The best tasting freshwater fish to eat is going to vary based on preference, region, and personal tastes. For example, a lot of people think that Japanese Amberjack is the tastiest freshwater fish to eat, but others might prefer the taste of Bluegill. There are a lot of factors to consider with these types of fish. Even though they are called “best tasting”, it’s not best if it doesn’t fit your likes. For example, if you don’t like the taste of Catfish, it’s not going to be the “best tasting” fish for you, even if you did like the taste of Amberjack. However, there are a lot of tastes for people to consider and these are just a few popular examples.
Best tasting freshwater fish to eat
15 Best Tasting Freshwater Fish to Eat
1. Gizzard Shad
Gizzard Shad are the largest freshwater fish and they are found in many lakes and ponds around the United States. They have two rows of teeth like a shark, but they also have four needle-like teeth in the front row. The gizzard shad has a long main body with a rather stocky tail. Their tails can get up to 24 inches in length.
They are also powerful swimmers and they are called the “cow shark of the freshwater”. The gizzard shad can reach up to 36 inches in length, which is a pretty good size for a freshwater fish. The female gizzard shad has eggs that are fertilized internally by the male.
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Gizzard Shad live in large schools of up to 100 individuals. Back in the day, they were actually used as bait, but now it’s more common to get them for eating or for sport fishing.
2. Northern Pike
Northern Pike is one of the best tasting freshwater fish and they can be found all across the United States. They range from 5″ to 18″ long. They have a slender body with a flattened head and many small teeth.
The Northern Pike is related to the Muskellunge, but they are less aggressive. The northern pike is only found in freshwater environments. They have a very good sense of smell in the water that helps them sense prey from a long distance. They are usually caught in the spring when they come out of their burrows and begin to hunt again.
3. Channel Catfish
Channel Catfish are not native to North America, but we have introduced them here on purpose. They are quite popular among fishermen who want to catch good-tasting freshwater fish. The channel catfish is also called the “freshwater drum” and they can live for up to 12 years in the wild.
They are not as big as the Bullhead catfish, but they are still quite large for their size. They like to stay near the bottom of lakes and ponds, but they will also come out in open water when there is food available. The males and females look different, but most people don’t know what gender their fish is until it spawns in springtime.
Channel Catfish live in schools of up to several hundred individuals that often haul out on gravel bars or logs in huge schools that can number thousands of individuals at one time.
Bluegill is one of the more common freshwater fish that a lot of people will try to catch at some point in their lives. A lot of times it’s for sport fishing, but the bluegill is also one of the best tasting freshwater fish to eat. If they get big enough, you can actually catch them using a lure or other types of bait. Bluegills have beautiful bright orange-colored scales on their backs, and they have an olive green-colored body on their sides and bellies.
They have white lips and black-tipped fins with yellow spots that give them away from other types of panfish. Bluegill is a very popular food fish and they are found in lakes and ponds throughout North America. They can grow up to 10 inches in length and the record size for one of these is 7 ounces.
5. Bullhead Catfish
Bullhead catfish are some of the best tasting freshwater fish to eat as well, but they aren’t as popular as channel catfish or other types of panfish. They aren’t quite as large as channel catfish either, but they are great fish for people who like bait fishing. These fish will reach about 20 inches in length and they can weigh up to 2 pounds in the wild.
They have a large head and a cone-shaped snout. The front of their body is gray in color, but their bellies are white. They have from 5 to 7 sharp, thorn-like spikes on either side of their skull. Bullhead catfish come from the Mississippi River basin and they can also be found in the Great Lakes region as well.
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6. Yellow Perch
Yellow Perch are one of the best tasting freshwater fish to eat based on personal preference. They are often touted as being excellent table fare, but some people don’t like the taste of them at all. They do have a very good flavor if done correctly but remember that it’s not best if you don’t like it. Yellow perch are a native species to North America and they can grow up to 12 inches in length.
They have a very distinct color pattern that is one of the reasons they are often easy to spot while fishing from a boat. It’s important that you use the right type of bait for them because the yellow perch will eat just about anything. These fish also have very good eyesight and they will usually know when something is coming towards them, so it pays for you to watch where your bait is cast out in the water as well.
7. Largemouth Bass
The largemouth bass is great freshwater fish to eat, but they are also one of the more difficult ones to catch. They are found in most lakes and ponds, but they are much more common in the South. They usually get about 12 inches in length, but larger ones can get up to 15 inches. The largemouth bass is very strong swimmers, but they only eat small minnows and worms.
They don’t like to be caught on a hook with bait that is bigger than their mouth can open wide enough. Largemouth bass will usually eat whatever bait you put in front of them or they will go after live fish that swim near them. These fish are often called “largemouth” because of their big mouths. They do have a type of predator that can easily kill them, and that predator is the alligator gar.
