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  • Writer's pictureCapt. Mike Freeman

Bull Red Mythbuster

Bull reds aren't good table fare.....I call bull sh*t on this bull red myth. People who say that have never had a bowl of Redfish Courtbullion (Coo-Vee-On). On a recent trip with a few other guides, I was the butt of a few jokes for wanting to keep a particularly large bull redfish we caught (we typically let these go). Well this recipe was the reason why I had the last laugh... and it is one of my all time favorite dishes. If you love a good red gravy, then get ready, this one is for you!

Two steps will improve the quality of your bull red experience. First, any bull red I intend to keep as table fare for myself, or a client, gets bled right away. Its as simple as cutting the soft tissue inside the gill plate around the gill rakers. You can also simply gut the gill rakers in half. Next I put the fish on a stringer and hang it over the side or in the livewell. No ice yet. The goal is to get the fish to bleed out as much as possible before cooling him off. This will make a huge difference in quality that you will immediately notice at the cleaning table. Next, when I remove the fillet from the skin, I remove as much "red meat" from the fillet as possible.

I use flour and olive oil to make a roux. If you do not know how to make a proper it, LOL. Seriously, there are great articles that will help you with this...much better than I can at least. Lucky for me, my wife makes a mean roux. Once cooked down and brown, add 2 sticks of butter, the finely chopped bell pepper, celery, and onion (the holy trinity of cajun cooking).

Allow this to cook down for approximately 30 minutes with fairly constant stirring. Then add 2 tablespoons of the creole seasoning, and one tablespoon each of the Old Bay, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Stir well. Add the stewed tomatoes (squeezing them by hand while adding helps get out the juice and cook down faster). Now add the two cans of tomato sauce. Allow this to cook down for 10-15 minutes. Lastly, add the redfish fillets. Depending on thickness, allow for a cook time of 15-20 minutes at a simmer. If the fish flakes, it is cooked.

Courtbullion is served over rice and dressed with parsley flakes.


Capt. Mike


1-2 large redfish fillets

cut into serving size portions


Olive Oil

2 sticks of butter

1 Bell Pepper (finely chopped)

1 White Onion (finely chopped)

4 Stalks of Celery (finely chopped)

Creole Seasoning

Old Bay Seasoning

Onion Powder

Garlic Powder

Cayenne Pepper

2 Can of Stewed Tomatoes

2 Cans of Tomato Sauce


Parsley Flakes

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