Best tasting freshwater fish

  • By: fishlovers
  • Date: July 15, 2023
  • Time to read: 9 min.
fresh water fish

The freshwater fish, this old food like the world, that cooks in no time would be better than the meat for the health, since it is often more lean. It becomes over time, the star food of some restaurants.

freshwater fish are smaller in number. In the past, people used to eat a lot more freshwater fish than they do today and for good reason, the means of transport were not what they are today and only people who lived in the coastal areas could eat fish. fresh sea. We would go fishing in rivers or lakes.



The fish has nutritional qualities useful for the whole family.

  • Like meat, it is an excellent source of protein.
  • It is also a source of fatty acids including omega 3 so-called “long chain”. These

are involved in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. They are also necessary for the proper development and functioning of the nervous system and the retina.

Omega 3s are present in varying amounts depending on the species. So, some fish so-called “fat” contain more and are therefore particularly useful nutritionally.

  • The fish also brings minerals such as phosphorus, and trace elements,

like zinc, selenium, iodine, but also vitamins A, D, E and some of group B.

So in the same way that we helped you choose your best fishing rods and your best fishing reels, today we will give you a ranking of the best freshwater fish that you can catch during your trips.

1- The carp


Carp has long been at the table of kings. There are recipes from Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), culinary reference author, explaining how to cook fish and use its milt to raise a dish, including omelets. “At the time, the carp had its nobility and has lost it ever since,” says Christophe Hay, whose carp dish from the Loire is one of the signatures.

What is the city with the most carp? The city of Yem, because Carpe Diem!

Carp is a fish that can reach a good size. It is quite rare on the stalls of the fishmonger. In the kitchen, carp supports slightly complex preparations and daring mixes. Try cooking with bacon bards!

What season to eat carp ?

   The carp is eaten first time in the month of May; it’s the full season of carp tasting in January, February, March, April, September, October, November and December.

The calories and nutritional information of the carp

 Carp is a semi-fat fish, since it contains only 3% of lipids. It is thus low calorie, providing 100 calories per 100 g of carp. It also gives your body interesting amounts of protein (18 g per 100 g). These are essential for keeping fit because they provide the amino acids you need for the formation of your body’s cells. Proteins also provide effective protection against disease because the body turns them into an anti-body.

Carp finally brings you phosphorus, which is a mineral trace element essential for many chemical reactions in your body. The same goes for vitamin B12, which carp also provides you with.

Ideas for cooking carp:

  • Baked carp
  • Fried carp
cooked carp

2- The Eel fish

Snake-shaped fish born in some seas but growing and fishing in freshwater. Eel is a fatty fish that is eaten quickly after fishing. It is found fresh, smoked, canned or marinated. When choosing an eel, it is normal that it is covered with a sticky substance, it must also be shiny. If small eels can be cooked with their skin, larger specimens should be stripped of their skin that hardens when cooked. To remove the skin, first clean and dry the eel. Then make a cut in the head and pull the skin along its length with a cloth. It’s a delicate operation! Traditionally eel is cooked in red wine (matelote) or “green” with herbs, but it can also be grilled or prepared in sauce.

What season to eat eel ?

The eel is best served during the months of January, February, March, April, October, November and December; it’s the full season of eel tasting in May, June, July, August and September.

Calories and nutrition facts of the eel

   Eel is one of the fat fish. But it’s high fat content (16 g per 100 g of meat) is not harmful, because it is good fats. These are indeed Omega-3 fatty acids essential for the regulation of lipids in the blood and growth. Eel consumption can, as for all fish, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The eel is also low in calories (230 Kcal per 100 g) and brings you interesting amounts of protein: 23 g per 100 g. These are useful for the maintenance and renewal of the cells of the body.

This fish provides you with vitamins, minerals and trace elements. All these nutritional qualities help to make eel a healthy food that can have health benefits.

3- Pike


Pike evolves in rivers and lakes. It is a long fish, covered with small scales with green and yellow reflections. His jaw has many sharp teeth that can grow back (it’s cold in the back!). Small specimens are preferred because the larger they are, the firmer they are. Be careful, the meat of the pike is full of bones, so it is better to prepare it in terrine, bread or fish balls.

Calories and nutrition facts of the pike

On a nutritional level, we can salute its high protein content (24 g / 100 g) and its low lipid content (0.8 g / 100 g). It is also rich in phosphorus (282 mg / 100 g) and vitamin D (3.2 μg / 100 g).

Ideas for cooking pike:

  • Pike bites
  • Pike gratin
  • Pike with romande

4- Sturgeon


Did you know that sturgeon are the caviar? And yes, it’s his eggs! Moreover, we make caviar in Aquitaine and it is famous for its finesse and its high quality. But you do not only eat your eggs, you also enjoy your flesh. Outside of the season, smoked sturgeon are consumed. It is also delicious in rillettes or with boiled potatoes. Fresh sturgeon meanwhile, do not like being boiled too much, he prefers cooking in the oven or on the barbecue, or even in the pan in thick slices. Be careful not to overcook it, or you will end up with a completely dried flesh.

Ideas for cooking sturgeon:

  • Sturgeon mousse from the Isle of Pistachio Valley
  • Marinated Smoked Sturgeon
  • Sturgeon with chanterelles

5- Salmon


Migratory fish, related to trout. It can not be precisely classified in either freshwater fish or sea fish. In fact, it passes the first phase of its life in the rivers, then migrates to the sea and returns then to spawn in its place of origin. Wild salmon today are rare and expensive. Most of the salmon marketed comes from breeding. Its flesh is pink to red orange, firm but delicate, quite fat. The food received affects taste and color. Sold in whole fish, sliced ​​or filleted, fresh or smoked.

