Have you tried fishing for food? Perhaps you’re interested in what’s the best freshwater fish to eat? Should you be concerned about mercury levels in fish?
When discussing the types of freshwater fish, some of the top concerns of most people are the taste and toxins which may be in the fish. That’s exactly what we’ll tackle in this article.
Types of Freshwater Fish to Eat
Arguably, the best fresh water fish to eat are as follows:
Trout is an excellent choice if you’re looking for the best freshwater fish to eat for several reasons. It has a mild flavor profile that makes the fish perfect for people that don’t like food that’s too strong or salty.
Some even call it “chicken of fish” from the fact that its taste reminds you of chicken meat. The fish is also spotted in myriads of lakes and rivers in North America, Asia, Europe, and pretty much anywhere that has freshwater.
You definitely can’t go wrong choosing the fish for a fresh meal. Whenever you catch some, make sure you clean them first and then prepare wood for a fire. This way, you can enjoy a delicious plate of trout in minutes.
We especially love smoking the fish as it has an exotic flavor, being caught in different streams and rivers across the US. Fish that are pink or orange in color always taste the best. Different anglers have differing opinions on the best freshwater fish to eat but most would say they prefer the taste of trout, particularly brook, brown, and rainbow trout.
Trout can be prepared in various ways with size as a major factor that’s considered. For small trout, it’s best to fry them while larger ones are great for smoking and fileting. Trout can be broiled or baked as well. If you want to achieve the fish’s maximum flavor potential, try pan-frying the fish, and let us know your thoughts!
Catfish are one of the best freshwater fish and they are present in waters across the globe. The fish can be farmed within inland and coastal waters, but not in the Antarctic or Arctic regions. Catfish can be caught anywhere in North America. Different species grow to varying sizes with some growing as huge as 10 ft long.
Catfish are grown commercially in the southern states and are sold throughout the country for consumption. It’s a very popular freshwater fish as its appearance is odd or unique.
There are those that claim seeing catfish sends shivers down their spine because of the whiskers of the fish. But, they are actually barbels that function as the fish’s sensory system to find food while in dark places or murky water.
There are two different types of catfish: wild and farmed. Wild and farm-raised catfish have a distinct taste from each other. Wild fish, according to some, taste better compared to their farmed counterparts. But, there are also those that will tell you farm-raised tastes better compared to the wild!
Personally, the flavor of farm-raised catfish is what we prefer as it’s mild and not too sweet. Once cooked, its flesh is dense and moist. You’ll enjoy the fish if you also like tilapia, flounder, or haddock.
You’ll be glad to know that catfish are among the species of fish that have low levels of mercury compared to the average. If you’re one of those that are conscious about the presence of mercury in fish that you consume, you don’t have to avoid catfish.
Another fish that we recommend you try is bass. Whether you fish in saltwater or freshwater, bass make delicious, unforgettable meals. The meat of freshwater bass holds up really well to various types of food preparation. Its flavor complements most seasoning and spice mixes. If you have never thought of trying bass, we’ll tell you it’s well worth it.
One of the famous species of bass to eat is the largemouth. It’s said to have the cleanest taste among all other species. It’s not as fishy and intense as other species, especially compared to the smallmouth which can feel and taste fishy.
Fish other than the largemouth bass, e.g. tuna, are flaky. If you prefer fish that holds together well, give the largemouth bass a try as it has a meaty, firm texture. It’s also free from pin bones that you can find in different species. That being said, the fish still has bones, which means you need to make sure that your catch is cleaned thoroughly before preparing it as a dish.
According to the National Institutes of Health, bass has low mercury levels, ranging from 0.16 – 1.10, but it can increase in the size and age of the fish.
Although it’s absolutely safe to consume even for pregnant women, it’s advised to not consume more than the recommended serving of cooked bass, which is 3 oz. One 3 oz or 85-gram cooked bass provides vitamins and minerals such as selenium, vitamin B12, and potassium.
Apart from the ones we mentioned earlier, you should also try crappie and walleye as they’re some of the best freshwater fish to eat!
Tilapia is also flavorful, plus it’s modest in size and it’s easy to prepare. If you won’t be catching it yourself, make sure that you purchase from fresh, reputable sources.
The quality of the fish can vary dramatically. You’ll be able to determine if it’s a good buy if there are no signs that indicate degradation or spoilage. If there are spots on the fish that shouldn’t be there normally, then this can mean that it’s mold that grew from the inside.
Also, remember that fresh seafood doesn’t have an odor. If you’re not sure whether or not something is spoiled, smell it first before eating.