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Pan-Fried Bluegill Recipe

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Crispy on the outside, tender, flaky fish on the inside this simple pan-fried bluegill recipe is reminiscent of old-fashioned flavor and perfect for stove or campfire for your fresh catch.

We love to take the girls fishing, it’s so fun to sit back, toss in a line and watch their faces light up when their bobber starts dunking into the water.

So, we took them the other day to a local spot full of delicious bluegill. We all 5 caught a mess of them, we brought them home, cleaned them, and fried them for dinner. So yummy.

Are bluegill good eating fish?

Filleted or whole, bluegill make excellent fish for frying.

Bluegill makes an excellent fish to eat. In fact, they’re often referred to as panfish because they’re perfect for frying in a pan over an open fire or over the stove.

These fish have one of the mildest flavors of freshwater fish, and their flesh is really flaky and firm making it perfect for breading and frying.

How to cook bluegill

This recipe can be used whether you have fillet-sized bluegill that you clean and fillet or smaller catches that you simply keep whole and eat around the bones. Whichever you choose, it’s simple to make and delicious.

We chose to fillet the fish, if you choose, you can keep them whole, remove the head just behind the gills, and eat around the bones. It’s really up to you and, well, the size of your fish. Larger bluegill are much, much easier to fillet, though we filleted all of ours.

Once filleted, keep them cold, rinse and pat dry, dip them in egg wash, dredge them in the fish fry and fry for about 5-8 minutes (depending on the size of the fillet). Drain, and enjoy.

Tips for perfectly fried fish

  • Rinse your fish and pat them dry. Even though you’re going to be putting them in eggwash, patting them dry helps keep the egg adhered to the fish.
  • Try to keep the sizes of fillet (or fish) fairly uniform for each batch. This helps ensure even cooking.
  • Heat oil to 350°F so that the fish fry quickly enough to cook through without overbrowning on the outside.
  • Use a fork to dip the fish into the fish fry and place in the hot oil to keep the fry mix on the fish (and keep your fingers clean).
  • If you’re not using a campfire, especially if you have a lot of fish to fry, try frying outside to keep down on the smell inside your home.

What to make with your bluegill:

Pan-Fried Bluegill
Yield: 14 Fillets

Pan-Fried Bluegill

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Tender, flaky bluegill coated with a flavorful, crispy batter just like grandma used to make.


  • 7 Bluegills, dressed
  • 3 teaspoons Seasoned Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup Cornmeal
  • 2/3 Cup Flour
  • 2 Eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • Oil of choice for frying


  1. Begin heating oil on medium-high heat on stove, alternatively you can use a campfire.
  2. Mix together eggs and milk in a small bowl. Mix flour, cornmeal, seasoned salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Using a fork or tongs, dip each fillet into the egg wash, remove and allow the excess to drip off before dredging fish in flour/cornmeal mixture.
  4. Coat fish completely, remove with fork and place in hot oil of 350°F for 5-8 minutes until golden brown on outside and flaky on the inside.
  5. Drain fish completely on towel lined plate, garnish with lemon and tartar sauce (if desired).

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 186Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 1183mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 6g

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Sunday 26th of September 2021

My sister started to use your recipe, but she hadn't known to gut & rinse the inside or scrape the scales/slime & rinse off the outside.

Danielle McCoy

Tuesday 28th of September 2021

The post talks about the options of filleting or dressing the fish and the recipe calls for dressed bluegill.

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