Summertime Blues (fish)

I was talking with one of my dog park buddies about grilling fish and we both agreed that fresh bluefish is to our liking. The problem is unless you go out on a dayboat, where to get it.

I stopped in a new Asian supermarket on the way home and as if they heard my conversation, there were some spanking fresh whole blues on ice. 5# @ $1.99 a pound yielded about 3# in filet.

Grilled them on the Weber with just a touch of mesquite smoke and flaked the meat into tacos with diced avocado and a habanero salsa fresca.

I think bluefish gets a bad rap because it’s so oily and that makes it very perishable. When it’s this fresh, it’s awesome.


Ditto Spanish and king mackerel, mullet, shad, and river herring.

Agree. If I’m going to let it go for more than one day, I’ll turn it into Pate. Underrated fish.

Strangely enough, I’m visiting my parents and helping them clean out their attic, and not five minutes ago I found an antique bluefish club for beating them senseless. They don’t go quietly. deadhorse

Did it bear the words “Welcome to the Club!”?


I’ll take blue over any of them, though shad is great. I have bluefish at least once a month. (Passed on it today though.)

In Maine where we go, there are plenty of mackerel to be had with a line (not a joke, a fishing line) at the lobster docks. My sons love to fish for them , but in recent years , we throw them back. Probably a mistake, but there is so much more desirable seafood up there that the mess of the mackerel-fileting isn’t high on the list of efforts.

I love fresh bluefish. When I was a kid, we used to catch sometimes out on the boat and then literally clean them on the dock and cook them a couple hours later for dinner. Too bad the only normal way to get them fresh is to catch them yourself.

We usually buy them on any of several docks here and broil them with mustard/mayo/Worcestershire sauce, incredible. Legal Sea Food up here usually has it for about $16 including two sides and rolls, great QPR.

I used to greatly enjoy catching blues and to lesser degree eating them. Seeing the silver flash as they come toward the boat is a beautiful sight. Seeing the chum regurgitated not so much.

My preference for eating is for smaller ones over a huge chopper.

My mother was the user. It had been her grandfather’s who owned a fish market.

Oooooh, that’s a good sized fish.

When the filets are thick like they would be from that one, I like to grill a piece and just slap it on a bun.

Mine, too, the “snapper” blues from the Atlantic are healthier , too, as the toxins supposedly have less effect at that size. Early summer is great for the little ones in the markets here. They are all fun to catch, too, as they aren’t docile.

Makes me homesick! We never see bluefish here because, as you mention, it is so perishable that no one brings it in.
The single fishing trip of my life was 7-8 years ago on Nantucket. My daughter wanted to go on one of those fishing charters, so off we went. We pulled in striped bass and blues, had the crew filet them as we came off the boat, and then ran back to the hotel where the chef cooked them up for us for a later lunch. Some of the best fish I ever had.

Fresh wild striper is most certainly good eats.

Yes, striper is good. In the fall, on the “Jersey” shore when we’ve fished on boats for both…though…the blues are usually the tastier…though the stripers have much more mystique.

The stripers “ain’t no cure for the summertime blues”, IMO.

Beg to differ.

Rockfish (a/k/a striped bass), The King of Fish:

Bluefish, one of several Crown Princes:

Well, not sure your DNA criteria, but , admittedly, rock/stripers are rarer (they were off limits on the east coast for many years and still have size limits) and are maybe more fun to catch…I find the actual meat less complex and interesting, though more versatile because of that. Of course, many people dislike oily fish and would never like blues.

Hey guys,

Just chiming it, but Bluefish tastes way better to me. What is your favorite pairing? In the seafood section of my store they actually have a fresh fish vending machine based on the type of wine you want to drink, it is pretty cool. Have you guys ever heard of

Yeah, I think that’s me, but there’s something more to the strong flavor than just being oily. I like salmon, trout, sword, and even some mackerels. They’re all oily. I spent a lot of summers on the Cape as a “yute” and hated Bluefish. We’ve been going to Martha’s Vineyard every summer lately so I make it a point to try it there. It is definitely fresh, as I guess they are able to catch a lot of them there. I’ve seen guys bring in some pretty big ones right off the beach of Chappaquiddick.
I was told that the smaller ones are definitely milder, due to the fact that they change diet and eat larger fish as they grow. It definitely helps to get rid of all signs of the bloodline. For those of us that don’t love bluefish, smoked seems to be the best prep or even in a pate/dip.

You guys. Sheesh. THIS is fishing!

Several years ago (before Berserkers) Whole Foods here in Santa Fe had bluefish filets for a few weeks. A least twice I bought a couple nicely fresh filets and pan-grilled them and served them with a vegetable. Wines were generally light reds. What I remember is a Beaujolais and an older Alicante. They haven’t carried bluefish since and we really enjoyed it.