View Full Version : Cleaning\Cooking Surf Perch

09-01-2005, 09:30 AM
I may be getting a bit too optimistic about catching some here, but a few questions:

1.) How do you guys clean your surfperch? Just fillet it like any other fish? What about the bones, do you have to pick them out or can you clean them such that there are no bones?

2.) What is your favorite method of cooking them? I have a deep fryer I could use if needed.

09-01-2005, 09:33 AM
Chop the heads off, gut them, scale them (optional) and DEEP FRY. Unless it's 3 pounds or bigger! :P
They "filet" just fine after thier cooked.

09-01-2005, 09:37 AM
Ah I see, so the meat comes right off the bones AFTER they have been deep fried...

Then what seasonings do you use for the meat? Tarter sauce? ;D

09-01-2005, 09:38 AM
Just like kff said. My twist is before I deep fry em I like to dust em in seasoned flour. And no you're not getting too optimistic Pulper. Perch are not that hard to find and catch, the good thing is when you find em they're usually in schools so you'll get more than one.

Again, if you're not sure on limits and size check the regs. I beleive redtails have a size limit of 10.5" and walleyes don't have a size limit. Not sure about that looks like I'll have to check the regs again before I go out.

Tartar sauce will work. My personal favorite is a little lemon juice, salt, and a fresh jalapeno pepper with french fries on the side. My kids eat em up also.


09-01-2005, 09:42 AM
Seasoned flour hmm? Sounds good, I'm already getting hungry. I forgot to ask: how long to deep fry them?

09-01-2005, 09:44 AM
Depending on the size of the fish. I don't have a deep fryer so I fry em up in a pan, usually 5-6 min per side. I always check em with a fork for doneness before serving them.


09-01-2005, 09:55 AM
It does depend on the size of the fish and how hot the oil.
Usually for 10 to 14 inches at 375 degrees...7 to 12 minutes.
Do one first and see if it will filet (a butter knife along the dorsal fin) if the filet lifts off the backbone, it's done!
Tarter sauce, hot sauce (tacos), fish sauce (wraped with fresh herbs in rice paper), etc. Take your pick!
It's all GOOD!
You also get the added bonus of crunchy tails when you deep fry.
Yummy! ;D

09-01-2005, 11:24 AM
after frying dip them in garlic and vinegar.

09-01-2005, 11:34 AM
Would that be pinapple vinegar with crushed garlic or any vinegar?

09-01-2005, 11:56 AM
That's another good option DD. KFF, I like to use the regular vinegar and diced garlic..MMMMMMMMM I gotta go get me some redtails!


09-01-2005, 12:05 PM
Are redtails the most common kind out there, or are they just the biggest?

09-01-2005, 12:15 PM
The most common I have encountered is the walleye, or shiner perch. Redtails are a little harder to come by, at least for me, as are the barred perch. In general redtails and barred perch are bigger than the walleye. However, I have had many meals of all three, and all are tasty ;).
The one fish I had not seen before was the striped perch Rockhopper posted a pic of on the surf perch fishing thread, a beautiful fish.


09-01-2005, 12:37 PM
That was a beautiful fish... and huge!! I would be so stoked if I caught one that big, what a meal!

We have been catching tiny silver surfperch off the wharf, and I always thought they were shiner surfperch. However, some of them have 2 yellow lines running down their side. Some fish have lines that are darker then others. Are these shiners? They are all about the same size, about 4 inches.

09-01-2005, 01:16 PM
I answered my own question: Yes, they are shiner surfperch.


09-01-2005, 01:32 PM
Hereís some pictures of all the different perch types Iíve caught. All but the shiner perch are my pictures. Sorry to all the dial-up users!

Walleye Perch

Shiner Perch

Redtail Perch

White Perch

Calico Perch

Striped Perch

Black Perch

Rubberlip Perch

Pile Perch

09-01-2005, 01:38 PM
Great pictures rockhopper!

09-01-2005, 03:10 PM
You da man Rockhopper! Very nice pics and assortment of perch, I'm impressed.


09-01-2005, 09:58 PM
great pics rockhop.

take notice of the redtail and the calico. I've had many people made the mistake of calicos and redtails.

another way to cook perch:beer batter perch with tarter sauce. mmmmmm....

09-02-2005, 06:22 AM
Yup, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between Redtails, Barred, and Calico.

I've caught barred with bright red tails and very little barring. Same with Calicos. Usually calicos have that "hump" behind their head and lots of broken up bars, but it's not always as dramatic as the one pictured.

Maybe male vs. female? I'm not sure.

Thanks for the props, fellas. Sometimes field photos are better for ID'ing fish (by sight) than some of the hand-outs, etc.

The only one I've ever tried to eat is the striped perch. My buddy and I grilled it and it came out pretty mushy. Never tried it fried. I'm not much of a fish eater.

09-02-2005, 06:34 AM
Would that be pinapple vinegar with crushed garlic or any vinegar?

I have never tried pineapple vinegar, but that sounds good.
I've used regular vinegar with fresh crushed garlic,
here is something else you guys will find funny, I have only caught two Surf Perch in my life, but that will change this winter,I buy all my Perch at th Asian market ;D

09-02-2005, 09:37 AM
DD buying fish? What is this world coming to? :-/

You'll HAVE to make a trip with hOOkie and I when the perch grubbing is hot! ;)

09-02-2005, 03:20 PM
striped perch are mushier than the others. they are mostly caught around rocky areas. when I fish after I get my abs I can't seem to get them off my hook. I release all striped perch because of the above mentioned. redtails/calicos are the best in my opinion.

09-02-2005, 03:59 PM
I agree with redtails-calicos being the best. Fried they never come out mushy. Second place for me would be walleye. Never had striped perch, but now that I know it is mushy if I ever catch one I'll throw it back. I love to eat fish and seafood and most of what I consume I buy because for boatless me it's hard to catch red snapper and rock cod and halibut and flounder off the shore, that's what I like to eat. 8)


09-06-2005, 08:11 PM
DD buying fish? What is this world coming to? :-/

You'll HAVE to make a trip with hOOkie and I when the perch grubbing is hot! ;)

ken_fishnfool... most of the fish I eat is from the store,if I catch it I can't eat it :-/ I know I'm weiard..but I will make an exception for surf perch.

I just throw back or give away the fish I catch, smoked Salmon I like...I'll eat butt if someone else cooks it.

09-07-2005, 06:01 AM
;D DD, you'll like the fresh caught perch a lot better than the market bought. Especially with the vinegar sauce you recommended. You're making me hungry man! ::) Oh, and guys, just gut em and deep fry them whole. The head has some meat in them too! 8)