A Seasonal Guide To Fish And Shellfish
Seasonal Fish and Shellfish
Have you wondered about seafood season, such as what fish are in season, and when are your favorite shellfish and fish in season? At Stiltsville Fish Bar, we offer fresh, seasonal fish options year-round, and we have some helpful tips about fish and shellfish that we are excited to share. Keep reading to learn more about when fish and shellfish are in season and how seafood season lasts all year, depending on where you are located!
Softshell blue crabs usually start becoming available in fish markets in April after they have shed their shells to prepare for summer’s growth. This seafood season can run into September, but these crabs are most accessible in the spring and early summertime. Spring also marks the start of a certain delicious fish in season, known as salmon season, usually beginning around May 1st.
Wild salmon can be costly, but thankfully the price tends to drop as salmon season goes on. The three most popular species of salmon are king, sockeye, and Coho. Salmon is a multi-seasonal fish, as its season goes until early November. Thanks to flash freezing, fishermen can successfully freeze their catch, making delicious, fresh salmon available beyond when salmon is in season and to areas not located on the coast.
Bluefish and striped bass are two excellent fish in season during the summer months of the East Coast. Both options are meaty fish that taste great grilled! Striped bass has a varying season depending on the state, but they are typically available during the summer and into the fall, while bluefish tend to be in season and remain available in markets into the fall. When it gets colder, bluefish eat bunker and become fattier, making them ideal for smoking later in the seafood season.
Summer on the West Coast means albacore season, meaning mild, delicious, lean tuna that is great cooked and also delicious raw. Similar to salmon, thankfully, many fishermen flash freeze their albacore, and we recommend taking advantage of the catch! We feel that seasonal fish deserves some freezer space, especially when the fish is as delicious as West Coast albacore tuna!
The start of fall marks the start of seafood season for the always delectable and sweet bay scallops from Long Island, while bay scallops from Nantucket and Massachusetts are equally delicious but remain in season into the wintertime. Bay scallops are delicious cooked by searing or raw, especially in ceviche or Crudo. What fish are in season in the fall, you may be wondering?
Fall is an amazing time to enjoy fish in season, such as Pacific halibut, which also starts in the spring but picks up as the salmon season dies down in the fall. Blue crab is also wonderful in the fall months as they become meatier, and the high-fat content makes lump crab even milder and more flavorful, making them especially delightful. We recommend frozen and unpasteurized crab meat if it is available. Fall is a great time for enjoying fish and shellfish alike!
In the winter months, seafood season is still going for Florida stone crab and West Coast Dungeness crabs. More delicious fish in season in the wintertime include monkfish and skate, which, although they are available year-round, we recommend eating these fish in the winter. Monkfish is lean and meaty, while skate is more rich and delicate, making it perfect for a warm, comforting fish stew.
Fish and Shellfish at Their Best
Thanks to flash freezing, the seasonal fish and seafood season can easily be extended, but you can enjoy frozen fish and shellfish options year-round. The best, freshest, superior seafood will be within their season. It is important to consider taste and texture when deciding when to eat what kind of fish and shellfish, so here are some more specific tips about how you can best take advantage of fish in season and seafood season overall.
When is Shrimp in Season?
Shrimp is available year-round, but most shrimp marketed as fresh in stores simply means they are re-thawed. On the other hand, places like Texas have a shrimp fishing season where you can enjoy a fresh flavor experience. Shrimp is delicious when boiled, grilled, and more, served up deliciously in everything from a shrimp scampi pasta to a classic dish of southern shrimp and grits.
When is Salmon in Season?
The freshest salmon is from the months of May to August or during peak Alaskan fishing season. Thanks to freezing, salmon can be a year-round staple in every household. When you are looking to purchase salmon, find moist fillets but avoid any with brown spots or cuts. Salmon is delicious when it is baked, grilled, roasted, and more, making it a versatile and always delicious go-to for you and your family.
When is Lobster Season?
If you are a lobster lover, you will be happy to learn that this seafood season lasts all year round in New England. When purchasing lobster, look for one that is heavy, active, and sporting a bright shell, and the lobster should be cooked the same day it is purchased. Lobster is delicious whether served on a roll, in dips, in pasta or mac and cheese or simply seasoned and grilled.
When is Crab Season?
As we have learned, fresh crab, depending on where you are in the country, is a seafood season that extends through the entire duration of the year. Northern states begin crab season in the fall months, while states like Maryland have a crab season into the spring and summer months. States like Florida and South Carolina have fresh crab all year-round. When shopping for crabs, look for live, active crabs with a dull shell, and be sure to cook it the day it is purchased. Crab is delightful in dip, soup, crab cakes, and more!
When are Clams in Season?
You may have heard of the R-month rule, which states when are clams in season, for example, is only during months that end with -R, or winter months. This simply means that shellfish are at their peak quality in the fall and winter months because they are sweeter tasting, although they may be safely consumed year-round. Thanks to oyster farming, there are ways around the mollusk meat becoming bitter and losing quality in the summer months.
Whether it is spring, summer, fall, or winter, delicious fish and shellfish, and shellfish and fish in season, are available at markets and groceries near you. If you love seasonal fish and have a craving for raw and/or cooked seafood, we invite you to check out our website and learn more about all of the amazing options on our menu! From dips, raw options to cooked options, we have a little something for everyone. We cannot wait to host you and share our seafood specialties!