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Thread: Smaller crappie vs slabs

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    Default Smaller crappie vs slabs

    I fished a lake this past weekend that has no length limit. I kept 10 fish with 4 being over 9 inches. The rest were at least 8 inches. When I fried them up Monday night, my entire family agreed that we liked the 8 inch crappie better. They crisped up better than the larger fish. I just though it was interesting because it is totally different than what I thought growing up!

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    How were they cleaned ... filleted or scaled ?? In any event, I hardly see how a 1" longer fish would cook/taste any different than the shorter fish. I sure can't tell any difference between a cooked fillet of a 12" Crappie and one of a 9" Crappie ... other than the length of the fillet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrappiePappy View Post
    How were they cleaned ... filleted or scaled ?? In any event, I hardly see how a 1" longer fish would cook/taste any different than the shorter fish. I sure can't tell any difference between a cooked fillet of a 12" Crappie and one of a 9" Crappie ... other than the length of the fillet.
    Filleted. I should clarify that the over 9 inch fish were all closer to 11-12 inch fish. One was 12.5" The big difference is the thickness of the fillet. In any case, we unanimously agreed we liked the texture of the smaller ones.
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    larger crappie have courser meat as is the way it is in most animals and fish . and thinner fillets do crisp up better and the coating on the smaller fish tends to be more 50 50 rather than 30 70 on thicker fillets thus enhancing the crispness as well .
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    My families perfect eating size is 10-11, I too think it relates to the actual thickness of the filets.


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    it's personal choice. When watching G3 sportsman Billy the main guide at Reelfoot lake who is always entertaining with Scott mentioned that he and the other guides prefer the 8 inch fish to eat as they are crisper.

    I do different things with different sizes. On my home lake there is a huge population of crappie and 30 fish limit and not many folks fish for them. So I will keep a lot of 8 inchers and will cook them whole just cutting heads off and scaling and then broiling or baking and they are really excellent and a different taste than a bigger filet you fried up and throw back the 14 inchers and bigger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hdhntr View Post
    it's personal choice. When watching G3 sportsman Billy the main guide at Reelfoot lake who is always entertaining with Scott mentioned that he and the other guides prefer the 8 inch fish to eat as they are crisper.

    I do different things with different sizes. On my home lake there is a huge population of crappie and 30 fish limit and not many folks fish for them. So I will keep a lot of 8 inchers and will cook them whole just cutting heads off and scaling and then broiling or baking and they are really excellent and a different taste than a bigger filet you fried up and throw back the 14 inchers and bigger.
    I still have to try scaling a couple and cooking whole. I can't imagine how many pounds of crappie fillets I have eaten over the past 44 years but I've never cooked one whole

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    My grandpa thought that it was a crime against humanity to fillet crappie and cook them. He near had a nervous breakdown when Alabama set the 9” size limit and cussed like a sailor when he had to throw a 7-8” crappie back. He firmly believed that crappie were meant to be scaled, deheaded gutted and fried whole.
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    I prefer 11 to 12'' Crappie filleted . Love to catch slabs like most . The biologists tell us we do it backwards . He says keep the big ones as they are old and released smaller ones .
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    I agree. The smaller ones are better tasting. 10 inchers are perfect.
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