Thursday, March 24, 2016

How to Fillet an Average Size Bluegill

The following video will explain how I fillet all the bluegills I keep for meals throughout the year. Sorry for the angle on the video, I forgot to check the lens rim before I started filming. It was turned slightly and caused the video to show up with an angle. You can hear the video much better if you use a headset or ear plugs; aside from my technical problems I think I got the message across.

This is the recipe my wife uses to prepare the fillets for a fantastic meal.
1. Mix fillets in yellow mustard. Roll in Zatarain Fish Seasoning mix.
2. Place fillets on cooking sheet that is sprayed with PAM. Spray top of fillets with PAM; bake on 450 for about 6-7 minutes. Turn fillets over and spray again with PAM, bake for another 6-7 minutes. Time will vary as to how brown or crispy you want the fish.

How to prepare French Fries
1. Cut up fries and place on cookie sheet that is sprayed with PAM. Spray top of fries with PAM and sprinkle seasoning salt and lemon pepper seasoning. Bake 450 for about 20 minutes. Turn fries over half-way through the cooking and spray again with PAM.

How to prepare Slaw
1. Use a blender to chop the cabbage and carrots. Drain and add mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and a little honey mustard, mix and chill before serving.

2. Slice fresh garden tomatoes and slice canelope or banana pepper—all of these items are optional, but they help add a zest to the meal. Of course all fillets can be touched with tartar sauce and fries with ketchup.

The bluegills or crappie fillets have no bones left in them. One thing I like to do with the fillets before they are either frozen or baked is let them set in salt water over night. I have found that this will soak all the blood out of the meat and it gives the fillets a fresher taste. The fillets the next day are snow white. At this time you can either freeze the fillets in a ziplock bag with water or prepare for a meal. The water is added to the fillets to give them a fresh taste.

Fishing  for me would not be nearly as much fun if my wife and I didn’t enjoy eating some of the fish I catch. Give the fillets a try I think you will be surprised how well you will like the baked verses the fried. By the way for an added kick add a Coors Light to wash them down.
What's for supper Grandpa???



Howard Levett said...

Nice job on the video Bill. It's been many years since I caught and filleted a mess of bluegill. When is dinner?

Walt Franklin said...

Man, that fillet recipe sounds delicious. It's been a long time since I tried a batch of 'gills, but now I think I want to head up to the ponds and catch a few. I'll pass on the Coors Lite in favor of an IPA, but other than that, terrific! Thanks for the inspiration.

Bill Trussell said...

My wife and I can't tell the difference in the bluegills verses the crappie, they are they good. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

A recipe my wife made up, and decided to the Zatarain seasoning to give the fillets a little kick! Zatarain seasoning would probably taste good on most anything. Thanks for the comment

Brk Trt said...

Bill that was great.
Looks like the fillet knife was very sharp.
Is that fried okra on the plate?

Bill Trussell said...

Actually that is baked okra, sometimes we have some vegetables with the fish. Thanks for sharing

Jay said...

I've never used mustard... I have used mayonnaise and milk, but the mustard option would be a much healthier choice... especially if you're going to bake them. Thanks for the tips!

Justin Carf said...

I've never baked okra. What's your recipe for that? I just had an Uncle just give me a bag of bluegill filets, and what perfect timing of reading your post. Have me hungry for some fish! Very nice post and video, Bill!

Bill Trussell said...

Mustard works much better with the Zatarain, really great taste. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

I think you will be surprised with the taste of the fillets----forgot to mention in the post, but if you want to deep fry fillets use peanut oil. As for the okra roll it in corn meal and fry it in olive oil in a cast iron skittle on oven top. Sorry for the bake term, but I'm not the cook at the house, and found after I did the post, it was fried, still healthy fried in olive oil. Thanks for the comment

Justin Carf said...

Thank you, for the tips, Bill!!

Bill Trussell said...

Hope you give the fillets a try.
thanks for the comment

Owl Jones said...

Bill, do you ever leave the tail end attached on the first cut. I find it makes it easier to "de skin" the other side. Just make your first cuts like you did but leave the filet attached at the tail and flop it over and de-skin it at the same time. Now, that said, it's clear you know how to clean a fish - I'm just wondering if you just prefer to do it separately for some reason?

thanks for including the recipe advice too. Unlike ole Howard, I can tell the difference between bluegill and crappie and much prefer crappie. That is, when I can't catch bass. LM Bass under 14 inches is about as good as freshwater fish eating gets to us. Selectively harvested from where they are abundant, of course.

Bill Trussell said...

Old habits are hard to break; I can't tell you how many bluegills I have cleaned over the years doing it the way I've shown on the video. For me it makes it easier to keep the fillets out of the scales and blood left on the table after I start the process of filleting the fish. One of my fishing buddies fillets his bluegill the way you are referring to; I guess everybody to his own----thanks for stopping by and the advice---you should give the fillets a try they are delicious!!

Kevin Frank said...

Eeeeeew! You eat them? jk

My buddy at work has been telling me I need to eat the ones I catch for years. I might try some this year. I've heard white bass are awesome to. Supposedly they rival the taste of crappie.

Bill Trussell said...

I would never eat bluegill or any other warm water fish without filleting them. Eating fish that is not filleted taste like fish smell. I have been cleaning bluegill, crappie and catfish for ever, and never eat any of them without filleting them first. Notice I didn't mention bass, even filleted bass still has that faint taste of the smell of fish---I never eat bass. The only three we eat are bluegill, crappie and catfish. Of those three the crappie is the Cadillac of fish to eat. My second fish to eat is of course bluegill which would be tied with catfish. Give the bluegill a try and use the recipe my wife uses and I think you will like them. Thanks for the comment