Best Tasting Freshwater Fish to Eat

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If you like to fish for food, then taste is always going to be one of your top concerns. In this article, we’re checking out the tastiest freshwater fish! Fishing is a sustainable and natural way to gather your own food, and few things are more satisfying than serving up a meal made with fresh fish that you caught yourself.

Let’s get right into our list of most delicious freshwater fish.

Best Freshwater Fish to Eat

It goes without saying that this list is going to be highly subjective! You might ask ten different people and get ten different answers about the tastiest fish. That’s why we’ve created a list that has ample variety, full of fish with distinct tastes and textures. You’re sure to find something you love here.

Fish Frying Tips

All of the above fish make for a great meal. But a meal is only as good as how you prepare it. There are so many recipes for fish available, that we couldn’t possibly walk you through how to prepare each one.

That being said, in this section we’ll give you some general tips for preparing fish the right way. Follow the recipe first and foremost, but be sure to keep these tips in mind:

  • Use a thermometer: Of course, we can’t give the exact same advice for every kind of fish. But as a general rule, properly cooked fish should have a minimal internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s super easy to just use a thermometer to test the internal temperature. Some people also just “flake” the fish apart to see whether it’s done, but this requires a bit more know-how.
  • Don’t overcrowd your fish: This is a good rule for cooking in general, but applies particularly to fish. If you’re cooking your fish in a pan, be sure that you don’t overcrowd the pan! Overcrowding a pan reduces the efficiency of the pan, resulting in a less than ideal cook. The main reason for this is that too much food on a pan releases more moisture. This layer of moisture on a pan prevents the food from crisping up or “browning” against the pan. The result is a fish that looks more like it was baked or steamed than one that was fried.
  • How to properly use oil when frying fish: Oil is most commonly used to pan-fry fish. The process of pan-frying fish involves putting a thin layer of oil on a pan, heating on a high heat, and cooking the fish quickly at a high heat. Be sure to use a small amount of oil, so it heats quickly. Heat the fish to an ideal internal temperature, and you’ll have a tasty pan-fried dish.
  • How to know when your fish is done: For many, the most complicated part of cooking fish is knowing when it is done. Perhaps the easiest way to test if fish is done is to use the “flake” method. Take a fork to the densest part of the fish, and see if it “flakes” apart easily. If the fish isn’t done, it won’t flake, and will also have a more translucent appearance. You can also use a thermometer, and test for about 145-degree Fahrenheit, as we mentioned above.
  • Air drying: Air drying is an ancient method of preserving fish. By drying out the fish, you remove the moisture, which is one of the main reasons that fish spoils. Air drying is relatively simple, but you need to be sure you do it right. Fish can be air dried with salt, and by leaving the fish out for days. The salt dehydrates the meat, and doesn’t allow bacteria to grow.
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Of course, as with any technique, more modern approaches have developed. Many people will dry fish with a dehydrator, or even with a smoker.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading through our guide to the tastiest freshwater fish. It was our aim to provide you with all the details you need to pick the freshwater fish that you will enjoy the most. Read through our guide, and see which taste profile and which recipes appeal to you most.

Personally, we think you can’t go wrong with salmon! It’s the most popular fish on our list for a reason. There are so many amazing recipes you can make with salmon, and it’s one of the richest, most filling options on our list.