How to Clean, Gut & Cook Bluegill

Bluegills are a type of panfish that are most commonly referred to as sunfish. When fishing for these panfish, the bluegill can be found near docks and logs and in weed-heavy waters. Once caught, cleaning, gutting and cooking the bluegill is relatively simple. The most common way to cook the fish is by frying it in a skillet. Using seasoned, crushed graham crackers and butter to cook the fish will make the dish more flavorful.

Someone is holding a small bluegill fish up. (Image: JCriswellPhoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Clean the bluegill. Using a fish scaler or a dull knife, scrape the scales off of the fish in an outward motion, from tail to head. Make sure to remove all scales on both sides of the fish until the skin is smooth.

Step 2

Remove the head. Use a sharp knife to cut the head off, just behind the gills.

Step 3

Gut the bluegill. Using a sharp knife, make an incision in the belly of the fish, starting from the tail, and cut up to where the head was. Butterfly the bluegill and remove all the organs.

Step 4

Cut off the tail and fins using the same sharp knife.

Step 5

Fry the bluegill in a skillet. Dip the bluegill in well-beaten egg or melted butter. Coat in mixture of crushed graham crackers, salt and lemon pepper. Fry in oil over medium-high heat for five minutes either side.

Things You'll Need

  • Fish scaler

  • Sharp knife

  • Skillet

  • Bluegill fish

  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted

  • 2 cups graham crackers, crushed

  • Salt and lemon pepper to taste

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 2 tbsp. cooking oil

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