Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

Usually on Bluegill outings, my partners and I will selectively harvest a few 7-8" gills..and for several years now, I normally just fillet and skin them for the pan....As of late, member Jeremy Mayo has taunted my taste buds with his field dressed style and method of preparation.....so I'm about to give it a go!

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I was shopping at Gander Mountain yesterday for swimbaits that I'll need for my Canadian fishing trip, and happened to stumble upon an automatic fish scaler....$270....a tad pricey for my blood.
Skin on fillets

ohhhh now you cant tell me thats gonna be some fine eatin!
Bill are these all females that its in this pic?
Yes they are!.....Hens, haven't seen too many males yet....water temps here are still under 58 deg.
Got to admit the patch between chatching and eating ( cleaning) is NOT on my list of things-I-want-to-do.

When I lived in Florida, I was allowed to fish off a canal dock, ,normally "pinfish" which were bluegill-like critters. The homeowner often came to fish too, and we would keep the bigger ones. He scaled them by slitting next to the head, making a slit in the stomach too, then using a clamp on the tail ( he was a doctor so he had forceps), then taking the garden hose at high pressure and squirting off the scales against the grain ( from the tail forward). The stomach would also be subjected to the high pressure hose treatment, which worked like a charm.

To cook them, he simply put a slit or so in the meaty side, sprinkled some salt, and threw 'em on the grill. COndiments were soy suace, hot sauce, or garlic mayo.
Some body say my name? haha
 I've used a high pressure washer on them before, best and quickist way to remove scales mechanically  I've ever seen.
I have tried this too, it's very good, and simple. My question is how to get the bluegill to die? I have put them on ice (like Bruce C)  for up to 2 hours, they are still alive. I hate chopping up live fish.

If they are still alive, use a sharp, heavy backed knife and administer a quick deep-cut behind the head. Sever the spinal cord and they're done. The work can then commence.

A bit gruesome, perhaps, but quick and humane.

I, too, scale under water in a water filled bin.

I simply store my gills in the crisper until the next day.....they become easier to clean and are fully dead.
I thought fish had to be cleaned immediately, or they rot. I'm wrong?

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