How good any particular fish tastes is highly subjective, so if you ask 10 different anglers what their favorite wild fish to eat is, you’re likely to get 10 different answers. We’ve scoured the internet looking for a definitive answer or a poll, but surprisingly, it seems that there is no consensus. The closest we’ve gotten to an answer is on the polling website shareranks.com, which, with more than a thousand virtual votes, offered the best list of top 10 wild fish that deserve a place on your table.
Given that the source material being an internet poll, the answers tend to generalize and several large families of fish have been grouped together. The polls results also tend to favor more popular fish, but the number-one answer did surprise us.
Do you agree with this list? What do you think is the tastiest wild fish out there?
Many of you may be surprised that halibut ended up so low on this list, especially as many anglers familiar with halibut would have rated it much higher. By itself halibut has a very mild, subtly sweet flavor. Its lean, flaky meat is very versatile and can be cooked in a number of ways, and halibut cheeks are especially prized as the most tender part of the fish.
Good old perch. Many people count white perch among their favorite fish for its flaky texture and and mild taste.
8. Red snapper
Oily, moist, and fairly mild with a sweet flavor, the red snapper is a fish that is hard to mess up.
7. Yellowfin tuna
Yellowfin tuna, or ahi, is one of the more coveted fish on this list, especially by chefs specializing in sashimi. If you haven’t tried this fish, it’s about time you did.
The poll doesn’t differentiate between different species of trout, which is curious, since there is a world of difference in taste between each. Some anglers keep away from lake trout, which they describe as “muddy” and too oily for the effort, while others love them. Of course, rainbow trout often ranks among one of the tastiest fish to keep.
5. Sea bass
High in fat and low in the dreaded fishy flavor, sea bass is best grilled, poached, or steamed.
Much like halibut, walleye is incredibly versatile and can be made into pretty much anything. Fans of this fish often compare it favorably to chicken and say it is very easy to prepare. Walleye is especially popular in Minnesota, where the fish is eaten more than any other state in the United States.
It’s not surprising to see salmon in the top three of this poll. Possibly one of the most overused fish in the country, salmon still enjoys a stellar reputation for its firm, flaky flesh and mild flavor.
The dolphinfish, dorado, or mahi-mahi is a great-tasting fish that has lean pink meat with a mild sweet flavor. They are also prized by anglers for their acrobatic prowess on the line.
1. Whitesaddle goatfish
You might not have heard of this one and frankly we were a bit surprised to see it top the poll. We would have figured that one of the more familiar fish, such as salmon or mahi-mahi, would win this contest. However, the whitesaddle goatfish took the number-one place as the tastiest fish on the poll. Also known as kumu, one of the few places you could fish for this species is Hawaii, and spearfishing is generally preferred.
They are apparently unique among fish because they taste a lot like shrimp. They are also pretty expensive, so it might be better to dive for your dinner instead.
What is the tastiest fish you’ve ever caught? Let us know in the comments.