Skin on or off?
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.
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
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
#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
I really LOVE everything about fillets...
But I do miss whole fried fish at times... Flesh is firmer after cooking, succulent... Like chicken on the bone like thighs vs nuggets or tenders...
How are bluegill served at restaurant fish fry's ? Are they all fillets ??
I want to try them... Saw how they supply perch for local restaurants... Top quality...
The 7 1/4 - 7 1/2” gills are the best eaters with the skin on . Anything bigger than 8” I usually skin otherwise they fry up too crisp for my taste. But like women,to each their own! CARPIO
Lot of talk about how to find "easy" ways to scale fish on this thread. Sharp fillet knife removes the meat from the bones and along the ribs then you simply skin the fillet pile all at once to finish, taking any scaling work out of the picture. I find skin on fillets curl up a lot in the fry pan and the bigger fish have thicker tougher skin.....NO SKIN vote here. Little fish? Let em go , let em grow.
If you like eating Gills,they were under every dock I fished Saturday.
Wasn't looking for them,was bass fishing.
Count of 3 and the bobber was down.
Didn't even use live bait.
Berkeley Gulp Earthworms was the ticket.
Used a piece about 3/4 inch on a #12 hook Wacky style.
Edit: 4 pound test on an ultralight was alot of fun.
I think skin on helps retain the natural oils / juices of the fish so you get that sticky smooth and succulent pieces... Cooked a double foiled LMBass (part of the sunfish family) low on the last coals on a Bring Your Own Food to a Grill Party... It looked like a leg of lamb and took that long to cook... It seemed like an extra 20 minutes, it was a lower temp and it was a whole fish with lemon, onion, salt and pepper, dill... Those last twenty minutes had most of the party surrounding that grill, a aroma had em waiting impatiently... By then I just cut the foil open and pulled back the skin... The meat pulled off the bones so effortlessly, but not fall apart, it would melt in your mouth in all its goodness! Everyone was pulling out a piece, flipped it over and it was picked clean in the same manner along with all ooohs and aaahs... It was very delicious... I still hear talk about it and how good it was...