How to Cook Bluegill

By John Jameson


Bluegill fillets, ready for seasoning and cooking.

Heading out on a fishing trip can be a rewarding experience until you return home only to discover that you do not know how to cook bluegill. While bluegill are smaller fish, once they have been properly cleaned and deboned, they can be the perfect centerpiece for any meal. In order to properly clean and debone your bluegill fish, you will need a sharp knife, like a Havalon knife, to slice open and fillet your fish. While cleaning your bluegill, the most important thing to remember is that the bones of this fish are very brittle and may break off into the meat, so you must always exercise additional caution when cleaning, deboning and filleting your meal, and double your fish before cooking.
When you are learning how to cook bluegill, you will find a multitude of different recipes and methods available to you including deep frying, pan frying and baking. Some of these methods may suggest that you cook the fish whole, though this is not advised unless you have used a sharp knife, like a Havalon knife, to carefully clean and debone your fish.


Fried Bluegill Fillets

Once you have cleaned and deboned your bluegill, you may choose to bread and fry your fish. Because of the small size of these fish, a standard fish fry breading is recommended over batter. A battered fish fry will clump up on these small fish and you may end up with more breading than fish, taking away from the taste of your catch. A crispy fish fry coating will provide just enough spice and crust on the outside of the fish to complement the taste
of the fish.

In order to deep fry your bluegill you will need a deep fryer. You will drop the breaded fish, whether filleted or whole, into the deep fryer and remove them after the breading has turned a medium golden brown. If you elect pan frying, you will flip the fish every two to three minutes, cooking each side until it has turned a medium golden brown and any visible skin has begun to flake.


Baked Buttered Bluegill Fillets

Another favorite option amongst anglers for preparing bluegill is to bake the fish. This can be done either with a flour-tossed breading, or by stuffing the fish with a bread mixture or other stuffing of your choice. The most common and safest way to prepare bluegill for baking is to fillet the fish using a sharp knife, like a Havalon knife, and remove all of the bones and skin. After the bones and skin have been removed, the fish can be breaded and baked in the oven at 350-degrees until the breading turns a warm golden brown and begins to flake. If you elect to stuff your bluegill, one of the best stuffings for this fish is a mixture of Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and basil or oregano. This mixture should be made to taste and stuffed liberally into the fillets.

There are many different recipes and methods for cooking fish and there is no one standard method for how to cook bluegill to perfection. This will be based upon your preference and you should try multiple different methods to find the one that suits your taste. Most importantly, when you are learning how to cook bluegill it is essential to ensure that the fish is thoroughly cooked before eating by checking the internal temperature.

Once you have learned to cook bluegill and tried many different methods, you’ll have no trouble deciding how to cook all the other fish you catch on the lake as well.


For more tips and ideas on cooking fish, click here.
And for the best fillet knife, click here

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