Friday, May 29, 2009
I have been out fishing for bluegills a handful of times since school let out for break. Pound for pound, bluegill are my favorite fish I have ever caught, and I live them because they provide plenty of action and they'll take most anything you throw at them.
I learned to fly fish (and fish in general since I haven't done much of any other kind of fishing) on bluegill, my older brother and I would ride our dirt bikes down to a local pond on those calm, cloudless nights of my childhood and catch a stringer full of fish each. We'd ride home and my dad would fillet them up, my mom would cook up a gourmet meal and we'd use the carcasses for tomato plant fertilizer.
We have had some of those bluebird days and with the weather heating up, now is the prime time to get out on a float tube and catch some slabs.
My dad and I did just that and "found" a new lake that, although I am a lifelong Boise resident, I had no idea existed. Quinn's pond apparently used to be a lumberyard pond of some sort and it's deep, cool water and almost complete lack of other fishermen called us in for a relaxing afternoon of casting.
We caught quite a bunch and my dad fixed up a bluegill ceviche that was great! Here is the recipe he used. If you haven't had a ceviche before, you have to give this one a try. It is fabulous! Ours turned out a bit too lemony and not hot enough, but feel free to adjust the recipe to your taste. Also, a more crunchy-chunky type of ceviche is a little more traditional, but it would take away from the delicate flavors of the bluegill.
1 lb deboned fish fillets
1/2 medium white or red onion finely chopped
1 cup of pure lemon juice
1 diced large tomato
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of powdered sugar
1 finely chopped jalapeno pepper
(Use these measurements as a general guidline.)
Place whole deboned fillets in a deep glass baking dish placeing them as flat as possible. Add the lemon juice, onion,salt,and sugar in the dish. Be sure that the lemon juice completely covers the fillets. Place the dish in the refrigerator for about 2 hrs. After 2 hrs, put the jalapeno, cilantro, and tomatoes into the dish and stir lightly ensureing to moisten all of the ingredients. After 1 hour your fillets will be fully cooked with the lemon juice. Stir the ingredients into a nice medley and enjoy with your favorite cracker or dipping chips.