Tasty outdoor fish

It is a well-known fact that fishermen are cagey creatures.

They exaggerate their catches and never reveal the location of a honey hole, not even to their mothers.

However, you can’t really blame them, because our local fish are quite smart and sometimes catching them can be a man-against-nature-type war of wits.

It is also hard to beat the taste of these fish, especially when they are cooked on the outdoor grill, over a campfire or in the smoker. They taste divine when eaten freshly caught. It doesn’t matter that this is a plastic table on the shores of a river while you are watching a fantastic sunset.

Here are a couple of recipes that you may want to put in your tackle box and try on your next fishing trip.

Super on the Grill Catfish

One of the most popular fishes in the rivers is the catfish. It is so versatile that it comes out tasty when made any number of ways.

4 catfish filets at least 1/2 thick
2 tablespoons of paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Combine paprika, red pepper and salt. Lightly sprinkle on both sides of fish.

Coat grill grid with vegetable oil to help prevent sticking. Grill fish over medium heat for 5 to 9 minutes. Half way through cooking time, turn fish over and continue grilling until fish turns from translucent to opaque throughout. Grilling time depends on the thickness of fish. Allow 3 to 5 minutes for each 1/2 inch of thickness. Goes great with lime wedges and home-baked bread. Will normally feed four.

Lucy’s Luscious Pan Fish

After tasting smoke cooked fish you will understand why some men like to take their smokers along on the trip.

6 small whole pan fish such as crappie, shellcracker and bream
Freshly ground pepper or lemon pepper
1/4 cup oil

Sprinkle cavities in the fish with pepper or lemon pepper. Brush outsides of fish with oil. Place fish on smoker grid. Smoke for about 45 minutes to an hour. This will feed four to six fishermen depending on how hungry they are.

Smokin’ Seminole Bass

Bass lends itself to many types of cooking. Whether doing it on the grill, campfire or smoker, be careful not to overcook.

12 bass fillets
1 can cream of celery soup
1 cup of water
1/4 cup chopped parsley
14 cup chopped green onions and tops
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup of a grated yellow cheese

Prepare fish for cooking and set aside. Mix soup and water together and pour into a baking dish, foil pan or heavy duty foil fashioned into a baking dish. Arrange fish in dish and sprinkle with parsley and onion. Dot with butter and sprinkle cheese on top. Place on smoker grid uncovered if you want a smoked flavor. Cook on medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Now, enjoy!

Grandma’s Special Skillet Fried Fish

We always have fond memories of fish fries made by our moms and grandmoms.

When asked, they say the secret is in having that old time, well cured cast iron skillet. So if you have one of these in your family, take it along on your camping trip and try this recipe.

6 fillets—crappie, catfish, any fish of this type
2/3 cup cornmeal
1/4 all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 five-ounce can evaporated milk
Cooking oil

Stir together corn meal, flour, salt, dried parsley and paprika. Dip fish in evaporated milk, then coat with seasoned cornmeal mixture.

Heat a small amount of cooking oil in a large skillet over hot coals until oil is hot. Cook fish a few at a time in the hot oil until lightly browned about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook till fish flakes easily with a fork. Add more oil as needed.

Bass Made The Caribbean Way

One step that will help increase the flavor of the fish is to cut slashes through the skin of the fish. This will allow the flavor of the marinade to penetrate inside.

1 lime
Ginger root cut into small thin slices
3 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
A bass fillet for each person

Grate the skin of the lime, about 2 teaspoons. Then get the juice from the lime. Add ginger root slices. Then add the soy, oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and black pepper.

Place the fish dark skin side up on tin foil. Now put this on the grate on the grill. Drizzle the fish with about half of the sauce. Cook for approximately 9 minutes or until the fish just flakes with a fork. Serve the rest of the sauce on the side for dipping.

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