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amateurfishing

Keeper Gils

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attempting to chase crappies yesterday and only found gils but had a hayday with em, most were 5-6 with a few in 7 inch range, assuming this is a stunted lake, should I have kept any for a meal or is 6 inches just not worth it?

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I know in the pond management world(namely for largemouth and bluegill) they pretty much say remove all gills under 6inches you can catch to prevent stunting.

plus they all taste great!

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who ever said small gills and crappies like 6 inch is not good eating is wrong. if you deep fry em long enough you can even eat the bones too. its just harder to clean. and I agree get rid of the stunted ones so the big ones will pass the genes on.

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That's usually what we keep for eaters 6-8 inches, anything bigger goes back. I have a smaller fillet knife that works well, think its a Rapala.

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To clarify, only remove them if you plan to eat/use them. Wanton waste of any fish is illegal.

That said, scale the smaller ones and cook'em up whole. There's no point in filleting the small ones for a few scraps of meat.

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The smaller ones have smaller bones, so if cooked a little longer, the bones will soften and you can just eat the bones. Fillet as normal, except leave the rib bones in the fillet.

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I call those head choppers! I just scale them chop the head off then clean the guts out. Roll in egg wash and flour then fry! Delicious!

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Quote:
I call those head choppers! I just scale them chop the head off then clean the guts out. Roll in egg wash and flour then fry! Delicious!

Seriously that's it? We do that with trout, well cut off the head, gut, clean all the blood out. Put in foil with hunk o butter, onion, salt & pepper, half strip of bacon and slice of lemon. Grill for like 3-4 mins on each side. Wow - I'm hungry now.

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Sure, that's it. Haven't you ever wondered what those little "scaling" tools are used for? Little aluminum handled device with serrated teeth on the end like one half of a shark's jaw bone.

Remove the head, slice down the belly and remove entrails, remove all the scales, and fry em' up the same way you'd do any other fish. Then simply peel the meat off each fish and enjoy.

I don't know about eating the bones, but when cooked sufficiently, the meat will simply peel off the skeleton and leave most of the bones behind.

Folks used to eat fish like this all the time. I suppose that was before everyone had really good fillet knives.

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use a spoon bro.... spoon that gill! best technique for me to scale em..

WORK SUCKS>>>>dreaming of the lake.... can we swear on here? im a newb

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So I guess we identified that one can certainly keep 6 inch gills and make pretty quick work of em' for the pan by scaling, rather than filleting.

I'm not so sure we answered the question of "should I keep some at 6 inches".

For me, six inches would probably be a little on the small side. I'm sure there are many who would argue this, but I'm just stating my opinion on the issue. A six inch panfish, once the head is removed, is now a pretty dainty little piece of fish, and IMHO just a little too small to bother with. Although I'm sure they are very tasty!

In the world of panfish, size does matter. No disrespect what-so-ever for you guys who think six inches is big enough. They're gonna have to be 8-9 inches to make the live-well in my boat. I guess maybe it's just a relative size thing.... wink

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If you assume that 2 of the 6 inches are the head and 1 of the 6 inches are the head, then you're left with about 3 inches of body meat. For some that's enough. IMO - six inches is on the small side for filleting but not for scaling. In the spring when the bulls are protecting nests, I always try to return them just in case they have a chance to keep their young.

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Potato chip size fillets and there is nothing wrong with that. I have cleaned a mess of smaller panfish like your speaking of . I also found that those automatic drum/bucket style scalers work very well.

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i keep 6 inchers and love a snack of sunfish fillets. Four to six fillets are plenty of protein for a meal, unless you gorge yourself into obesity.

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6-7" are My favorite size for the scaling method. I think they are the tastiest done that way and that the bones add flavor that you don't get in a boneless fillet. I don't eat the bones but I do enjoy picking them apart. Now I'm hungry smile

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I call those head choppers! I just scale them chop the head off then clean the guts out. Roll in egg wash and flour then fry! Delicious!

My Grandma made them this way and I ate hundreds of gills whole. One could split the fish in half and pull the dorsal fin and rib cage out very easily.

The fried skin if fried crispy was excellent.

We still have some from thime to time like this.

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I'm not so sure we answered the question of "should I keep some at 6 inches".

I dont so much care what people keep as long as they eat what they keep. If its a lake full of stunted pannies I will take a limit of 6" fish for a meal. But if its a decent lake with a healthy population of fish then I will only take a few for myself.

As for prep, scaled and pan fried washed down with a good beer cannot be beat IMO.

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