If you are a fisherman, then you have probably caught your fair share of bluegills. These fish are some of the easiest to catch and make for a great introduction to the sport. However, if you have never cooked bluegill before, you may be wondering what does bluegill taste like? What is the best way to cook it?
In this article, we will discuss the different ways that you can cook bluegill, as well as what it tastes like.
So let's get straight to the point! What exactly does a bluegill taste like? In general, bluegills have a mild flavor with a little bit of sweetness. The flesh is also lean and firm, making it a great fish to cook in many different ways.
Are Bluegill Good Eating?
When I was a kid I used to fish for anything in the local lakes and bring it home for supper. This is as pure as fishing can be personally speaking. I was literally able to put food on the table as a kid.
One of the things I brought home the most was bluegill. It was plentiful and the lakes never ran low on them. I would catch 10 or so and then then my mom would freeze them. When she felt like eating some fish she would thaw, clean, scale, and fry them on a cast iron skillet.
I love fish, but I have not been able to completely fry a fish and eat the smaller bones. Apparently, if you fry it well enough the bones in a bluegill can become edible (not the backbone). However, I would not try it and most people don't like their fish fried that much!
Either way, the fish is delicious. It is of the variety that tastes seasoning well and it comes out while cooking. There are plenty of fish that have their own distinct flavor that must not be overridden. However, this is not one of those fish. So use whatever your favorite seasoning combo is.
Are Bluegill Fishy Tasting?
This is a common question that many people ask. The answer is that it really depends on how the bluegill was caught and what it was fed while alive. If the bluegill came from dirty water, then it will most likely have a fishier taste. However, if the bluegill came from clean water and was well-fed, then it will have a milder taste.
I personally came across this problem while renting a house that had a private pond. The owner wanted me to keep any bass that was over 16 inches. I managed to catch a 19 inch largemouth bass. I could tell that it was not getting enough food, which means their were too many bass in the pond vs the amount of food available.
However, the pond was not as clean as I would have hoped and when I made some fried fish sandwiches with it... I was less than pleased! It was so bad... I may never eat a largemouth bass again. I personally hadn't eaten one since I was a kid and now I know why. Stick to panfish like the bluegill!
So how can you determine if a bluegill is going to be fishy tasting? There are actually a few different things that you can look for:
- Take a look at the eyes of the fish. If they are cloudy or milky looking, then this is usually an indication that the fish is not as fresh as it could be.
- Sniff the fish. If it smells particularly fishy, then this is another indication that it may be higher in mercury and other contaminants.
- Look at the gills of the fish. If they are red or inflamed, then this could also be a sign that the fish is not as fresh as it should be.
If you want to avoid any potential for a fishy taste, then your best bet is to choose bluegills that have clear eyes, no inflammation in their gills, and don't smell too strong. These will usually be the freshest and best-tasting fish.
What Is The Best Tasting Pan Fish?
There are a lot of different types of pan fish, and they all have their own unique flavor. But if you're looking for the best tasting pan fish, then you'll want to try bluegill.
Bluegill is a type of freshwater fish that's native to North America. It's a popular choice for fishermen because it's relatively easy to catch, and it makes for a great meal.
However, if you look at the numbers you will find that many people prefer either perch or crappie to actually eat in mass than bluegill. I believe the reason for this is the fact they these two fish live a more... "wild" life than what you find for bluegill.
What Tastes Better Bluegill or Perch?
Of course, being a fish, bluegill will taste like...well, fish. But every type of fish has its own unique texture and flavor that can be affected by the cooking method used. So if you're wondering whether bluegill or perch tastes better, it really depends on your personal preferences.
Some people prefer the milder flavor of bluegill, while others find perch to be more flavorful. What's important is that you cook the fish in a way that brings out its natural flavor.
I personally prefer the taste of perch better. Particularly, white perch when it comes to the different types. it spends more of its time in brackish water than out in the open ocean. During the winter you can find them huddled up in a deep water ditches near structure along with the bluegill and crappie. As soon as the ice thaws they go out to spawn locally.
Which Tastes Better Crappie or Bluegill?
Crappie and bluegill are both popular freshwater fish that are often compared to each other. Both have delicate white flesh with a mild flavor. Crappie is considered to be slightly sweeter than bluegill, but both fish are generally considered to have a mild flavor.
As discussed before more people openly fish for just crappie and to have a large fish fry with them. You will find specialist like Mr. Crappie that has a whole line of fishing gear and a special flipping technique for getting to crappie under docks.
How To Cook Bluegill
Now that you know what bluegill tastes like, it's time to learn how to cook it! There are many different ways to cook bluegill, but we will focus on three of the most popular methods.
Grilling is a great way to cook bluegill. You'll want to start by cleaning your fish and removing the guts and scales. Next, you'll need to make slits along the fish's body so that it can lay flat on the grill. Season your fish with some salt, pepper, and lemon juice before placing it on the grill. Cook for about eight minutes per side, or until the flesh is flaky and cooked through.
Another popular method for cooking bluegill is frying. Start by heating some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating up, you'll want to prepare your fish by cleaning it and removing the guts and scales. Next, season your fish with some salt, pepper, and flour. Once the oil is hot, carefully add your fish to the pan and cook for about three minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
If you're looking for a healthier option, try baking your bluegill. Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray. Place your prepared fish on the baking sheet and season it with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
A secret 4th way to cook bluegill is something I usually only do with soft flesh fish like trout and bluefish. Poaching a fish is just like baking except the prep is slightly different. You actually stuff the fish full of seasonings, lemon, and herbs. Then you wrap it in foil and leave a slightly opening for steam to come out. This steams your fish and gives it a very nice cook that allows it to properly absorb all the things you have stuffed it with!