9 Best Freshwater Fish To Eat

9 Best Freshwater Fish To Eat

If you know what you’re choosing, fresh fish is not only a delicious option for a healthy meal, but it’s also very nutritious. That can be the biggest problem, there are so many choices that it’s hard to tell which is the best-tasting freshwater fish to eat.

Great for those of you who are fortunate enough to live close to a river or stream with easy access to fresh water! Various preferences and options might be available depending on where people are and what their geographical circumstances are. There are a few fish that are still among anglers’ favorites even though you might not find them everywhere.

Here, we’ll give you a list of the freshwater fish with the best flavors—fish that are not only easy to catch but also delicious to eat. Considering this list of some of the fish with the best flavors will help you decide which ones are worth trying since everyone has different preferences.


A common freshwater fish in many parts of the world is catfish. Except in the Arctic and Antarctic, they can be found in inland and coastal waters. Catfish are raised as a local food source in some areas.

Compared to most freshwater fish, catfish meat is not as white. The color of their flesh has a faint yellow tint. One of the most straightforward ways to enjoy catfish is to fry it. However, some fishermen assert that catfish have a unique flavor. It cannot be broiled easily. To counteract the strong flavor that is inherent in catfish flesh, a skilled cook will use spices.

My preferred technique is to fry catfish that have been cut into small nuggets. They taste great!



Popular freshwater fish called trout is delicious and simple to prepare. You really want your trout to be extremely fresh if you want it to taste great.

When it comes to flavor, the freshness will definitely matter. When you can cook it on the spot over a campfire, these are really great for fishing or camping. 

Of course, that’s not always possible, so as long as you can guarantee that it’s fresh, you’re in for a treat. Even though there are various varieties of trout, rainbow trout are the best. However, brook and brown trout can also be tasty. 

A smoked trout is a fantastic option when it comes to this fish. But when it’s fried or broiled, it’s also very tasty. If you do fry it, just be sure to cut it into smaller pieces.

When it’s time to serve, we suggest some long-grain wild rice and perhaps a side of steamed or roasted vegetables. 

The majority of people favor trout prepared with garlic, lemon, butter, and some fresh herbs. No matter what kind of trout you ended up with, this really gives it great flavor. 



The fish salmon is a favorite. Salmon can be prepared in a variety of ways and is typically simple to locate, which is why. Salmon patties and fresh salmon are both favorites among consumers.

You can take pleasure in a lot here. It’s likely that your local grocery store offers a variety of salmon options as well. 

Salmon goes really well with butter and a lot of fresh herbs, just like trout does. Add some garlic or lemon and you have the perfect meal

Salmon may be roasted, baked, broiled, or fried. It works great in the air fryer right now. With a simple fish, this gives you variety. It is well known to be wholesome and Omega-3-rich.

Even though it has a slightly higher fat content, the flavor is richer as a result. It’s nice that salmon doesn’t have a strong fishy flavor because of how mild the fish flavor is. 

You’ll discover that there are a variety of salmon preparation options and that it’s simple to make. It’s one of the best freshwater fish options available because of this.

It can be served with any type of vegetable or rice. Perhaps even some creamy pasta would go well with it.



Despite being one of the best-tasting freshwater fish available, bass anglers claim that the thrill of the catch is what keeps them coming back.

Bass are skilled fighters and will launch themselves into the air to let loose. Put yourself in the shoes of an angler attempting to catch largemouth bass. Larger fish are breeding females, so anglers frequently release them back into the water. They are interested in preserving the freshwater bass’s natural breeding habitat.

The habitat has an impact on the flavor of freshwater fish, as it does with the majority of them. The best bass is caught in cold, clear, and clean water.


Freshwater Drum

Look for freshwater drums if you’re going to a fishing market and want to know what your best options are.

Actually, these are among the most widely used products available in fishing markets. A freshwater drum is a safe bet, and they also taste fantastic. 

Since the freshwater drum prefers cooler waters, finding one may be challenging in warm climates or southern states.

They are very typical here, though, if you live to the north or east. Freshwater drums have very little fat but still have a lot of flavors and provide tender meat

For grilling and searing, this variety of freshwater fish is well-liked. You will find that they are very simple to prepare and fillet if you are a fisherman.

Until you’re ready to prepare a freshwater drum, make sure to keep it at a very low temperature. The flavors will be preserved in this way. 

Although it can be good for frying too, most people prefer to grill or broil this fish. It won’t take much, as you’ll discover. Use any kind of citrus you prefer, along with fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic.

A glaze can also make freshwater drums really fantastic. Spicy tomato glazes and even a sauce with a wine base are common glazes. 

For the best pairing, serve freshwater drum with pasta, vegetables, salad, or potatoes. 

Freshwater Drum


Because they simply don’t see or hear about bluegill as frequently, some people are intimidated by this fish. However, bluegill can be excellent if it is caught in the proper setting. It’s well known that bluegill is erratic. 

That’s because the taste can vary depending on where the fish is caught. Bluegill caught from cool water locations is more likely to be tender and also have a slightly sweet flavor.

The ideal vantage point is from here. If it is caught elsewhere, it might not be as good or have that slight sweetness. 

