Easy Fish Recipes

The recipes featured here are from fishermen for fishermen with common 
ingredients found in most peoples homes, not fancy fish recipes with stuff 
you don't have on hand, requiring a lengthy trip to the market to buy.

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Capt. John's Potato & Cheese Fish Nuggets 
 Homemade Tartar Sauce

This is an easy and non-messy way to prepare boneless fish in small pieces with a light crispy coating that works with all fish that you plan on frying.  This is a delightful way to prepare your favorite type of fish and works wonders on Steelhead, Salmon, Walleyes, Perch and all kinds of pan fish.
      First is if you plan on using this recipe with Trout or Salmon use it with only the smaller fish you've recently caught, because fresh fish is best.  I don't recommend this recipe with Lake Trout because of the fatty nature of LT's.  It just doesn't make sense to me to fry an reel oily fish.  Make sure the pin bones are gone from the fillets by removing with pliers or cut and discard that section.
Cut up and prepare you fish to the table in pieces not exceeding 1 by 3 inches (pan fish can be left whole) and rinse and leave in colander and follow the numbers below, but cut up and rinse the fish first before beginning the steps below.

  1. Take 1 cup of instant mash potato flakes and grind them up in a blender at high speed.  You'll never be able to turn the potato flakes in powder like flour, but you'll be able to powerfully reduce the size of them.

  2. Take 1 cup of instant buttermilk pancake flour and combine with the ground up instant mashed potato flakes in a gallon sized zip lock style freezer bag.

  3. Take trip to the refrigerator and find some parmesan cheese and add a half cup or more of the cheese to the freezer bag mixture.

  4. Now this is where the rest of the seasonings is up to you.  You know what kind of seasoning you like, so add a liberal amount of your favorites and be sure to include some salt and pepper to taste (paprika and garlic power work well in this recipe for me).  

  5. Rinse your fish pieces in the colander again and put them in the freezer bag with the mixture and leave them in the bag after a thorough shaking.  It's important to put the fish in the bag while still moist or kind of wet.

  6. Tartar Sauce: Mix a 1 cup salad dressing with 2 or 3 table spoons of sweet or dill relish. This depends on your taste, I like the sweet the best, but your favorite might be the dill relish. Combine the ingredients and for a special tang I add a little bit of regular old hot dog (yellow) mustard to color the tartar sauce and add a zesty flavor.

  7. Go back and shake the freezer bag again with the fish coating mixture and leave the fish in the bag.

  8. Heat enough oil in a frying pan to float the fish nuggets to about 375 degrees which is hot but not smoking hot.

  9. Shake the bag with the mixture and the fish again, then fry the fish nuggets until golden brown, which shouldn't take that long if your grease is at least 375 degrees.  The key here is to fry the fish fast and not to have them swimming in cold oil and not cooking quickly.

  10. Drain on paper towel briefly and serve with your homemade tartar sauce.
    I have many compliments from my guests over the years with this recipe and I hope you like it a much as they did.  Remember this is a light, crispy way to cook all kinds of different fish and it's not messy or greasy like batter dipped fish.

This recipe is from: 
Capt. John King who lives in Manistee, Michigan.
Mail to: charters@usa.com

Boat Name: "King Fish"

I'm putting this page in a very easy printable form. 
if it's not easy for you to print, contact me by E-mail.


Capt. Jeff's Favorites

I fish in the Gulf of Mexico, salt water fish have a fair amount of oil content. Grilling fish has been my method of dealing with fish oil. I marinate the fish in a zip-lock bag for 4 to 6 hrs. 

The marinade: consist of a cup and a half Italian salad dressing, 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and 2 finely chopped Jalapeno peppers. Remove the fish from the marinade and dust it with Old Bay seasoning and grill till fish flakes. 

My favorite way to cook flounder (which would be similar to perch) is on the smoker. Slow cooking in foil pouches, lay fillet on foil, cover fillet with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper to taste. Fold foil in to pouch with a pat of butter to top off the fillet, and cook on the smoker for about 45 to 60 minutes.  

Boiled fish: Cut several pieces of fish about the size of an ice cube, boil about 6 to 8 min in crab boil ( I recommend Zatarain's ) drain and serve with thousand island salad dressing as a dip. I add fish roe, bell pepper, and onion to my hushpuppy batter for a richer full flavor.  These recipes have worked for me many years.  If they sound a little of the wall they probably did to me the first time. 

Grilling footnote: If you have a large fish that when you remove the tenderloin it is about 2" or larger in diameter cut crossways about the thickness of a strip of bacon, wrap the fish with bacon and place on skewer and cook bacon side down until bacon is almost done then cook flat long enough to make grill marks. I usually top with a tomato salad dressing to add a little sweetness. These are my favorites for Mackerel, snapper, ling, speckled trout, and flounder. 