What season to eat salmon

Salmon is eaten during the months of November and December. In the beginning it is consumed in October.

Calories and nutritional information of salmon

Salmon, whether wild or farmed, is a fatty fish with important nutritional benefits. 100 g of salmon provide 10 g of fat and 170 calories. It is also one of the richest fish in Omega 3, a fatty acid that protects the cardiovascular system. Salmon also brings you interesting amounts of vitamins, including vitamins A and D.

Salmon contains magnesium, which is a very important trace mineral for our body. Magnesium is particularly useful for healthy bones, for a good heart rate and a good functioning of the nervous system. Salmon also gives you iron, which plays a role in the formation of blood. Finally, this fish is a source of phosphorus.

All these nutritional qualities, combined with an affordable price, make salmon a fish to consume regularly for a balanced diet.

6-The Trout

The flesh of the trout is traditionally white but there is also salmon trout with orange flesh. The coloration of the flesh is due to the feeding of the trout. Wild trout and farmed trout are found.

Trout lovers usually look for white-fleshed trout.

check out the best rods for catching trout 

What season to eat trout

Trout, can be enjoyed during the months of June to August. First, it is consumed in April, May and September.

Calories and nutritional information of trout

Good for the heart and the cardiovascular system as a whole, the flesh of the trout is very well supplied with polyunsaturated fatty acids. These good lipids, the famous Omega 3, are easily digested, making it a product of choice in the constitution of a balanced diet.

Vitamins, iron and trace elements of all kinds are also present in every bite of trout, whose total fat content does not exceed 5% for a baked fish. As for its energy proportion of 140 kcal per 100 g, it is that of a lean fish which will logically find its place in any diet.

Ideas for cooking trout:

  • Trout in a very simple wrapper
  • Peach trout
  • Trout in foil

7- The stud fish

stud fish

Small very sharp fish, the stud lives and moves in groups. It does not exceed 15 cm long. It is especially appreciated in frying.

8- The Lamprey


This rather fat fish that looks a little like a snake fish from February to June. His particularity is a round mouth with teeth, finally, if we can talk about mouth, it looks rather a sucker … Moreover, she uses it as such to cling to the rocks. To cook it, you have to strip it, like the eel. It is often cooked with his blood, but it is not obligatory!

The lamprey must also be live bleeding during its preparation; his blood serving as a base for the wine sauce. Like fish, lamprey is rich in protein but also in phosphorus.

9- The perch

perch fish

Its tasty flesh lends itself to many preparations. Small specimens may be fried whole while larger specimens will preferably be simmered or braised. The perch is often cooked with wine. However, as the perch has many bones, we advise you to buy it in nets, story that it is your fishmonger who does all the work and that you only have to cook it!

What season to eat perch

The perch is best served in the months of April, May and June; it’s the peak season of tasting perch in July and August.

Calories and nutrition info of the perch

The perch is a lean fish you would be wrong to deprive yourself. In fact, 100 g of this fish only bring you 3 g of fat! The greases provided also have the advantage of being largely composed of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including Omega-3s, which are known to be beneficial for cardiovascular health.

The perch also provides you with significant amounts of protein (19 g per 100 g), just like meat. These are necessary for the renewal and maintenance of the cells of the body.

This fish is a good source of vitamins, but also phosphorus, which is an essential component of the bones.

Ideas for cooking the perch:

  • Perch fillets with herbs
  • Tagliatelle perch with zucchini and orange
  • Pole steak in gratin
  • Perch fillet in foil my way

10- The Arctic Char

This lake fish is rare and it’s a shame because its very delicate flesh is delicious. It is often compared to trout. In cooking, he prefers simple preparations and subtle weddings that highlight the finesse of his taste. It is mostly found in spring and autumn because in summer it prefers to find the cool in the bottom of the lakes it becomes difficult to fish!

Ideas for cooking Arctic char:

  • Arctic char with small vegetables

11- The pike perch

pike perch

This large and long fish people the bottom of our rivers. There are several types of catfish and they are not all the same color: white scales, green, black or even slightly yellow. The texture of his flesh looks a little like that of burbot. It is prepared braised or roasted. Do not hesitate to marinate it before seizing it in a very hot pan.

Ideas for cooking zander:

  • Pikeperch with cream
  • Filets of pikeperch with Riesling and mushrooms
  • Pikeperch filet with white butter
  • Pikeperch fillets with mirabelle plums

12- Roach fish

    A small fish whose flesh is fine is appreciated by gourmets! Its season stretches from autumn to winter. In the kitchen, it is frying or fried.

Disadvantages of fish

 Especially freshwater fish, can also be contaminated by

persistent pollutants in the environment such as PCBs or methylmercury.

  • PCBs have been used in the industry as electrical insulators. They are prohibited in France since 1987. However, they have accumulated over time in sediments some rivers. They are found preferentially in the fatter fish living in contact with sediments such as eels, barbel, bream, carp, or the catfish.
  • Methylmercury is a mercury derivative that accumulates preferentially in predatory fish species. Significant exposure to PCBs or methylmercury may have adverse effects about health


Can we eat the freshwater fish that we caught?

Before consuming freshwater fish from recreational fishing, ask your prefecture or consult the website of the Ministry of Ecology. You will find areas where consumption is prohibited and species affected by these prohibitions that it is important to respect for your health. The departmental fishing federations can also help you in this process

See Also:  How Do You Cook American Eel For Sushi?

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