When caught in a cool, clean environment, bluegill doesn’t actually taste fishy or dirty. The meat is tender.

Even though these fish are small, a little bit goes a long way. Bluegill is typically preferred fried or filleted. The flavor can best be enhanced in this manner. 

Additionally suitable for more formal meals is bluegill. On bluegill, try using straightforward seasonings like salt, pepper, lemon, and perhaps a little parmesan and bread crumbs. It tastes great this way! Additionally, a quick butter sauce with a dash of spice goes well. 

The most well-liked options for side dishes to go with bluegill are roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, baked beans, salad, coleslaw, or grits. 



Sunfish are a family that includes crappie. They produce meat that is ideal for fillets because it is white, flaky, and sweet. They are regarded as one of the best-tasting freshwater fish in Southern America and make excellent sports fish as well.)

Omega-3, which is present in this fish, can shield you from many degenerative diseases like breast cancer. Additionally, this fish reduces the chance of memory loss and deteriorating vision.

There are numerous delectable crappie recipes. You can bake, grill, or fry food (which is most frequently done). As an appetizer, you can also prepare fish pancakes, beautiful Southwest-style grilled crappie with butter, or cornflake crappie. It’s not surprising that many fishermen refer to large crappie as “slabs” that they can cook in the oven.



In the northern US, walleye is more widely consumed close to bay areas. In Canada, people also like it. Simply because it can be caught fresh there is the reason for this popularity.

The walleye is a relatively gentle fish. Most people compare it to trout or bass, but even those are less fishy than it. 

The walleye are fascinating. While some of their insides must be removed, many people prefer to cook them whole. Simply knowing the best ways to cook and prepare them will do.

You could even insert some vegetables or herbs inside. Don’t be put off by the idea that you must cook walleye whole because you can also filet it. 

Tartar sauce is typically served with walleye. It works well for fried fish and is very popular for grilling and broiling. You just need some great fish fry batter for that purpose.

We advise using herbs like parsley and rosemary when grilling or broiling. In order to achieve the ideal flavor balance, you can also add some butter and lemon. 

Walleye can be served with salad, vegetables, or greens. For something different, you can also try mashed or roasted potatoes. 



Your bucket list should also include pike, a freshwater fish. Because they prefer cool water, these are more prevalent in northern states and regions.

Expect a flavor that is a little bit fishier than the majority of the other fish we’ve mentioned so far. 

But most people use flavorful seasoning and inventive recipes to mask the fishy flavor. If you like seafood, you will appreciate the fishy flavor.

Pike is quite adaptable when it comes to cooking, and you can appreciate its rich flavors and flaky meat. 

Pike is most frequently prepared by baking. Having pretty good results, you can also grill or broil this meat. Additionally, the pike is frequently added to other seafood dishes, including pasta and seafood broil. 


Fish Frying Tips

All of the fish mentioned above are delicious to eat. A meal, however, is only as good as your preparation. There are so many different fish recipes out there that we couldn’t possibly explain how to make them all.

As a result, we’ll provide you with some general advice for properly preparing fish in this section. Priority one should be given to following the recipe, but bear the following advice in mind:

  • Use a thermometer: Naturally, we can’t offer the same advice to every type of fish. But generally speaking, fish that has been cooked correctly needs to reach a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. To check the internal temperature, all you need to do is use a thermometer. Some people will simply “flake” the fish apart to check if it’s done, but this takes a little more skill.
  • Keep your fish from being overcrowded: This is a wise cooking tip that specifically applies to fish. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan when cooking fish. Overcrowding a pan decreases its effectiveness, making for a less-than-ideal cook. The main cause of this is that a pan with too much food on it releases more moisture. This moisture-rich coating on a pan stops food from “browning” or crisping up” against the pan. As a result, the fish appears to have been steamed or baked rather than fried.
  • How to fry fish with oil correctly: Fish is most frequently pan-fried using oil. Fish is pan-fried by coating the pan with a thin layer of oil, heating it to a high temperature, and then quickly cooking the fish at that temperature. So that it heats up quickly, be sure to only use a little oil. You can make a delicious pan-fried dish by cooking the fish until it reaches the ideal internal temperature.
  • How to determine when a fish is finished: Knowing when to stop cooking fish can be difficult for some people. The “flake” method is arguably the simplest way to determine when a fish is finished. Examine the densest area of the fish with a fork to see if it “flakes” easily. The fish will not flake and will appear more transparent if it is not finished. As we mentioned above, you can also use a thermometer to check for a temperature of about 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Air drying: Fish can be preserved using the age-old technique of air drying. The moisture, which is one of the main factors in fish spoilage, is eliminated by drying the fish. Although air drying is fairly easy, you must make sure you do it correctly. With salt and by leaving the fish out for several days, fish can be dried by air. The meat is dehydrated by salt, which also prevents bacterial growth.

Of course, more contemporary methods have emerged as with any technique. A dehydrator or even a smoker is often used to dry fish.


Chances are, no matter where you live, you can find freshwater fish nearby that will make a delicious and healthy meal. There are many freshwater fish recipes, and no two fish will taste the same. Grab a fishing pole and head out to sea if you’ve been wanting to try a new recipe.