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Tom       native@strato.net 5-2-2004 8:23 PM
I am a Florida native and have observed commercial fishermen harvesting freshwater soft shell turtles all my life, but I have never seen nor tried to clean one for personal consumption. Looking for detailed description of the cleaning steps. They are so plentiful I think its time I start eating them.
brandon       distracted15@hotmail.com 5-16-2004 01:22 AM
how would u like to be eatin ?
Travis Kreuzberger       kreuzsc@bellsouth.net 7-2-2004 3:29 PM
hey I got what you were asking and i don't know how much this will help but I'll try.
I have never worked with soft shell turtles but I catch Snappers and eat them all the time. This is what I do with the snappers.

1. I first shoot them in the head to kill them then wait about 30 minutes to chop of there heads because they still have spasm attacks with their muscles before that.

2. I then flip them over and take a saw knife and cut the cross shape on their stomach off (the bone part of the shell) .

3. then I take a sharp knife and just cut the meat off the legs, neck, and about 1/3 of the way down the tail.

If you run into any problems just e-mail me I hope that I helped you.

Tom       7-2-2004 4:35 PM
Greg and LeAnn       tattooleann@aol.com 8-6-2006 12:49 PM
We do alot of bass fishing, but have been catching alot of soft shell turtle lately and know they are good eating. I, Greg dont know how to clean one. Weve eatin it before and like it, but like i said dont know how to clean it, can you help? Thanx, Greg
Floyd Dennis       fdennis9206@comcast.net 2-19-2007 07:07 AM
In the 1940s I was a Lad growing up in a boarding house or cook cleaned and fried me a softshell turtle. She assured me it contains 7 kinds of meat. I think she included pork loin, chicken thigh, chicken liver and maybe, shrimp. Can anyone clarify the 7 foods reputation.
Howard       Leesanusa@aol.com 5-25-2007 1:40 PM
Do you guys know where I can buy some Soft shell turtle for consumption? I live in Washington state. Thank you.
fishtrippin       gkinsd@hotmail.com 6-2-2007 6:08 PM
We just chopped the head off a big snapper today. Will clean it tomorrow.I've never seen softshell sold comercially, But snapper can be purchased online. You'll have to search for sites as we always catch ours.
TheHare       juusu@aol.com 7-11-2009 02:29 AM
1. Scald them first to remove any leeches, remove any impurities from the superficial tissues, and soften the shell.

2. Cut around the body and peel away the shell until you can see the hard bone underneath.

3. Cut along the the chest starting from the neck folds and ending between the legs, and cut in front of the back legs along the base of the solid underbelly.

4. Gut the turtle while looking for multiple hooks as many people cut their lines when catching undesired softshell (After swallowed by a turtle, hooks take an unusually long time to dissolve and often end up in odd places).

**Also look for unfertilized eggs as they are great simmered and eaten with chili sauce.

5. Cut off the feet.

6. Firmly bend the undershell forward and you should easily be able to get to the front legs and lower neck.

7. Cut and peel away the skin on the legs, neck, and tail.

7. Cut the meat however desired.

**The shell adds flavor to a soup or stew.

**I recommend scalding a live turtle, or at best fresh. Unlike fish, flash-frozen turtle loses an unacceptable amount of flavor, and is sometimes extremely mushy.
Boone Walker       flagary813@yahoo.com 4-11-2010 3:02 PM
I had soft shell turtle for the very first time last Sunday, very very delecious.One of the ole timers told me that this was the biggest one he has ever seen.35 pounds. very huge.
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