This time of year the lakes and streams are usually frozen and ice fishermen are a happy group. But this winter we haven’t had cold enough temperatures to freeze more than a couple of days. The lakes are wide open. Does this mean you can’t fish in the winter? Absolutely not. I was sitting around thinking about why I couldn’t go out and catch a nice mess of pan fish for supper just like I do when ice is on and decided, why not? So I did.
I had an amazing trip. The fish were biting and I didn’t have to bring all my ice fishing gear with me. All I needed was a bucket of lively minnows and my favorite lawn chair. After 2 hours of fun I decided to pack up and head for home. I had a fish dinner planned for the gang and I wanted to filet the fresh perch, crappie and bluegills and prepare some beer batter and deep fry the tasty fish.
After fileting and skinning the filets I soaked them in ice cold salt water to freshen them up and keep them fresh until I was ready to fry them. Beer battered pan fish filets are one of the best tasting meals you can have on these late winter evenings. I’ll give you my recipe and you can see for yourself how delicious they are. And for the non-sporting person you can always buy some stale store bought or frozen version from the local market. Any fish will do but preferably white bodied fish are more favorable for frying, Cod, Pollock, Catfish, Tilapia are all suitable, but nothing is better than fresh caught perch.
If you have an electric deep fryer, fill it with peanut oil and preheat to 350 degrees.
2- lbs. fish filets.
2-cups all-purpose flour
24 oz. beer
Paprika and granulated garlic about 1 tbls.
Mix the flour and seasonings together reserve ½ cup. Then add the remaining flour and beer in a mixing bowl and mix together to make a batter similar to pancake batter. I use Michelob light seems to work the best.
Dip the filets in the reserved flour and then into the batter and place in the fryer until they float and turn golden about 3-4 minutes. Fry in batches and do not crowd or let them stick together. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sit back call the kids and get ready for a late winter treat! Make a nice Caesar salad, with tangy Romano cheese Fry up some crispy french fries and crack open a frosty adult beverage.....We use cocktail sauce and tartar sauce. Just depends on the mood. They are both awesome…
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