Home > Children, Fishing > Fallfish: The Other White Fish

Fallfish: The Other White Fish

November 9, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

This young angler prefers to eat, rather than release, his fish.  How could I turn down that smile?  Besides, it had been decades since I last ate a fallfish (my brothers and I called them whitefish).  They tasted fine, but the bones were impossible to remove.  It was time to give them another try.


This colorful fallfish succumbed to the four-year-old’s nightcrawler rig.


We decided that any nice ones from this trip to Powells Creek, near Halifax, would go home for a meal.  At the end of the day, two fallfish and a rainbow trout went to the fillet board.  Compared to a trout, removing the pin bones from a fallfish is a difficult task.  Although these big minnows have a relatively wide body shape—leading you to believe you’ll get some thick fillets—most of that is between the ribs.  A 12-incher is the minimum for nice portions.

The result was shocking—in a good way!  Between the four of us who sampled the fillets, we unanimously preferred the fallfish over the trout.  The fine bones that stayed in the fillets weren’t even noticeable.  Fallfish will definitely be on the menu again next year.

All photographs and text are Copyright © 2009 David Deppen, all rights reserved.  They are not in the public domain and may not be copied, used for derivative works, or used in emails, websites, blogs, or any other media, or for any other purpose, without explicit advance permission from David Deppen.  Please use links to website pages if you wish to share content with others.

  1. Steve
    March 25, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Great picture. Still not sold on eating whitefish yet!

  2. Calvin V
    February 28, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Great piece of writing for your fishing and eating experience with the fallfishes ! I might try to catch some too if i can around NY state .

    • February 28, 2011 at 9:13 am

      Thank you Calvin and good luck! I hope you have a chance to enjoy some good fallfish fillets.

  3. April 2, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Breaded and fried in oil, they can be more mild than trout. The bones “melt” when they are fried in hot oil that cooks them very quickly, but if you grill or bake them, the bones will still be there since the cooking temperature was lower.

  4. thecrmsnpyrut
    November 4, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Can you share the recipe you used? I catch a ton of these here in PA and would love to bring some home to eat, but there is not a lot of info on how to prepare them.

    • November 5, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      My favorite simple fish recipe: marinate in orange juice for two minutes, coat with flour, fry in a medium-heat pan with spreadable butter (butter with canola oil), salt and pepper to taste.

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