There are lots of Alabama Gulf fish that are popular and well loved.
We all enjoy a tasty portion of Red Snapper, Grouper, Flounder, Mahi-Mahi, and Amberjack—and these are all fantastic fish worth celebrating, of course. But there are plenty of fish in the sea (or, in our case, the Gulf).
Next time you’re at an Alabama seafood shack, a white-tablecloth restaurant, or somewhere in between, we challenge you to branch out a bit. Try something new—it might end up being your new favorite Gulf fish!
Here are seven worthy contenders to put on your plate.
Black Drum – When It’s In Season: November through April
With a patch of whiskers on their chin and a dull silvery-gray color, these fish aren’t exactly works of art. But it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and Black Drum (especially the “puppy drums” weighing 10 pounds or less) is a meaty fish that adapts well to just about any recipe. They’ll put up a fight if you hook ‘em, too.
Croaker – When It’s In Season: All year
For many, many years, Gulf fishermen would just throw Croaker back. Boy, were they missing out. These “frogfish” (who get their name from the ribbit-like sound they make) have a taste and texture similar to Trout, and while they’re tasty fried up in large quantities, baking them with light seasoning will really bring out the flavor.
Mullet – When It’s In Season: March through December
Just because they’re more famous for being tossed doesn’t mean these fish aren’t delicious too. Some fishermen still use them as bait, but anyone who knows their Gulf fish will tell you that they’re quite tasty—especially fried up with some cornmeal, salt, and pepper, if you’re planning a fish fry any time soon.
Porgy – When It’s In Season: All year
If you’ve ever reeled in one of these little silvery-red beauties, you might’ve thought they were too small to eat. Well, you’d be wrong. Seafood fanatics from England to Japan go crazy for Porgy; here in Alabama, though, we like ‘em pan-seared, or even wrapped in parchment or aluminum foil and baked with herbs and capers.
Sheepshead – When It’s In Season: November through April
One of the more unique Gulf fish in their appearance, Sheepshead come with a combination of dazzling silver and black stripes…and a hideous set of human-like teeth. Don’t get too hung up on that, though, because these “convicts” taste good all kinds of ways, especially blackened, broiled, or fried up golden brown.
Triggerfish – When It’s In Season: January through July
Another fish once ignored by commercial fishermen, Triggerfish made quite a comeback over the years and are now a favorite of many Gulf seafood connoisseurs. Their clean white filets feature a sweet flavor that’s unique among Gulf fish, plus they’re light and thin, which makes for a great pan-frying preparation.
Whiting – When It’s In Season: All year
Like Porgy or Mullet, Whiting are often ignored on account of their size—only a couple pounds on average, to be specific. But their mild flavor and flaky white filets make Whiting the perfect fish to fry up for a fish fry. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they keep well and they can be caught by the dozen if you reel ‘em in yourself.
Wanna see what else is in season? Check out our seasonal calendar then order up something fresh.