Baked Fish Head

Matt Watson is a long-time LegaSea, Kai Ika and Free Fish Head ambassador. He loves sharing his philosophies around maximum utilisation. Here’s how Matt likes to enjoy his fish heads:

“I’m a fish head eater, and so are my kids. We love that succulent meat hidden in the head, and it’s not hard to enjoy. So how about you give them a try, you can smoke fish heads, steam or boil them, but a convenient way is to oven roast them. Because instead of taking six snapper to feed your family with the fillets, you could eat the whole fish and you only need to take three – that’s got to be good doesn’t it? So give my recipe below a try and if you really can’t bring yourself to give fish heads a go – give them away.

Recipe by: Matt Watson – The ITM Fishing Show
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Feeds: 1 large fish head per person
Part of fish: Head


  • Fish Heads
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1x Red Onion
  • 1x Lemon (cut into slices)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 deg. 
  2. Remove gills from the fish heads but leave wings attached. Remove the scales with a fish scaler, a desert spoon or scallop shell works pretty good. Do this out on the lawn because the scales fly everywhere.
  3. Place the fish heads in a roasting dish.
  4. Rub salt into the skin and around the inside of the heads, coat in black pepper and drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over the fish head.
  5. Add a few slices of lemon and red onion inside and out.
  6. Cover with foil and bake for 20 mins, or when skin starts to split.

“It’s good to eat now but if you like the crispy skin, tip the juice off, remove the lemon and place it under the grill for a few minutes.

To serve, plonk it on the table and hook into it. In my order of preference, the best bits are the wings, cheeks, eyes, and the top of the head.  Bewdy!”