How to Clean Croakers


Atlantic croakers are one of the most abundant fishes in the coastal waters of North America. They have three to five pairs of small barbells, five pores and elongated body. Anglers can catch croakers throughout the Atlantic coast from Massachusetts to Florida and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. The meat of croaker is an excellent source of protein. To enjoy eating croakers, however, you must clean the fish before cooking.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp fillet knife
  • Fish scaler
  • Cutting board
  • Place the croaker on the cutting board and start removing the scales using a fish scaler. Hold the croaker with one hand and run the scaler over the body from tail to head. This should smooth the fish body and clear the croaker skin of any scales. Rinse the fish well with water.

  • Use the fillet knife to remove the head. Place the blade right behind the gills then cut all the way through and across to completely detach.

  • Cut through the bottom of the croaker starting from the belly and proceeding to the vent. Reach inside and remove all inner organs. Rinse out the interior cavity with water.

  • Cut off the tail and fins. Do a final rinse and prepare the fish for cooking or storing, as desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Only use a sharp fillet knife to make clean incisions when cleaning fish.
  • If you like, keep roe found inside a female croaker for later use.

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