Outdoor Guide Magazine

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How to Prepare Bluegill Balls

Blue-gillI was a small fish farmer for 35 years, for supplementary income along with my regular job at Gardner-Denver Co.
While I was in business a few years ago, a lady called me whom I knew well. They had just built a home and made a three-acre lake right out their front door. These two people loved the outdoors and the wildlife on their farm. They wanted 250 bluegill fingerlings for their lake. I took them the 250 bluegill. This lady was a card, and a fun lady to talk with.
While I was unloading the fish, she said, “Russ, have you ever heard of bluegill balls?” I said, “No.”
She said, “I am not talking about mountain oysters, turkey fries or calf fries, but bluegill balls. Both male and female have two balls.”
I hesitated, and said, “How do you get the two balls?”
She said, “Very carefully, with a very sharp fillet knife. You lay the bluefill down, cut one strip of meat from one side, turn the bluegill over and cut another piece of meat from the other side. Now, you roll one piece of this meat into a ball, put a toothpick through it and do the same with the other piece of meat. Put them in a bowl with pancake mix and a little milk, and use your favorite seasoning.”
She said they used a little Cajun seasoning.
“Now drop these two bluegill balls in a 375-degree deep fryer.  They will float in two to three minutes. Remove when golden brown.”
Now, the lady said, you have doctor-recommended food fit for a queen or king for Sunday dinner. The dish could be called “fish on lumber.”
A trivia question: What is one of the most abundant fighting fish on the end of a fishing pole? Every kid usually gets his first lesson on fishing with this fish. If your answer if bluegill, you are right.
RUSSELL HEINDSELMAN
The Missouri Hillbilly Poet
La Grange, MO

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