The trout were biting good, and my husband is showing us how to fillet fish, before I share my favorite 3 easy fish recipes! love fish, and our summer fishing trips to our favorite little spot! Today I’m taking you along…
My kids and husband are WAY better at catching fish than I am… You have to have the fish FEEL! Meaning you have to feel their soft bites, then know when to set the hook on them. I can’t feel a fish bit unless it’s hard and aggressive, and I often try hooking them too soon and lose the fish!
You also have to use the right bait for the type of fish you are fishing, and the mood they’re in lol! Sometimes they like stinky rainbow power bait, and sometimes they’ll only bite on worms; they’re a little fickle like that!
This year I caught one 12 inch trout, and my ten year old caught 4 in just a couple hours. My teenage daughter is the fish catching master… She can feel the soft little bites and set the hook like no other! I think she limited out both days we were there, and she threw back the little ones too!
However, I’m okay with that, because I got to enjoy being on the lake with my girls… And I get to eat the fish too;)
How To Bait Fish Right
Unless you live close to your fishing area, and are in-tune with current fish preferences in your spot, the best thing to do is to take several bait options with you!
PowerBait – PowerBait is usually preferred by fish that have been stocked in a lake. Stocked fish come from fish farms where they are fed something like powerbait, so they like it! We have discovered that the stinkier the bait is… The better they take it!
Along the same principles are the garlic marshmallows… Farmed fish seem to really like the stinky garlic mini marshmallows!
Worms – Natural fish that live in rivers and lakes, who were born and raised in the wild seem to prefer worms over power bait! They also like little critters that live by their body of water. Think bugs here… If you see a bunch of grasshoppers or crickets by your fishing spot, catch some! Natural fish LOVE the bugs living around their home! You can also go to your local pet store and get some big feeder crickets instead of catching them!
Live & Learn Fishing
A few year ago, I tried a new fishing spot, with the family, on the Snake River. My husband and I brought powerbait, hot dogs and worms. We were trying to catch the huge catfish that are common in the snake river. We were night fishing, because that’s when catfish feed, and we bright a nice light to help attract them…. But we got nothing. Not ONE BITE!
Despite our misfortune, the guys 40 feet down the river from us were nailing them left and right…. What were they using? Crickets! The nest time we go fishing there, we will be bringing crickets!
Must Have Fishing Tools
If you are going to go fishing and be successful, you’ll need a few essential tools… Here’s what I recommend:
- Fishing Poles with reel & line. (I love the little disney poles for kids and me! They’re only $10 and they work really good!)
- Baits – I try to have at least 3 kinds to try each time.
- Hooks – small for smaller fish, and big for bigger fish (like catfish)
- Weights – Different sizes
- A Stringer to keep the fish you caught fresh in the water.
- A boat if possible…. Bigger fish tend to be farther out in the water, and easier to catch from a boat. We just use a little paddle boat, and it works great. Plus paddle boats are flat on the bottom and don’t tip easy (which I really like!)
- A cooler (and ice) to transport fish and keep them cool.
- A fillet knife – If you are filleting fish, you’ll need a fillet knife.
- A pocket knife – for cutting line, and gutting fish.
- A cutting board.
- A nice pan to cook fish in.. (I like to fry them in a non-stick pan.)
- Butter – Cooking oil or butter (I prefer butter:)
Did I forget anything? If I did, let me know in the comments below please, and I’ll add it!
How To Fillet Fish
The first step in cooking fish, my favorite way, is to FILLET them! I prefer filleting fish for several reasons. First of all there are no (or there should be no) BONES in the fish you are serving! No one likes choking on a fish bone, or getting one stuck in their throat. But if you fillet them right, you will keep the bones on the fish and remove the meaty fillets! How To Fillet Fish:
- Using a fillet knife cut into the meat just below the gills about 1/4 of an inch. Stop cutting down as soon as you start feeling a harder surface… bones.
- Turn the position of your fillet knife to run down the body of the fish toward the tail.
- Feeling as you go to stay above the ribs, cut a wide fillet along the spine along the body of the fish to the tail.
- Flip the fillet over when you get to the tail.
- Start at the tail side of the fillet, and cut along the skin to remove fillet.
- . Fip the fish over and do it again on the other side of the fish to remove the second fillet.
Cooking Fish – My Favorite Fish Recipes
I really LOVE fish… It’s healthy. The fat is healthy. It’s tender and light, not heavy like red meat, and it just feels good in my tummy! And there are sooooooo many ways to cook fish, but you start cooking your fillets, give them a good rinse in cold water, and set them on a paper towel.
Pan Fried Fish
My favorite way to cook is to just cook it in a frying pan with butter, salt and pepper till it turns a light opaque color! I Love fish fillets cooked this way served with a side salad.
If you cook fish fillets like this, you can enjoy it by the fillet with lemon or lime juice on top, or you can add it to a salad, or make fish tacos! (I’m sure there are other ways too, but those are the ways I serve fish to my picky family!
My kids favorite way to eat fish (and fish is never their first choice) is in fish tacos!
Just lightly fry fish like above, in butter with salt and pepper in a non stick skillet, then make tacos with these ingredients:
- Tortillas – You can use your favorite kind. I love the authentic corn tortillas with fish tacos, but my kids like the white flour ones much better. If you’re out of them, try making your own fresh tortillas.. It’s pretty easy!
- Cooked Fish
- Shredded cabbage
- Salsa, or my favorite – Pico De Gallo
- Lime Juice or Lemons to squeeze on top. (I prefer limes for tacos.)
- Shredded cheese
- Sour Cream or Ranch Dressing
South Western Fish Salad
Cook fish like above, with butter salt and pepper in a non-sticking skillet, then add to salad ingredients below:
- Lettuce or mixed greens
- sliced red onions
- Black Beans
- Pico De Gallo! (If you don’t want to whip up fresh Pico, just use cherry tomatoes or chopped tomatoes)
- Corn Kernels
- Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
- Ranch Dressing or Sour Cream
Sides That Go Great With These Fish Recipes
I love to serve all three of these easy fish recipes with simple summer side dishes including:
- Loaded Potato Salad
- Rolls or fresh homemade bread!
- Berry Fruit Salad
- Homemade Rice a Roni
- Pasta Salad
- A bowl of sliced melon!
- And don’t forget the chocolate Texas Sheet Cake for dessert!