Today is part three in our summer long Outdoor Cooking Series. Every month from May thru September, Joyce from In The Wild Kitchen will be stopping by to share a recipe that you can cook and enjoy outdoors – whether it’s at the cabin, at the beach, camping or even in your own backyard. Today she shows us how to fry up some fish along the shore.

Outdoor Living: A Shore Fish Fry

Growing up, my family fished a lot. My dad was a hard core fisherman, getting up super early and spending all day in the boat. We packed a cooler loaded with food and of course all the fixing’s for a fish fry. I hated getting up so early, but fishing is usually best in the mornings and evenings.

We always had a backup plan, just in case the fish weren’t biting though. My mom learned this lesson years ago on their honeymoon. Apparently my mom, who had never really been fishing, agreed to go to the lake for their honeymoon. My dad, being the ever optimistic guy that he is, said, “We don’t need to bring anything, we’ll catch fish and that’s what we’ll eat.” Well, as the story goes, they didn’t catch any fish! Luckily, my great uncle owned the resort and fed my mom and dad for the week. Since that day, my mom has always been prepared for what may or may not happen on the water.

Outdoor Living: A Shore Fish Fry

Shore lunch fish fries were one of my happiest memories, beaching the boat and running along the sand, barefoot and carefree, swimming in the bay and just enjoying the summer … ahhhh, youth.

Now, my kids are the ones who joyfully hop out of the boat, throwing all the beach toys out, getting their feet wet and exploring the beach for seashells and whatever other neat things they can find. My husband and I typically set to work preparing the lunch.

I always recommend bringing a few things along; these items, to me, are key to having a great fish fry on the shore.

  1. Wood/pre-split wood -- you never know what will be on the beach, so bring along some firewood. It’s not fun trying to start a fire with green wood; plus, you don’t want to be cutting down living trees.
  2. Axe -- this is of course important for chopping wood. Although you may have pre-split wood, you may need to cut some even smaller to get the fire going.
  3. Paper -- old newspaper is great to have on hand to help get the fire going.
  4. Lighter and matches -- you never know when one isn’t going to work.
  5. Cast iron skillet.
  6. Bucket -- for scooping water to put the fire out.
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Once you have your items ready to go for the fire, you’ll want to get it going and fillet and debone your fish. I typically fish for northern pike and you can check out my posts on how to fillet and debone it.

Outdoor Living: A Shore Fish Fry

This fish recipe is one of my favorites and I‘ve been eating it since I was a little girl. I always loved it when my mom told me we were having it for supper; it’s my favorite way to have fish.

Shore Lunch Fish Fry
Recipe type: Main Course
  • 2 to 3 filets of white fish (northern pike, perch, walleye)
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp seasoned pepper
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ¾ cup flour
  • Butter or oil
  • Tartar sauce
  1. Combine all spices and flour into a bag suitable for shaking. Fish can be cut into small bite-size pieces or slightly bigger portions, whatever your preference.
  2. Place fish in bag and shake until well-coated. Fry in skillet with butter or oil until crispy on both sides.
  3. Serve with tartar sauce and enjoy.

One last important note: always check fire regulations for the area that you’re going to be fishing in. Due to the dry weather conditions in many regions there may be fire bans in place.

Enjoy the wild!

More Reading

For more summer outdoor living and entertaining recipes, check out these ideas:

The Summer Outdoor Cooking Series is written by Joyce Schmalz. Joyce is the brains behind the scenes at In the Wild Kitchen. She hunts, fishes and enjoys the outdoors with her family. She is also a public speaker and upcoming host for her new show In the Wild Kitchen on Wild TV.

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