Crappie is one of the most popular types of freshwater fish for eating because they taste pretty good when cooked correctly. They are also one of the cheapest types you can buy because they don’t get very large in size as other types do.
A lot of anglers use them as bait, but many people like to catch them to eat because they don’t get too large in size and aren’t as hard to catch as other types are.
Crappie is native to most of the United States and they can reach up to 5 pounds in size. They have a flat head with a pointed snout, and their silver-colored body is very visible because of the dark line that runs down its back.\
9. Yellow Bullhead
Yellow bullheads are another one of the more popular freshwater fish for eating. They usually get between 3 and 5 pounds in size, but they can grow much larger than that as well. The yellow bullhead also shares some characteristics with the common carp, which is why it gets this name. Their color is greenish yellow on top, with an olive gray-colored belly area and silver-colored sides.
These fish are very common in the Mississippi River and some of the other larger rivers in North America. They can be found in shallow water, but they also like to come out at night to feed on food that is attached to the shoreline. The yellow bullhead isn’t a picky eater either, because they will eat just about anything that slides past them. A lot of people fish for them using bobbers on a line, and it’s best if you use either live bait or artificial lures when fishing for these fish.
10. Lake Trout
Lake trout are one of the more popular types of freshwater fish that people like to eat because they taste good and are fairly easy to catch as well. They can get between 18 and 20 pounds in size, but they usually don’t get larger than that. They are also known as “pike” because it is believed that their ancestry comes from the pike that invaded Europe back around 1000 AD.
Lake trout are very strong swimmers and they can swim up to 10 miles per hour, which is a lot for a fish of this size. The lake trout loves to feed on smaller fish, but they will also eat crayfish and other crustaceans when they can catch them. These fish come up from deep water and use their fins to propel themselves in the water towards the shore so that they can ambush their prey before moving in for the kill.
Pickerel are also quite popular among anglers and chefs alike because they are relatively easy to catch and taste very good. They can get up to 3-4 pounds in size, but they usually won’t get bigger than that unless they live in a very large body of water like a lake or river. Pickerels have greenish blue-colored sides and their back has a dark band down the middle, which is why it is easy to differentiate the two types from each other at first glance.
Pickerels are not picky eaters either because they will mostly feed on smaller fish or insects like water bugs that swim near to them. They are a fast swimmer and very hard fish to catch, and they also have razor-sharp teeth that can inflict some deep cuts if you don’t watch out.
12. Black Crappie
The black crappie is not as popular as other types of freshwater fish for eating because the meat tends to be a little bit tough sometimes and doesn’t taste quite as good. The black crappie is usually found in the Southern United States, and they can reach up to 8 pounds in size. They have a flat head with a pointed snout and they come in several different colors.
They are very fast swimmers and are usually found in shallow water, sometimes even living underwater during the winter. Their main food source is minnows, and they have been known to eat other types of food as well.
13. White Sucker
Suckers are one of the most popular freshwater fish for eating because they taste very good and aren’t too hard to catch either when you use live bait like worms or minnows. They can grow up to 8 pounds in size, but most of them don’t get that big because they live in shallow water.
The sucker has short teeth that point outwards from its mouth. It uses these teeth to grab small insects, crayfish, and other types of food from the bottom of the water. The sucker is a carnivore and will eat just about anything that gets too close to it.
14. SmallMouth Bass
Smallmouth bass is very popular in the springtime when the fishing season comes around because they are one of the most wanted types of fish out there. They can reach up to 4 pounds in size, but they usually don’t get much larger than that unless you live in warmer climates like Florida or Texas where everything grows bigger.
The smallmouth bass is a very fast swimmer and they are always looking for food. They can jump out of the water to feed on small insects that are flying over the top of the water, and they will also gulp down smaller fish when they have the chance to do so. They like shallow water because it is easier for them to catch their food there, but they also like deeper areas as well because they can sense food from afar.
The walleye is one of the more popular types of fish for eating because it has a very nice taste, and it’s not hard to catch either. They usually grow up to 4 pounds in size, but they can get much larger than that if you live in a deeper body of water.
The walleye is native to most of the United States and Canada. They are also known as “pickerel” because they look similar to the pickerel, but they don’t have the unique dark band that runs down their back as the pickerel does.
Summary for best tasting freshwater fish to eat
Congratulations, you made it to the end of this article, and now you know a lot about the 15 best-tasting freshwater fish. Hopefully, you will be able to locate some of these fish when fishing the next time you go out on your boat or down to your local fishing hole. In the comments section below, feel free to post any questions that you may have.