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Eating bluegill

9/14/22 @ 6:21 PM

Skin on or off?


TODAY @ 3:58 PM
USER SINCE 1/22/21

Lots of different theories probably by Biologists. What’s true/What’s False?
My theory (Probably made by Biologist at some point is a healthy lake, makes healthy fish.) Let’s keep our lakes healthy, and eat some fish when we can (Because we don’t do it as often as the past).
Someone already made this point, but just agreeing with it.

 A lot of lakes would probably have more plants/weeds if not for the weed poison being put into our lakes. How much study went into weed Killer being sprayed everywhere?
It’s definitely a debate that will never end is my guess.

TODAY @ 2:31 PM

I have seen that mentioned before Crawdaddy.  Definitely plays a part in it.

"Do not harvest the largest Bluegill in the pond. Having large male Bluegill present inhibits the sexual maturation of other Bluegill. Immature fish grow much faster than mature fish because all the energy goes towards growth, and not towards reproduction. So, if the Bluegill in the pond are kept from becoming sexually mature, they will grow faster. Plus, there will be less reproduction, which will reduce the overall population, and thereby increase growth rates because more food is available per fish."

Other practices to curb stunting are weed control (too many hiding spots for small gills), and letting LMB flourish - pike and musky DO eat gills, but not as many as LMB do.

Everything seems to come back to overpopulation.

TODAY @ 11:22 AM
USER SINCE 7/11/01

The stunting has more to do with a male fishing becoming sexually mature.  They grow faster prior to reaching spawning maturity. The bigger males patrol the spawning areas and limit the number of spawning males.  Once a male reaches spawning maturity the growth rate slow dramatically.  If you are on a clear body lakes during a spawn you can see it.  If the lake has larger males overall, then there will be fewer spawning beds per location and fewer overall locations.  If you are on a lake with "stunted" males, you will see far more spawning beds in far more areas.  I have seen this many times, and though I at one time used to target spawning bluegills, I quit doing that years ago for this very reason.  A few fisherman can over harvest the big males and cause a decade of damage to the size structure of a lakes bluegill population. Not that food and resources aren't important, they are.  Best way to help that is a balance between predator fish and panfish.  Show me a healthy bluegill lake with nice sized male bluegills and I'll show you a lake with a good population of largemouth bass or pike.

TODAY @ 9:41 AM

"They protect the nest and pass along the good genetics and the size integrity. Basically, they are the fish that guards the nest and keeps the stunted inferior males from dropping their milt in the bed of eggs causing smaller and overpopulated gills."

You are theorizing that a stunted fish will have stunted genes.  It seems that the majority of evidence indicates stunting is a result of the environment the fish are in (lack of food, poor water quality, lack of oxygen, overpopulation, etc), not a result of bad genetics.  "Runts" are bred from poor genetics.

If the stunted fish came from non-stunted parents, and became stunted because of the environment they live in, then they still have normal genes inside them and will produce normal fish if they are borne into a proper enriched environment.

10/4/22 @ 2:42 PM
USER SINCE 10/13/05

Love walleye.  Just don't catch as many as I would like where I fish.  Bluegill, sunfish, crappie, rock bass and white bass fill in nicely.  ALWAYS skin on, just cooks better for me, like the crispy skin when cooked correct.  Occasional bass and NORTHERN that I am allowed to keep.  They are actually the best GRILLED fish.

10/3/22 @ 7:11 PM
USER SINCE 11/29/01

Yesterday I kept an 8 3/8" bluegill and was about the fattest one I ever caught. It was very good.  DOnt tell the walleye guys here but they are superior to walleye. Fought like crazy and thought it was goos size sheep. I wish Bago would turn into a bluegill lake .

9/22/22 @ 5:14 PM


I've been a big gill hunter for over 50 years, and I totally agree with your thoughts on not keeping the big spawners.  Besides the smaller ones clean easier and are better tasting, in my opinion.

9/22/22 @ 7:54 AM
s.s esox
USER SINCE 12/22/14

Skin off. Easier to clean the fish and fry. Although I do enjoy skin on fillets when I have them. 

Add sugar to your homemade tartar sauce.

Alot of talk here about what size to kill. As I have learned more about gills and their biology and size structure, I've learned its very important to release the large males. They protect the nest and pass along the good genetics and the size integrity. Basically, they are the fish that guards the nest and keeps the stunted inferior males from dropping their milt in the bed of eggs causing smaller and overpopulated gills. We used to do the opposite keeping the males and releasing the females thinking we were doing the right thing. 

We should all try to release the largest gills in the lake. This is all relatively to the lake you are fishing. If the top end gills are 9" kill the 7.5' and 8" 

With the amount of fishing pressure, technology and freezer filling (game violators) our panfish don't stand a chance in this state. 

A dandy 9" gill released on pool 8 of the Mississippi river this week 

9/22/22 @ 7:14 AM

PAPA STACHE’s bar & restaurant in BIG BEND serves whole gill dinners but I don’t know how good they are as I order something different. All their food is good but it’s always packed.        CARPIO 

9/22/22 @ 3:26 AM

#1 - I only keep them if they are 7.5" to 9", hard toby those big ones lately ??.

#2 - I filet them, NO SKIN, ya, sometimes you get potato chips. lol

#3 - I use shore lunch Cajun seasoning and deep fry them in a cast iron pan of oil on my grill.

Nothing better than Gill filets with cole slaw. your choice of taters, and your favorite barley pop, along with some marble rye bread   

Now you'll have to excuse me to go catch some gills   

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