Friday, October 9, 2015

Fishing again and rowing

I caught a bucket full of bluegills right off the dock.  I was out rowing and only got one small perch.  I posted on Facebook as to how I'll prepare them.   Generally, a dip in flour and fried in a large cast iron pan in canola oil. That is the way my Mom always made them. The tails crisp up like potato chips. When I have a huge supply and fillet them, I cut the fillets into bite sized pieces,(about six per fish) dip in milk, roll in corn meal, and put them into the deep frier. Bluegill bits. Very good served with dips like blue cheese or Frank's hot sauce. This is the only fish Dawn's father ever really liked. And kids love them. They will microwave, but they are not an oily fish like salmon and trout. They will go on the grill nicely with some nice sauce like Chaveta's from the Buffalo area. I marinate that sauce. Use a folding screen and don't overcook. On the grill I do leave the heads on and sometimes I wrap them in bacon. Just gutted and soaked overnight in kosher salt water and perhaps garlic, they will do fine in a smoker, but again, because they are not as oily as trout, salmon, mackerel or carp, they will not smoke up as nicely. Margot had some very created recipes years ago when we ate bluegills three or four times a week. She did an Italian version and one with a cream sauce. One advantage of this plentiful fish is because they are so far down the food chain, bluegills do not collect as many heavy metals. They are much healthier than bass or pike or any large predator fish. Also, they are sustainable. They can't be fished out because they are so prolific breeders. In some lakes they overbreed and dominate. That happened in my boyhood haunt, Lime Lake near Buffalo. Then they push out the large game fish and stunt themselves. So far Burden Lake has stayed well balanced.
Odd that I could not get many bites out on the water, but they were very hungry right there on the dock.