the cooler they go. In some ways it sounds like alot of work, but they never go soft on ya. If I'm saving crappies for fish frys, I'll also use the paper milk 1/2 gallon container and pack them then fill with water and freeze, or I'll use zip locks like suggested.If you can keep them cold or alive your better off.
  8. Keep them cold as possible and that'll keep 'em firm.

    Good info guys.