Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

  • RECEIVE THE GIFTS MEMBERS SHARE WITH YOU HERE...THEN...CREATE SOMETHING TO ENCHANT OTHERS THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE

    You know what we all love...

    When you enchant people, you fill them with delight and yourself in return. Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
mainbutter

Keeping fish?

Recommended Posts

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Best eating fish swimming for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  



  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • It might be better to buy a small second unit and link them.    My guess is what you want is not something enough people want to justify implementing.   Personally I have a hard enough time watching a bobber.
    • Welcome to the Forum.  What brand gun is it? Would help to pick choke tubes out.  Size 6 shot should do the trick, but I'm sure more folks will chime in here. 
    • I upgraded my electronics this year to a Humminbird Helix 10. I love it so far with the exception of not being able to split the screen into 4 separate screens. The max that you can do is 3. I would really like to be able to have the map, sonar, down imaging, and side imaging on the screen at the same time while trolling. I emailed tech support and they said it's not something that is an option at this time. Right now when I'm fishing I switch back and forth between map, sonar, and DI and sonar, DI, and SI. Is there anyone else that thinks this should be an option? I don't know see why you can't customize the screen to show whichever features you prefer instead of only using the preloaded options that Humminbird decided on. I have thought about emailing the company weekly asking if they have that ability yet but wanted to see if anyone else thinks it should be an option. 
    • I just purchased a used 20 gauge for my 14 year old daughter. I hunt mostly state land for pheasants. It is a 2 3/4 auto with interchangeable chokes. What size steel shot and choke tube would you recomend for her?
    • I just got back from a work trip to MI. I could not believe the difference in ground cover. We traveled all the way from Dearborn back to Bemidji heading through the U.P.  Most of MI had very little ground cover but WI was flush, green everywhere! I only got to check a few spots at rest areas but I never saw a thing. The ground was dry at most spots on the way home. I'm gonna go hit my spot tomorrow, hopefully it hasn't been picked yet!
    • love those when ya see them!!!
    • Took the kayak crappie fishing opening weekend and when calm always bring with the DSLR with. These turtles are glad the weather has finally consistently warmed up. I always find it funny seeing turtles stacked on top of each other and found a few along with multiple species which was nice.     
    • I was going to hunt wi this weekend but fishing musky with my fly rod is what I will do instead.  Good luck!!!!!!!
    • Anyone still at it?   not sure that i will get Isaac out anymore, will still ask these last few days.   Good luck everyone.