These recipes are from:
Jeff Williams is from Mobile Al. 
Mail to: jkraftboats@hotmail.com
Boat names: "Homewrecker" & "Homewrecker II"

Neil's style

24 Oysters (opened in shell)
250gms Bacon Rashes
Bottle of Worcestershire sauce

Turn on grill. Finely chop the bacon, place in a bowl... Arrange Oysters on a baking tray. Top each Oyster, with some of the chopped Bacon.
Place about a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce on each Oyster. Then sprinkle about a pinch of paprika onto each Oyster.

Place the tray under the hot griller and grill, until Bacon is crisp but not burnt and Oysters are warmed through.
Oysters Kilpatrick are very tasty served with a bowl of hot pureed Spinach and thin slices of buttered Brown or Rye bread.

Calamari/Marinated Calamari

500gm squid (Calamari)
1/3 cup of Lemon juice
1/3 cup Olive Oil
2 cloves of Garlic
1 Tablespoon of finely chopped Parsley

-1 Hold squid with 1 hand; with the other hand, hold head and pull gently; Head and inside of body will come away in 1 compact piece. Cut tentacles from head.  Remove bone found at open end of Squid (looks like a long ,thin piece of Plastic) Clean Squid under cold running water then rub off brown outer skin, Cut squid into 5mm rings........

-2 Drop rings into rapidly boiling water, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until Squid is tender. Drain , Combine Lemon juice and Oil, add Squid, cover refrigerate overnight. Next day, add Crushed Garlic and Parsley to the Marinade, mix well, let stand 2 hours or longer in Marinade; Serve in the Marinade.....enjoy!

Elvis's Marinated Trout

Marinated Trout
1 cup lemon juice (I prefer fresh squeezed, but bottled will do.)
2/3 cup olive oil
3 Tablespoon of onion powder
2 1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 Tablespoon of fresh parsley
smoked bacon

Combine all ingredients except bacon and marinate fish in glass bowl in the fridge
for and hour or so. Remove fish from marinade and wrap with bacon. Place on a grill over medium coals and grill for about 10 minutes per side brushing with marinade.
Serve with fresh Cole slaw or potato salad. Enjoy!!
I get hungry around 6 o'clock...set me a plate and I'll be over.....:)

I'm a Grilling Expert at: www.askme.com
Click here to contact Elvis at his "Grilling Page

Cajun Deep Fried 
Beer Batter Walleye

Did you say walleyes? What a great fish to simply fillet and deep fry in a puff batter. Few people get to enjoy them ... can't wait until they are running again!

The easiest puff batter is Bisquick and a beer of your choice. Whisk in enough beer to a cup or two of Bisquick to make a very thin batter. Dust the fillets with a little Cajun spice to warm them up a bit and dust with flour. Then dip in the Bisquick mix. Toss into a deep fryer at 375º. Cook until they pop to the surface and turn golden brown.

Scoop them out with a spider, drain and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Serve very hot, in fact eat them right by the deep fryer, as you drop in a few more.

This recipe is from the STOVEGUY

Click here to contact him at AskMe.Com

Capt. Len's
Smoked Fish in Oven

Salt fillet with table salt or seasoned salt,  brush or sprinkle
generously with Liquid Smoke and marinate covered overnight in
refrigerator.  Other ingredients such as molasses, garlic, onion, and wine
can be added.  Cover oven rack with aluminum foil pressing between the wires to make the foil corrugated.  Bake in preheated 400 degree oven 10-15 minutes.  Then reduce the temperature to 225 degrees and bake until the fillet is firm and the desired dryness, 1 to 3 hours.   Works well for salmon and steelhead but don't do lake trout indoors or your house will smell fishy for days.

Capt. Len's
Seattle Smokey Salmon Spread

        1 can (7 3/4 oz) salmon     1 pack  (8 oz) cream cheese softened
        1 tablespoon lemon juice                2 teaspoons grated onion
        2 teaspoons horseradish, grated    1/4 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
        2 tablespoons parsley, snipped       1/4 cup pecans, crushed
Drain and flake salmon.  Add cream cheese, onion, lemon juice,
horseradish, liquid smoke, and salt and pepper to taste.  Shape mixture into a ball on waxed paper.  Wrap and chill several hours.  Combine pecans and parsley on waxed paper.  Roll salmon ball in mixture to coat on all sides.

John's Deep Fried Walleyes

This is how I cook my walleyes.
2 boxes shore lunch fish mix(1 box regular and 1 box Cajun ) , 1 beer (preferably dark), as many walleyes as you can eat.

Mix both boxes of fish mix together in a 1 gallon Ziploc bag and shake for a few minutes.  Pour approximately 1/2 or a little less into a decent sized bowl.  Add beer to mix and stir until lumps are gone.

Preheat a deep frying contraption to 350 degrees.

