Boating Lake County Blog

Grilling Bluegills


Boatable Recipes

Bluegills: grilled to perfection

One of the more common fish in Lake County is the Bluegill. They’re easy to catch — perfect for the kids — and have a mild taste. You can grill them whole or as fillets. 

Some tips: To grill directly over the heat, you’ll want Bluegills of at least 8 inches. As with cooking any fish, keep a close eye to avoid drying out. If you’re grilling whole fish, don’t remove the skin before cooking; it insulates the fish from the heat. Make sure the grill grates are scrubbed very clean and then coated with oil, or they will stick. 

Grilling Whole Bluegills


4 large, whole Bluegill, scaled and gutted
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 lemon sliced thin

  1. Preheat grill for high.
  2. Make 3 angled cuts on each side of the fish about an inch apart.
  3. Coat lightly on both sides with oil. Season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper. Place lemon slices into the interior cavities.
  4. Arrange fish on the clean, oiled grates and cover. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the skin starts to crisp. 
  5. When the skin no longer sticks to the grill, carefully turn over and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and flakes easily.

Serves 4.

Grilling Bluegill Fillets

Bluegill fillets are another way to go, especially for tacos. You’ll want to use foil for grilling, because fillets may dry out if you cook them directly on the grates.

  1. Preheat the grill to medium.
  2. Coat fillets lightly on both sides with oil. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
  3. Coat one side of a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil with oil. Arrange the fillets on the foil, place on grill and cover.
  4. Cook approximately 8 minutes without turning. The fish is done when the flesh flakes easily and the center is opaque.

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