Having recently moved to a lake with plentiful fish, I realize now that my cleaning skills are a far cry from my grandmother's. After cleaning four beautiful specimens last night (two bluegill and two crappie), I still ended up with a bit of innards and too many scales in my finished product. I grilled them whole, so my relative messiness didn't ruin the meal -- but the end result was far less polished than I'd like.
So you accomplished fish-cleaners out there, what are your best tips, especially for panfish with thin and delicate fillets?
Scale first then gut? Use a scaling tool, or just make do with a knife? And what kind of knife is best? I've heard raves and thumbs-down for the electric knife. My main objective is not to waste one iota of these great little creatures.
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