Panfish

A Panfish, also spelled pan-fish or pan fish, is an edible game fish that usually doesn't outgrow the size of a frying pan. The term is also commonly used by anglers to refer to any small catch that will fit in a pan, but is large enough to be legal. However its definition and usage varies with geographical region. [New Mexico Game and Fish. "Warm Water Species: Panfish" http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/recreation/fishing/warm_water_species/Panfish.htm (accessed June 3, 2007).]

Usage

The term panfish or pan-fish has been used to refer to a wide range of edible freshwater and saltwater fish species that are small enough to cook in a small pan. In "American Food and Game Fishes. A Popular Account of All The Species Found In America North Of The Equator, With Keys For Ready Identification, Life Histories And Methods of Capture" – Jordan and Evermann (1908) they identify all the following as "panfish" in some form or another: Yellow Perch, Candlefish, Balaos, Sand Launces, Rock Bass, Bullheads, Minnows, Rocky Mountain Whitefish, Sand Rollers, Crappie, Yellow Bass, White Bass, Croaker and of course most of the common small sunfishes such as bluegill and redear sunfish. [cite book |last=Jordan |first=David Starr, PhD |coauthors=Evermann, Barton Warren PhD |title=’American Food And Game Fishes. A Popular Account Of All The Species Found In America North Of The Equator, With Keys For Ready Identification, Life Histories And Methods Of Capture |publisher=Doubleday, Page and Company |location=New York |year=1908 |pages=120, 227, 242, 247, 263, 329, 335, 366, 338, 376, 377, 463 ] .

Here’s but one example:

As a pan-fish we do not know of any better among American freshwater fishes. We have experimented with the yellow perch and several other species, including both species of black bass, the bluegill, wall-eyed pike, and rock-bass, eating each for several days in succession, and found the yellow perch the sweetest and most delicious of them all. One does not tire of it so soon as of the other kinds. Several other persons who tried the same experiment reached the same conclusion. In most parts of its range it is highly esteemed, and in many places it is of very considerable commercial importance. In the Great Lakes, the Potomac River, and the small lakes in the upper Mississippi Valley large quantities are taken, which always find a ready sale. [cite book |last=Jordan |first=David Starr, PhD |coauthors=Evermann, Barton Warren PhD |title=’American Food And Game Fishes. A Popular Account Of All The Species Found In America North Of The Equator, With Keys For Ready Identification, Life Histories And Methods Of Capture |publisher=Doubleday, Page and Company |location=New York |year=1908 |pages=366] .

The following is a typical example of the term as it was commonly used in cooking taken from "The White House Cookbook" compiled by Hugo Ziemann, chief kitchen steward in the White House in 1901:

TO FRY FISH - Most of the smaller fish (generally termed pan-fish) are usually fried. Clean well, cut off the head, and, if quite large, cut out the backbone, and slice the body crosswise into five or six pieces; season with salt and pepper. Dip in Indian meal or wheat flour, or in beaten egg, and roll in bread or fine cracker crumbs trout and perch should not be dipped in meal; put into a thick bottomed iron frying pan, the flesh side down, with hot lardor drippings; fry slowly, turning when lightly browned. PAN-FISH.Place them in a thick bottomed frying pan with heads all one way. Fillthe spaces with smaller fish. When they are fried quite brown and readyto turn, put a dinner plate over them, drain off the fat; then invert thepan, and they will be left unbroken on the plate. Put the lard back intothe pan, and when hot slip back the fish. When the other side is brown,drain, turn on a plate as before, and slip them on a warm platter, to besent to the table. Leaving the heads on and the fish a crispy-brown, inperfect shape, improves the appearance if not the flavor. Garnish with slices of lemon [cite book |last=Ziemann |first=Hugo |coauthors=Gillette, F. L. |title=The White House Cookbook-A Comprehensive Cyclopedia of Information for the Home |publisher=The Saalfield Publishing Company |location=Akron, Ohio |year=1901 |pages=49-50] .

Clearly, in most of today’s angling literature members of the freshwater family Centrarchidae are the target species most likely to be called panfish. They include:

* Bluegill ("Lepomis macrochiris")
* Cutlips minnow ("Exoglossum Maxillingua")
* Crappie, including
** White crappie ("Pomoxis nigromaculatus")
** Black crappie ("Pomoxis annularis")
* Flier ("Centrarchus macropterus")
* Green sunfish ("Lepomis cyanellus")
* Redear sunfish ("Lepomis microlophus")
* Redbreast sunfish ("Lepomis auritus")
* Spotted sunfish ("Lepomis punctatus")
* Perch, including
** Yellow perch ("Perca flavescens")
** European perch ("Perca fluviatilis")
** Balkhash perch ("Perca schrenkii")
* Pumpkinseed ("Lepomis gibbosus")
* Warmouth ("Chaenobryttus gulosus")

ee also

Fishing

References

Article References

Other References

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • panfish — n. 1. Any of numerous small food fishes; especially those not available on the market. [WordNet 1.5] 2. Any of numerous small food fishes taken with hook and line. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • panfish — ☆ panfish [pan′fish΄ ] n. any small fish that can be fried whole in a pan …   English World dictionary

  • panfish — /pan fish /, n., pl. panfishes, (esp. collectively) panfish. any small, freshwater nongame food fish, as a perch or sunfish, usually eaten pan fried. [1795 1805, Amer.; PAN1 + FISH] * * * …   Universalium

  • panfish — noun fish that are suitable for cooking in a frying pan by virtue both of size and taste; panfish are caught primarily for eating, rather than for sport …   Wiktionary

  • panfish — noun Date: 1796 a small food fish (as a sunfish) usually taken with hook and line and not available on the market …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • panfish — n. small fish that is usually eaten fried …   English contemporary dictionary

  • panfish — pan•fish [[t]ˈpænˌfɪʃ[/t]] n. pl. fish•es, (esp. collectively) fish. ich any small, freshwater food fish, as a perch or sunfish, that is usu. cooked by pan frying • Etymology: 1795–1805, amer …   From formal English to slang

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