Dip moist fillets (I cut mine into 1 inch squares) into liquid batter and coat thoroughly. Place immediately into Ziploc bag with remaining mix.  Close the bag and shake.  Place in deep fryer until golden brown. drain excess oil on a paper towel. (using quality oil will make a difference)

I hope you enjoy (fresh fish will always taste better)


Captain Sty's 
Salmon Patties

1-pint fresh home canned Lake Michigan salmon (store bought canned fish will
also work)
1/2- cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg
one tablespoon of finely chopped onion
salt & pepper

Drain water from canned salmon, mix in bowl with all ingredients.
Form into patties, fry in vegetable oil until golden brown
Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings 
(ketchup, mustard, hot sauce is good)

Try melted Swiss cheese and a slice of onion on the patties, darn good!

Captain Sty is from Bear Lake, MI 
and runs the Slim Rod out of Arcadia,
Onekama, and Manistee

HLM's Canned salmon

Cut up salmon into small 1 inch or smaller chunks

Tightly pack salmon into pint jar and drain any juice
Add - 1/3 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white vinegar
3-4 black pepper corns

Pressure Can at 10 pounds according to canning book recommendations (I do 90 minutes)

Be sure to clean lip of jar before putting lids on and leave about 1/2 inch of head space.

For the best smoked salmon dip going take approximately half of a pint jar of canned salmon and mix it with one block of cream cheese, three tablespoons of lemon juice, half of an onion fine chopped), and two cap fill's of liquid smoke. Mix all ingredients thoroughly in bowl.

Put this dip out with crackers and it will go fast. It is a regular on my boat.

Esterline's Gourmet Smoked Trout

Use 1 cup Kosher salt
1 cup Brown sugar
1 cup regular sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 bottle of Kendal Jackson soigné blanc white wine and equal water.
soaked them for 12 hours and smoked them for 12 at 160F and it is great!! 

Capt. Dave Esterline 
Southeastern Michigan


Capt. John's Blooming Onions


1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 cups beer
4 Vidalia or Texas SWEET Onion (important)

Flour Mix-
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
(Combine and mix well)

Creamy Chili Sauce-
2 cups mayonnaise
1 pint sour cream
1/2 cups chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
(Combine and mix well)

Mix cornstarch, flour, and seasonings until well blended.
Add beer, mix well. Cut about 3/4 inch off top of onion
and peel. Cut into onion 12 to 16 vertical wedges but do
not cut through bottom root end. Remove about 1 inch of
petals from center of onion. Separate the onion petals
just slightly, too much will destroy the onion. Dip onion
in seasoned flour remove excess by shaking. Separate
petals to coat thoroughly with batter. Dip in batter. Dip
in flour mixture again. Gently place in fryer basket and
deep-fry at 375 to 400 for 1 1/2 minutes. Turn over, and
fry an additional 1 1/2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
Place onion upright in shallow bowl and remove center core
with circular cutter or apple corer. Serve hot with creamy
chili Sauce.

Capt. Mark's Famous Manistee Fish Boil

First thing is to purchase a fish cooker to make this work properly, after that there is nothing to it.  Make sure the pot is 36 to 46 quarts.  The basket come with the pot. Your best bet is to purchase one is in the Cabela's book or from a sporting goods store in your area.    

1.  Fill the pot with water leave about 6 to 8 inches from the top.  Make sure when your burner is on it's on high it should sound like a cutting torch.  After the water is boiling go on to the next step.  

2.  Add redskin potatoes to your liking let them boil for around 15 to 20 minutes check with a fork (amount depends on cooker).  Don't remove potatoes.

3.  Add your small yellow onions also to your liking let them boil for 10 to 15 minutes.  Don't remove the onions.  You may also add beer to this recipe at any time (amount depends on how much you like onions).

4.  After the onions have been cooking for about 10 minutes, add about 2 to 3 pounds of fresh filleted, skinless Salmon, Trout or mix them.  Add about a half cup of table salt or a maybe little more.  The salt varies with the amount of fish you use.

5.  Turn off the burner pull out the basket and empty it into a deep cake pan after a thorough draining.  Make sure you have melted butter to put over the top of every thing.  Be careful of the bones.

6.  Enjoy, what can be called the "Poor Man's Lobster."

 Let me know what you think or if you have any questions E-mail me at Proteam@webtv.net or call evenings (231) 723-8032  Enjoy!!!

Capt. Mark Pefley "Sunrise Sport Fishing Team"
Home Port: Manistee
Boat Name: "Sunrise"

Jackie's Cedar Plank  Salmon
Marinated in bourbon and maple syrup

Hi Captain John!!
Many thanks for another memorable afternoon of fishing.  Your website is everything you said and more!!!!   Great job; very informative!  Keep up the good work--we'll visit the site often. 
Photos are super!  Great added touch! 
Quick recipe for salmon copied from Canadian Showcase at Epcot Center in Disney World. 
Take one skinned salmon filet that has been marinated with one-half cup bourbon and one/half cup real maple syrup for 10 minutes.  Either bake on a cedar plank (get one at a Home Improvement Store like Home Depot) that has been oiled with salad oil or barbeque at medium heat on a grill.  If you bake on a cedar plank, heat the plank in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  It is best to put the plank on a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  Baste frequently with bourbon/maple syrup sauce from marinade.  Delicious!

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