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#11033164 - 08/10/15 02:39 PM what's your ideal size sunfish to keep?
Gillz Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 810
It's been a while since I've put the bass rods down and just had a day of simplicity catching a bunch of sunfish, until this past Saturday.The wife and I had a blast catching some feisty sunfish in the Brazos river. So I got to thinking if I keep some for the frying pan what minimum length is worth keeping? And also best way to clean/prepare and cook them opinions would be appreciated.
Thanks!
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#11033193 - 08/10/15 02:49 PM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: Gillz]
Fitz® Offline
"Nice Guy"

Registered: 08/12/10
Posts: 8512
Loc: Feeding Time
All water bodies are different, but I let the "trophies" go. In some places thats 7" and above and in other water it's 10" and above. Kind of a judgement call if you think big fish make more big fish. This goes for all species

In general a 7-9" Sunfish is good to eat for me, but I mostly fish for them for fun.

I'm sure others will have different opinions.
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#11033274 - 08/10/15 03:19 PM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: Fitz®]
REDGUN Online   content
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/01/10
Posts: 594
Loc: DFW Metromess
I don't care for picking around bones, so I fillet my gills. Because of this, I only keep the 8"+ gills.
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#11033363 - 08/10/15 03:52 PM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: Gillz]
Smithaven Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 03/23/10
Posts: 1827
Loc: Hurst, Texas
The ideal size is about 7 inches - big enough to fillet and a size that is common enough to catch several of them. If push comes to shove anything over 5 inches gives a nice fillet.
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#11033378 - 08/10/15 03:57 PM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: Gillz]
banker-always fishing Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 07/12/10
Posts: 38179
Loc: Universal City Tx.
For me and my personal preference when I keep a mess of gills for dinner they are in the 8" range they are the perfect eating size. I will also keep a few in the 9" range as well. I usually throw back the 10"plus. That is just me. thumb
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#11033432 - 08/10/15 04:24 PM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: Gillz]
Jimbo Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/18/03
Posts: 15509
Loc: South Texas
I love frying them whole no matter the size. Filleting you throw away the backbone and I along with it a lot of tasty meat.
Most of the fun of eating gills is savoring the flavor and picking at the food and licking every last crumb from your fingers!...Finger food!
Also the bones usually just come right out leaving all meat. But I understand those who prefer a boneless filet also. It's all good!
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#11033467 - 08/10/15 04:39 PM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: Gillz]
Gillz Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 810
Thanks for the info guys!
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#11034771 - 08/11/15 09:00 AM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: Gillz]
Gitter Done Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 02/06/07
Posts: 9065
Loc: San Antonio Tx.
I have been to several fish fries that "Banker" has had over the years. Those fat 8"Gills are hard to beat. Heck fresh fish are just simply GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!





Side Note: The Anglers in this section do know how to prepare em as well.

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#11039566 - 08/13/15 11:30 AM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: Gillz]
Laker One Offline
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 9713
Loc: San Antonio TX
I never ate Sunfish until I came to Texas. Talking to "Banker" and some of my friends and after having some super Bluegill/Sunfish dinners I personally like keeping the 8 and 9 inch fish.

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#11042117 - 08/14/15 02:46 PM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: Gillz]
larry mays Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 11/24/14
Posts: 869
Loc: Winnsboro, Texas
I would also say the 8 inch are better, over here in north-east Texas no one Bream fishes and they are to many of them. So at 8 or better its a place to cull to what you want for cooking. Also the best to eat and with me its always bone in. For any that did not know Lake Fork is one of the best Bream Lakes around.

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#11042301 - 08/14/15 04:06 PM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: Fitz®]
jagg Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 3834
Loc: South Texas
Originally Posted By: Fitz®
All water bodies are different, but I let the "trophies" go. In some places thats 7" and above and in other water it's 10" and above. Kind of a judgement call if you think big fish make more big fish. This goes for all species

In general a 7-9" Sunfish is good to eat for me, but I mostly fish for them for fun.

I'm sure others will have different opinions.

^ This.
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#11042853 - 08/14/15 09:05 PM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: Gillz]
Lovfldx Online   content
TFF Celebrity

Registered: 07/07/01
Posts: 6681
I go boneless fillets, mostly for sons and wife. When I fry up a bunch for me, gut and head em, scale em, batter em, fry em, eat em! I love picking that backbone meat out too. It is a delicacy! Also, don't forget those fried tails! Yumums!

8-10 inch bluegills, greenies, and redears. 8-9 ideal, I try to toss back those 10 inchers once photo ops are done, but once in awhile a trophy sunny in the grease is ok.

Bull bluegill fillets:



9-inch greenie, perfect eating size:



Rudy


Edited by Lovfldx (08/14/15 09:21 PM)

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#11042943 - 08/14/15 09:55 PM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: Gillz]
jcarring99 Offline
TFF Guru

Registered: 01/15/05
Posts: 12296
Loc: Arlngton
This size are good


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#11043032 - 08/14/15 10:57 PM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: jcarring99]
banker-always fishing Online   content
TFF Guru

Registered: 07/12/10
Posts: 38179
Loc: Universal City Tx.
Nice ones Rudy and "jcarring99"! thumb
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IGFA World Record Rio Grande Cichlid. Lake Dunlap.

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#11045106 - 08/16/15 10:00 AM Re: what's your ideal size sunfish to keep? [Re: jcarring99]
Gillz Offline
Pro Angler

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 810
Originally Posted By: jcarring99
This size are good

This fish looks like a frisbee it's so round. Perfect shape for the pan!
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