View Full Version : Worms in Bluegills

Angler Ron
09-19-2006, 07:43 AM
I caught quite a few bluegill this past weekend. In cleaning them there was a worm in the back along the spine. I didn't know whether to continue to clean them or throw them away in a big hole in the ground.
Anyone out there had this experience? And can you still eat them?

09-19-2006, 08:22 AM
A lot of the gills in the AEP ponds have those worms. The locals say that they are fine to eat and won't hurt you, but I am not that hungry.lol. I stopped fishing for them at AEP after that. I was also told that they go away after it gets cold, but I can't verify that. You can pick them out of the filets, but not me.

09-19-2006, 12:35 PM
I Just cut them out and fry em. Turn the lights down low and go for it. :D

With that said, If I see more than a few, I go somewhere else... There is just something eeery about worms!!!

Just make sure to cook the fish long enough if you do keep them.

BTW - I have NEVER found one in a crappie, only bass and bluegill.

09-19-2006, 12:48 PM
Our group that fish for bluegill at AEP during the spring and summer have probally fillet over 600 this year and have yet to see one. What do they look like?

Flathead King 06
09-19-2006, 02:29 PM
i experienced this at a friends pond in north lewisberg, we caught over 100 hand sized and larger bluegill and crappies up to 18 inches and while filleting them we saw these "things" i questioned an odnr officer and found that they are an aquatic parasites that can attach themselves to any host (anything that swims in the waterways of ohio) they start out as little brown colored "maggots" on the outside of the fish usually the fins, and just like a lamprey eat into the fish. once inside a fin membrane or flesh, it starts to grow and morph into the larval stage where they r a yellowish gray colored worm/maggot that either stays in the meat of the fish leeching away at its life, or moves to the digestive system and acts like a tapeworm. they can be fatal to the fish and the officer recommended that any fish infected with these parasites should be dicarded with at once-DO NOT EAT!!! There hasnt been any cases of them affecting a human, but i dont want to take a chance and be the one it does affect...

spot chaser
09-19-2006, 03:09 PM
i experienced this at a friends pond in north lewisberg, we caught over 100 hand sized and larger bluegill and crappies up to 18 inches and while filleting them we saw these "things" i questioned an odnr officer and found that they are an aquatic parasites that can attach themselves to any host (anything te fish leeching awaaffect...

The officer needs to get re-educated. :)


http://www.kdfwr.state.ky.us/fishboat06a.asp#PARASITES%20AND%20GRUBS%20IN%20FIS H

Kentucky anglers will occasionally clean a fish and find a white or yellowish color worm in the fishís flesh that is about the size of a grain of rice. Or, when stream fishing, an angler will encounter a smallmouth bass or sunfish with small black specks on its belly or across its body.

This is a parasitic fluke that requires different host animals to complete its life cycle: a fish eating bird, a snail and a fish. The grub matures and produces eggs inside a host fish-eating bird such as a Great Blue Heron. The eggs enter the water from the birdís droppings or from its mouth. The eggs hatch and tiny larvae of the parasite burrow into a snail. After a time in the snail, the parasite changes form and swims to its next host, a fish. Inside the fish, the parasite changes to a grub form and waits for the fish to be eaten. Then, the cycle repeats.

The anglerís first instinct is to discard any fish with either the grubs in the flesh or black specks on the body. Grub-infested fish are safe to eat. Grubs do not infect people. Remove any grubs found and prepare the fish as you
normally would.

or from Ohio State - see page 4
http://brown.osu.edu/ag/pdfs/Summer%202005%20Pond%20Newsletter.pdf#search=%22pa rasite%20fish%20snail%20heron%20ohio%22

I've found that fish from shallower water at AEP seem to have more than those from deeper water - maybe more snails.

Smallmouth Crazy
09-19-2006, 08:22 PM
Makes me glad I dont keep fish anymore...but if I were to see one while cleaning a fish I would almost have to toss it...could these be something like worbels that are found in squirrels etc until we get a couple frost???

09-19-2006, 10:51 PM
I know when I was fishing in Canada a few years ago some people were finding worms in the Perch, I never found any. I have heard about worms in fish, but never come across it. The black spots you talk about however I have seen. When I fish in my grandparents lake in Wisconsin, the smallmouth bass, perch, rock bass, bluegill, all have the black spots on their fins, in their flesh or other places. I just always cut them out, and eat the fish.

Angler Ron
09-20-2006, 04:44 PM
I sent the info that Spot Chaser had posted to some of my family members to show that the fish were still eatable, but the answer was they weren't going to eat anything that had a worm in it. Silly people worms are for walleyes :D LOL!!

09-26-2006, 03:05 PM
I pulled in a blue gill yesterday and while taking him off the hook I noticed a decent size leech on the inside of its mouth. SICK!!!!

Angler Ron
09-29-2006, 08:13 PM
Here is a picture of a huge Gill I caught tonight. 9.5 inches :B , didn't measure the width though. Biggest one I have caught this year :D Look at the fish and not me and you will be OK!!

peple of the perch
09-29-2006, 08:20 PM
thats a nice gill

09-30-2006, 05:52 AM
Yea same thing happened to me this summer, but it was with a bass. I was told that the fish had to eat the snails. Here is a link that my help. http://www.mdc.mo.gov/documents/fish/aquaguides/parasites.pdf

I'm with the rest of you: I aint eating any fish with parasites!!!!!!! :(

09-30-2006, 02:20 PM
Congrats Ron, thats a very nice 'gill!
What did you catch him on?

Thoroughly cook your fish with parasites after sprinkling with a little coarse ground pepper and you'll be fine. Everyone will think the black spots are just pepper. ;)

Serve with a nice whipped golden sherry tartar sauce.

Angler Ron
09-30-2006, 06:32 PM
I used a piece of nightcrawler. The pond has not been fished much and they are really hungry. It's been fun catching them. :D

10-12-2006, 08:06 AM
HAHA, you guys are funny. I have seen these before from bluegills out of AEP also. I just cut around them and prepared the fish as usual. Since then I have lost about 45 lbs, but I have never looked better :D j/k. A little extra protein never hurt anyone.

If most of you even knew what was in your food you would never eat. Go check out some of the acceptable limits of contamination for processed food set forth by the FDA. Its an eye opener for sure.