Bluegill - Big Bluegill

Do you love big bluegill?

We all love bluegill, and some of our catch is for consumption....but when the cleaning is done, who gets the waste????...the local gas station garbage can?....the garden?.....the woods?.....I freeze my carcass until garbage day and no one gets offended by that cadaver smell.

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The RACOONS see me and come a running, they line up at the PORTABLE FISH CLEANING STATION and wait their turn!!!!!!  :-)

Well, here in OK, "nothing shall prevent an angler from returning fish carcasses to the Lake".

Personally, I usually just bag and freeze, as I fish on the weekends, but trash pickup is on Friday.

I have loaded a minnow trap with fresh fish remains, but can't remember what I caught.  I'll have to try that again.

I am new to the forum and sure do hate to tick anyone off with my first comment. However, when looking at the photograph, I can't help but wonder, why in the world would anyone filet a Bluegill? Doing so throws away some of the sweetest meat of the fish. I dispose of the head, the guts and scales in the woods for the racoons and possums and we the people, EAT THE REST AND SUCK THE BONES. Oh the naked bones do go in the trash.

Growing up as a kid, we never filleted Bluegill. We picked the meat off the bones, as you do. However, once introduced to proper filleting techniques, I would not go back to the old way. I don't think I waste a lot when I fillet, but I'm sure there are folks out there a whole lot better at it than I am!

Haha, have you ever done this? When I did it, I couldn't help feel as though I was losing more energy than I was gaining from it. The meat left on the belly is mostly fat. Cutting the head off and gutting the fish is popular over here though.

Personally, I agree.  The scale/cut/gut routine is a little more efficient, less time consuming, etc.  Plus, if you leave the fins on when you fry them, you can nibble on the fins.  I hear they're like potato chips.

I can use a fork and lift cooked fillets off the carcass while it's on my plate.  Or, I can just use my fingers and slide the top and bottom of each fillet from the bones.

My wife, on the other hand, cannot stand the thought.  She Who Must Be Obeyed has decreed all 'gills are filleted, because that's what her family did up in Michigan.

I occasionally  field dress bluegills....I love the flavor of the meat when its cooked on the bone, and don't mind the time consuming process to eat them that way...Filleting bluegills has a place when frying fish for the not so savvy bone sucker, or when kids come into play....I have taught thousands to fillet, but still enjoy the old school method of sucking bones...and nibbling on crispy fins.

I dump them around the blackberry briars in the woods on our lot. I never smell them unless I go back there to dump more a few days later, and our blackberry briars are so tall now that I would need a pretty big ladder to get the ones up towards the top.

I dont keep many fish. The one's I do take I usually process at the waters edge.... the carcasses go back in the water.

If I've brought them home to clean for some reason, I freeze the remains in plastic bags. They make good enough 'ice' for the cooler this way, and I toss them back in when I leave.

Cleaning fish at the waters edge, and discarding the carcasses in the water is against the law in Illinois...

Big Jumbo Blue Crabs have a soft spot for Bluegill so I often delight them after I'm done cleaning fish....Works well to hold the crabs in a certain location too as they normally migrate for their food...They will not go anywhere if it's brought to them......Then you just head back down with a net and some kite string......All that's left then is to decide which Blue Crab recipe you're going to serve!

grrrrrrrrr. I am obsessed with eating crab and catching crab. Problem is I live in Illinois. Jeffrey, how do I put this... can I switch states with you? Chicago has nice summers.

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