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mainbutter

Keeping fish?

18 posts in this topic

Is it fair to say that most bluegill/pumpkinseed/crappie fishing is done, not for catch-and-release only, but to find a few to keep?

What are your "keeper" sizes?

When you do, why do you keep fish(in general i guess, doesn't have to be specifically sunfish/crappies), more for eating, or for making trophies?

Just curious what you guys think.

Also, how do you guys go about eating sunnies? I've never eaten them before, but my girlfriend has been bragging about this "killer" sunfish soup her family makes(literally called "fish head soup", an imported recipe from finland where you cook the broth with the heads, strain and toss in chopped fillets), so I'm thinking about taking her up on the offer of providing the fish for cooking.

Is there any reason to not keep smallish-medium-sized bluegill for eating, rather than going after the biggest of them, other than the amount of meat you get per fish?

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hey ---please post the reciepe for the "fish soup"--after I get done filleting out the fish there still seems like a lot of meat left on "them thar bones"-----would like to try and utilize it

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its actually better for the fishery if you keep the smallish to medium ones go and let the biggest ones go. i do it all the time, but its especially important during the spawn

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We always let the fillets sit in water over night to firm up the fillets, but then use ziplock bags, unless we eat them the next day.

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For me they have to be big enough to fillet out. I've never really measured the ones that I call large, I just eye ball them.

Usually after I've caught 5-6 nice ones I'll start throwing back larger fish and keeping the medium sized ones. I also typically limit my catch to about 12-14 fish since that is usually plenty to feed my family.

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depends on how hungry i am. to me sunfish dont get better than that.

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7-9" sunnies are good eating deep fried in beer batter but it takes a limit to feed the family. Don't forget the homemade french fries.

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In order for me to even consider keeping a sunnie, I have to be able to put my palm around the sunnie and not be able to let my figers touch. If my fingers don't touch when I'm palming the sunnie, It's generally a keeper. When I'm out with my other half, she wants to keep everything she catches, so I've been showing her my "minimum size limit" and she's starting to use that to see if it's worth keeping.

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7-8inch sunfish and maybe a few just under 7 if i am having a tough time getting a enough fish but over 8 and they go back in the water with the exception of a few 10's i put on the wall. and Crappies i keep 9-12 inches, and will eat some 8's if the lake i am on is not kicking out any decent fish. Although most of the time i just pretty much let everything go to get bigger.

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i do the same as archerstud

Me also. Any more than 12 or 14 and you're looking at having to freeze them. No fish in the freezer, all the more reason to go out fishing.

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Gills 8" min, crappies 10" perch 10" rest go back. I keep maybe 20-30 total during the year most through the ice. Walleyes are my supper in the summer months.

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sunnies a min 7" max of 9" unless for a trophy 1 lb. Crappies 10" min. They have to be filletable and big enough that I don't have to clean 20 in a night for a meal.

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I used to keep the big ones but nowdays I have a different philosophy. My family (3 of us) likes to eat fish and I do not like to waste our resources. So, I let the big ones go, keeping the little ones that fry up nicely and try for a batch all the same size to make cooking easier. I normally keep about 8 to 10 small bluegills or 6-8 crappies, depending on the size that I'm catching. Usually the ones that I put in the livewell are the size that most posters would never admit to keeping. This is just enough to make a dinner and not have leftovers.

I fillet all of my fish and soak the fillets briefly in milk before shaking them in the breading bag and frying them up. The smaller pieces of meat cook quickly and evenly and are much tastier than the big chunks of meat on the larger fish.

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7-8" panfish and nothing during the spawn. About 7-8 fish are good for a meal.

Best eating fish swimming for sure.

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keeping the short fish helps out with the size for years to come them big sunfish we used to catch are few and far because thier are to many little ones and they dont have the strong gens to produce tru gills. I also keep some short ones and leave the big to increase size for many local lakes

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