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Bluegill recipes for Baked, Simmered, Fried, Broiled, Poached, and Grilled Bluegill

A member of the sunfish family, the bluegill is one of the most popular freshwater game fish with anglers because of its tasty flesh and the fact that it puts up a pretty good fight for its size. It is an excellent tasting fish that can grow to a maximum length of about 40 cm (16 in) and is relatively easy to find and catch because it strikes on just about anything you offer. The average bluegill is about 8 inches long and weighs a pound or so, but some older fish grow to as much as a foot in length and more than 2 pounds in weight. The color varies considerably, from light to dark olive above and yellow or reddish below. The cheeks and gill covers are usually bluish. Younger bluegills and females often have dark, vertical bars on their backs. The most notable feature of Bluegill is the blue or black "ear", actually an extension of the gill cover called the opercular flap. Its name, however, comes from the bright blue edging visible on its gill rakers. It can be distinguished from similar species by the vertical bars along its flanks.

Bluegill recipes:

Bluegill, Sunfish family

Bluegills have deep, compressed, profile rounded under dorsal fin; body and median fins dark olive-green; sides lighter, olive with brassy reflections, often with dusky bars; belly whitish. Mouth terminal, not extending past front edge of eye; opercular flap broad, moderately long, dusky to black. Pectoral fin long, pointed; second dorsal fin with black blotch near middle of posterior rays; anal fin base about half length of dorsal fin base. Lateral line complete, 39-45 scales.
Bluegills go by many names like Sunnies, Sunfish, Brim, Bream, Pumpkinseed, Coppernose. It has sweet, white, flaky flesh. They have a very meaty taste without being too fishy. Tastes good grilled or fried.

Best Cooking:

Bluegills are very easy to cook and delicious. There are many ways to cook them to create a tasty meal. Bluegills are smaller fish, but after you have them cleaned and filleted, you can cook them in a deep fryer, broil them in the oven or make them into a casserole. To make the perfect fish dinner, you need only a few other ingredients. Bluegill is a delicious freshwater fish with a light taste that is best fried or cooked quickly on the stove top.

How to Clean Bluegill:

Scale them first. Then cut down behind the head almost to breast. With the tip of your knife extend the cut on each side back around the vent. Discard the head and guts. Chop off the tail then cut on each side of the top and bottom fin and with a plires, pull the fins. That way when they are cooked you just slide a fork between the halfs and they come apart and you can lift out the bones with luck all at once.

How to Fillet a Bluegill:

Begin by laying your fillet knife behind the pectoral fin. Cut all the way through the ribs and down to the main bone. Slice the fish from behind the gills to the backbone. Don't slice through, leave a small piece attached. If you angle the knife toward the head, you won't waste any of the fillets. Move the knife along the spine, again being careful not to cut through. Slice all the way to the fish's tail, but don't remove the skin yet. Lay out the fish with the skin side down. Use a fillet knife to slice all the way down the fillet. If you keep the knife blade along the skin, you won't waste any of the fillets. After you cut away the skin, only the fillet remains. Now use a clean fillet knife to get under the ribs, top to bottom, keeping the knife right under the bones, so as not to lose any of the meat.

Nutrition Value:

Calories in Wild Caught Bluegill per Serving size 4 oz: Calories 128, Sodium 379 mg, Total Fat 4 g, Potassium 306 mg, Saturated 1 g, Total Carbs 0 g, Polyunsaturated 1 g, Dietary Fiber 0 g, Monounsaturated 1 g, ,Protein 22 g, Cholesterol 101 mg.

Substitutes for Bluegill:

Other mild flavored fish with a firm texture that can be substituted for Bluegill in many recipes are: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Crappie.


Bluegill are highly regarded game fishes and are often considered to be among the best tasting freshwater fish. They are popular as food and prized by sport fishermen.
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