Bluegills! I love to catch them, I love to turn them loose, and when I'm in the mood for fresh caught fish it's bluegills that go on my plate.
I've tried all of the freshwater species, well the normal ones, that live in Texas. Don't know a lot about salt water fish, but fresh water fish I've been eating for nearly sixty years. Crappie come a fairly decent second place, channel cat a reasonable third place. But bluegills have the best taste and texture of them all.
I tried filleting bluegills a couple of times, total waste of time and energy. I cook them whole - minus head and guts and scales of course. They are so much better that way, and there's so much more meat that way too, and let's face it, you want all the bluegill meat you can get when you're eating these fine fish.
I know everyone has their own favorite fish to eat, and that's as it should be. I'm just saying - If you haven't had bluegill do yourself a favor and enjoy the best eating fish in Texas.
They make great fish patties too !
Hey Lloyd, where are the yellow perch on that list of fav's?
In any case, I tried this and that for cleaning bluegills before I found a youtube video on boneless/skinless Bluegill fillets that I followed and got my cleaning time down to about 1 fillet per minute. Once you understand the technique, the key is a very sharp 6" fillet knife.
This technique allows me to efficiently clean the little buggers, even the 5-6" stunted ones that need cleaned out of the local pond so that the rest can grow.
MMMMMM... fish chips!
So what is everyone's favorite way of cooking them?
Sunfish and crappie make for fine eating without a doubt and I'll never walk away from the table when they're present. But in terms of freshwater fish, I feel walleye and yellow perch are tops, neither of which are common in TX, so I agree that puts gill high on the list.
aye, tasty little suckers.
Though I stand on my C&R podium often, walleye, darn, they are just so tasty !!!
Lloyd,If you say so, I believe it. In the springtime, while bass fishing, the bluegills really pester me, and bite my baits, but rarely do I catch them. When I do, I see they are BIG.
How do you recommend I catch these buggers? I use worms, and other plastic baits, but want to learn how to best catch bluegills in the spring when they are shallow and biting, Then I'll get your recipe!
Dave, where you been all your life ? Bluegills can be as aggressive as a piranha, Use small baits, micro jig with just a small piece of worm, even a small fly under a slip bobber, if your fishing in clear water, and can sight them, dance the bait a little, and they will follow like a puppy dog chasing a bone on a string.
Dave, if you know where the bluegill hang out and you want to do something really fun.. get a fly rod and put a dropper fly (a second fly) on it. Doubling up on those little boogers is a blast.
Dave, as you know they have little tiny mouths, even the big ones have little tiny mouths. Small lures, like a mepps spinner (do they still make those?) and as HOG said a small piece of worm or flys work great. If you have room in your boat you could carry an ultra-light spinning rig, or even a fly rod. Personally I like catching them on a 3 or 4 wt fly rod, the fight is pretty intense that way. Recipe wise I clean and scale them, then roll them in mustard and then in seasoned cornmeal and fry in a skillet. The mustard changes flavor when cooked, and adds just a bit of tang, sort of like squeezing lemon on it but not as bold.
Where have I been all my life? Chasing large bass all over the country, especially where the biggest ones live. I like catching trophy bass, and I use heavy gear.
Now I am ready to slow down, scale down, and sometimes help my grandchildren catch a few, and get the bug of fishing.
Thanks for all the help and advice!
Yeah 'ave, light weight fly rod or ultra-lite, small baits/fly's and have a blast.
Dave, you need to back off right now or you will become addicted to bluegills. Possibly to the detriment of bass fishing. Don't think about it. Forget it. It's not worth it. You'll suffer. You'll start seeking the 12" bluegill like you've never searched for a record bass. It is a powerful addiction, avoid it from the get-go. Forget about it.
I will say this - I have personally landed a few 12" gills. They exist (not in CO though, as far as I can tell) and they weigh in over a pound.
And when you get one, you will swear you have a 5lb bass on the line. Pound for pound they are as tough and as fun as anything. The problem is rarely overfishing them - the problem is usually stunting via overpopulation though...
Best of luck out there!
used to catch gill in the Iowa/Wisconsin boundary waters, through the ice, of which a lot of them would weigh 1.25 with the several hitting 1.5, think the biggest from one of those trips hit 1.75
We got some big gills in co. It's just difficult to pattern them. When we seem to strike out in Colorado we usually head to the Dakotas or Nebraska. I will say the biggest gills and best days I have ever had all happened in CO.
Now, wish I had never asked.
Dave- if you are in the N Denver Metro area and fly fish - ask me some time (you can find me on the skipper link for Willow Creek or Williams Fork) and we'll go "launch" some 'gills this spring. April or after.