This post is for a friend of mine, David Stephens, who has been having an ongoing discussion with me about Speckled Perch.
Fo some reason, he just insists that they’re “Crappie!”
Now, I’ve eaten a LOT of Speckled Perch in my life, and they are not Crappie!
Matter of fact, they’re danged good eatin’!
So, here’s to you, David Stephens!
Have some Speckled Perch, on me! LOL!
Dennis ”Smokie” Holcomb, director of the Division of Fisheries of the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission said, ”With Florida’s many freshwater lakes, rivers and streams and the state’s commitment to fisheries management, it’s easy for anglers to experience the thrill of freshwater fishing and the taste of victory (dinner).”
Speckled perch are abundant in Florida. They have been a favorite of anglers and gourmets since the invention of the fish hook.
The easiest way to sample this delicacy is to dust off your fishing tackle, buy some sure-fire bait and find a ”hot” spot on the nearest lake or stream.
There are several ways to catch speckled perch. The most popular way is trolling beetle spins or Hal flies on a 8-pound test line. Another method is trolling different color jigs (1/32 oz.) in tandem. The best color jig will be obvious once the first fish is caught. Live minnows work best under a bobber with a split shot and a No. 2 or 4 light wire hook.
Local information, best colors, fishing locations, choice of baits and techniques can be obtained from the experts at the local tackle shop. With a few exceptions, Florida law requires a fishing license for anglers over age 16, and there is a bag limit of 50 pan fish per angler per day.
Speckled perch have a reputation for the tender white meat they yield and they are not affected by the mer000041contamination detected recently in some other species, Holcomb said.
With your catch in the creel, here is an opportunity to experience one of Florida’s finest filets, cooked in time-tested recipes, courtesy of the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission.
Speckled perch with wild rice stuffing
6 pan-dressed speckled perch 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon pepper 3 tablespoons cooking oil Wild rice-mushroom stuffing (recipe below)
Dry fish filets and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Loosely fill each filet with wild rice-mushroom stuffing. Place fish on well-greased baking pan, brush with cooking oil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Baste with oil while baking.
Wild rice-mushroom stuffing
6 ounces long grain wild rice mix 1/4 cup chopped parsley 1/2 cup chopped onion 4 tablespoons butter or margarine 1/2 cup chopped celery 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 1/2 ounces drained sliced mushrooms