What Does Garfish Mean? How to Hunt? How to Cook?


Garfish in English is garfish, French is aguglia, Spanish is alpabarda, and Russian is sargan. The reason why it is called argan in our country, especially on the Black Sea coast, is that the Russian equivalent of garfish is argan .

Although garfish are usually silver and blue in color, there are also species with a greenback. There are about 7 different species and the abdomen of all species is white. They also have elongated nose structures that resemble beaks. They have sharp teeth on their lower and upper jaws and their bodies are covered with scales.

What Does Garfish Mean?

  • Garfish is a long-bodied fish species that was previously considered to belong to the Mackerelsugiller family, but today belongs to the Belondiae family. It is a cylindrical, needle-nosed fish.
  • Garfish can live an average of 15-20 years under normal conditions. Although the average length is 60 – 70 cm, garfish are also available with a length of 1 meter.
  • Probably due to the similarity of their body structures, their worst enemy is the swordfish. Garfish and swordfish tend to hurt each other when they meet.
  • This type of fish, which can move quite fast, can jump to the surface of the water. In this way, they can feed on small fish on the water surface.

How to Keep Garfish? Garfish Hunting Techniques

  • Materials required for garfish huntinggarfish ball, needle and garfish fishing line, garfish bait and garfish fishing gear.

Things to consider about garfish hunting:

  • Keeping the bait alive is of critical importance in garfish hunting. As bait: fish such as silver, horse mackerel, anchovy, sardines can be used, as well as under the tail of the garfish.

How to catch garfish? The most important criterion while answering the question is feed preference.

  • Needle selection is also important in hunting this fish species. A very fine needle should be used, as it is important to use a live-looking bait.
  • Because the bait can move much more easily at the tip of the fine needle and it becomes easier to look alive. Especially, in the use of non-living bait, instead of throwing and waiting, it is necessary to move the fishing line continuously and to use the fishing rod with the horse-pull technique.
  • The recommended needle type for garfish hunting is the 10 or 12 cross-fly needle. Using special float tackle is also a recommended fishing technique for garfish fishing.
  • Preparing a team with a garfish hook allows you to have the chance to catch more than one garfish with one team.
  • Silk flushes, 6 cm in diameter, in the form of a ball of fine thread, are also a recommended fishing technique for garfish. But it should be known that you can only get efficiency from this technique on the boat.
  • Autumn months should be preferred for garfish hunting and should be hunted on the shores of the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea.
  • Hours when the sea is quite calm, like a sheet, so to speak, are quite suitable for garfish fishing. Since it is possible to hunt near the surface, the times when the sea is choppy are not suitable for this fish species. Because it is not possible for the fish to see the bait you throw between the waves.
  • One of the best bait alternatives for garfish is the garfish itself. For this reason, most fishermen prefer to use the garfish they catch first as bait for their other catches.
  • The garfish is a very agile and fast-moving fish. For this reason, using a handkerchief or cloth while removing the fish from the fishing line will prevent the fish from slipping out of your hand.

How to Cook Garfish?

  • Before proceeding to the cooking stage, the most important point is cleaning the garfish. Because frying garfish with the bone can cause the fish to take on a greenish color after cooking.
  • The reason for this color is the phosphorus in the fish, but considering that it can be appetizing, it can be said that removing the fishbone is the correct method.
  • In addition, preparing it as a fillet prevents the color of the fish from turning green. During the cleaning phase, the blood clots remaining in the middle of the fish must be completely removed. Because these clots give a bitter taste to the fish after cooking.
  • Although there are many cooking techniques, the most known and delicious form of garfish is the one that is fried in a pan with cornmeal.
  • Since garfish is not a very oily type of fish, it dries out and loses its flavor if cooked in the oven or on the grill. For this reason, frying is preferred for cooking garfish. Garfish covered with plenty of cornflour should be fried in hot oil until they turn golden yellow.
  • At this point, it is important that the oil is sufficiently hot. Otherwise, the fish will absorb too much of the non-heated oil and will have a heavy flavor.
  • Also, like all fish cooked in a pan, using bay leaves while cooking garfish will add more flavor to the fish.
  • Soaking garfish in salted water for about 1 hour before cooking will cause the fish to be cooked more tender and delicious.
  • In addition, for easy cooking, the fish should be cut into cubes and each cut piece should be dipped in corn flour separately.
  • In addition, it is possible to keep the garfish in the fridge for 7-8 hours in a mixture prepared using soda and baking soda before cooking.
  • After this marination process, a different flavor can be obtained when it is dipped in corn flour and fried in the same way. Another marinade alternative is a mortar prepared with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and chopped parsley.

Garfish Cooking Suggestions

1) The Most Delicious Form of Garfish

The most ideal recipe for garfish , which is a low-fat fish type, is  a delicious flavor that will appeal to the taste of children and adults. Who doesn’t want to be a guest at a table where garfish fries are served as the main course? This recipe, which will provide a magnificent integrity with the salad and greens to be added to it, turns the tables into a feast, especially in the autumn months.

2) For Those Who Prefer the Lightness of the Oven Instead of the Weight of Frying

First of all, it should be noted that the presentation of garfish in this recipe will dazzle your guests. Although this recipe requires some effort during the preparation and cooking of the sauce, you can be sure that the resulting flavor will be worth the effort. Baked garfish in the oven is a great choice for people who take care of their health and want to consume low-fat foods.

What are the Benefits of Garfish Fish?

  • When it comes to the benefits of garfish, the first thing that comes to mind is the phosphorus contained in the fish.
  • Phosphorus is very useful for eye health and bones.
  • Like other fish species, garfish also contains special fatty acids that are very healthy and nutritious for the body.
  • However, thanks to the phosphorus it contains, it has the protein synthesis necessary for growth in children.
  • It has the function of regulating kidney activities.
  • It is known to be beneficial for the regularity of the heartbeat.

When is Garfish Season?

The egg-laying process of garfish begins in the spring and ends in the autumn months. During this period, they produce about 25,000 to 50,000 eggs each year. Therefore, autumn months should be preferred for fresh consumption.

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