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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's coming that time of year that I'll start catching softshells(leatherbacks) while I'm catfishing.I've caught and released several 20-25lbs and maybe bigger.Are these bad boys fit to eat.If so would you perpare them like a mud turtle?If so I may have some stew this season.
 

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soft shells are great to eat! you can clean them with a pocket knife and my dad always said they have 7 kinds of meat inside. bread them up and fry like chicken. Oh the heart is fun to chill and then put in someones hand, the warmth will make it start beatin again. LOL
 

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My neighbor caught one 3 days ago on a jug line. He thought he had a big flat when it came up under his boat.It was the biggest softshell i've ever seen.Momma and I went over to watch him clean it and it smelled so bad she had to go back home LOL.We made fun of him and his wife saying if it tasted like it smelled it was going to be bad.He stewed it up after par boiling and frying it a little.We went over later and after several beerz we all tryed it.I have to admit it wasn't to bad. :p
 

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when cleaning, just go around the shell with a filet knife, stay in the soft leathery part. It will take some practcice to get good (my dad was, I'm not) but they are worth the effort! I'm sure u can use them in stew but we allways loved them fried. just cut the meat off the shell, bread and fry!
happy eatin!!
 

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I am in the same boat as flaboy. The lake that is nearest to me has some MONSTER 30-50 pound alligator snapping turtles. If these things are good to eat too, I would be more than willing to take a fryer to them.
 

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Im going to start fishing for them somtime this fall. I figure some trotline hooks, twine, and spoiled meat will do the trick. But how do I get a 40lber in without the twine cutting my hands to bits?
 

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We used to catch softshells and snappers on trotlines in Lake Murray, they are both awesome eating.

I caught a 27 lb. softshell one time that was as big around as the bathtub we put him in. I was leaning out over the water, pulling the troline in when I saw this nearly 3' wide round thing coming up. For just a second, I thought I was looking a boat-sized catfish in the face, hehe.

We ate them fried also, but my favorite is stewed with potatoes and onions with a little milk and Texas Pete. I honestly don't think there is any food I would rather eat.
 

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I like softshells and snappers, I don't want to try streaked-necks or mud turtles less I get Bad hungry! LOL
 

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I caught 3 about 2 weeks ago. Man let me tell you that turtle is not easy to clean i don't care what anybody says. First off make sure its dead before you start to cut it. Drive some big nails through a board 2x12 works best then flip it over and punch it down on the nails to keep it from moving around. Cut its head off by grabbing its bottom jaw with a pair of pliers then chop it off with a hatchet. Then cut the legs and neck out. There was quite a bit of blood when i did this so be prepared. De bone the turtle cut into chunks and bread then eat if you still can.... I couldn't stomach the thought of eating it once I had cleaned it. Now don't call me a wimp because i gut and butcher my own deer so it wasn't that its just nasty thats all i didn't like it at all. 2 of the 3 turtles escaped and I wasn't made at all after cleaning the first one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was told to put them in boiling water.I was told to cut their head off and hang them and let them bleed.Whats the best way to kill the fool things.I don't want to ruin the meat :confused:
 

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I wasn't involved in cooking or cleaning it, but I can say the best tasting meat I have ever tasted was in Georgia in 1991. BBQ snapping turtle.

I read some fantastic instruction posted in the BOC library on cleaning them so you guys might want to check that out.
 

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unless they have changed the law, they are on the endangered species list here in Tennessee. I caught one about a month ago on skipjack he was a bigun to.
 

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Barbel mentioned Alligator Snappers. They are endangered in all states except maybe Louisiana (I'm not sure about that). I think most everyone is talking about Common Snappers though. They are legal in about all states I believe. Both get big but the Alligator Snappers get a couple hundred pounds. Common Snappers get up to 60 lbs or there abouts.

Back when I lived in Iowa, I met a guy who had a "tame" snapper. He had raised him up from a hatchling. This bad boy weighed 60 lbs and ate apple slices from your hand. It was an amazing, and yes, frightening thing. The snapper was very gentle but it was just thinking about what he COULD do that scared you :eek:
 

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I never tried eating a soft shelled turtle. I catch alot of them out at Dillion lake. I'm going to clean one and let you know.
 

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definatly cut off head and hang up to bleed out then scald in boiling water ,all the skin will come off and shell will all peel making the turtle white then cut bottom shell off and remove all meat and pull claws from feet
 
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