Dr. Mike's Fishing Tips
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Cooking Tips

Ready to Cook Some Delicious Fish?

Most anglers eat fish, whether fish they have caught or fish purchased at a market. Here are some cooking tips, with a Guest Cooking Tips section below to read additional tips or leave tips.

MILK DOES A FISHY GOOD: If you prefer your fish to be mild and as non-fishy as possible, soak it in milk for at least 1/2 hour. The milk removes most of the fishy taste and helps frozen and re-thawed fish to taste fresher. Consider placing frozen fish in a sealed container with milk (alone or with seasonings) to soak and thaw in the refrigerator overnight. The fish should be rinsed before soaking in the milk, as it is best to take the fish straight out of the milk and prepare it for cooking without re-rinsing. However, fish rinsed after soaking in milk will still be slightly milder and fresher tasting than fish that has not been soaked in milk.

LEMON PEPPER vs. LEMON: Many people like to sprinkle a little lemon juice on their fish after it is cooked or while it is cooking. Consider using Lemon Pepper instead. This versatile seasoning provides a lot of zest and can be used on broiled, pan-fried or sauteed fish, or mixed into a batter for deep-fried fish. Bluegill fillets lightly pan-fried in butter or margarine with nothing but a sprinkle of Lemon Pepper provides a particularly light, zesty and delicious meal.

THE VEGGIE FACTOR: Do you like vegetables? How about onions or peppers? There are numerous ways to use these delicious vegetables to create a wonderful fish dish. Consider sauteing onions, peppers or other favorites in a pan, then adding fish fillets and cooking them in the resulting spicy oils, spooning the onions and peppers on top of the fish during cooking to let the flavor soak in. Veggies can also be chopped and cooked with fillets or inside whole, cleaned fish. For example, some people like to cook freshly caught and cleaned trout on hot coals, wrapped in foil, with chopped onions, peppers, potatoes and seasonings inside the body cavity. Sauteed or steamed vegetables can also be added as a topping or garnish with fish cooked almost any style.

GET SAUCY: Do you like marinated beef or chicken? Have you tried marinated fish? There is a growing trend to marinate fish in a wide variety of sauces, from teriyaki to barbecue sauce. Sauce manufacturers have developed a wide (and constantly expanding) variety of sauces that taste good on fish, including sweet and sour, Hawaiian, honey-mustard, citrus and too many other types to list. Many cooks are preparing fish and serving it covered with pineapple salsa. Pick out a sauce that sounds good and try it. Many people prefer to use the more flavorful sauces on stronger-flavored fish, like barracuda, but strong sauces can be good on milder fish as well. Remember that fish soaked in a sauce will absorb the flavor, often faster and more thoroughly than beef or chicken would absorb the same sauce. Sauce or salsa applied to fish after it is cooked will not soak through as fast, instead acting as a flavorful topping. Marinated fish can be barbecued, sauteed, broiled or even battered and deep-fried. Flaky fish is not easy to barbecue, but large fish steaks often work well and grilling cages are available for barbecuing whole fish. Remember that barbecued fish does not have to mean barbecue sauce. Try something new!

BAKIN' WITH BACON: Bacon is wonderful when baked over fish. Try laying some fish fillets in a greased baking dish, covering them with strips of bacon, pouring a little barbecue sauce over the top and baking it in the oven until the bacon is cooked. The bacon will not be crisp like fried bacon, but it should be cooked. The result is absolutely delicious!

BE CREATIVE: Except for guided trips, most fishing trips produce very inexpensive fish, especially when the cost of fishing is compared to the number of pounds of fish caught. Why not try something new? Use those cheap, self-caught fish to experiment in the kitchen. Try new recipes, new seasonings, new sauces or toppings, and new methods to cook your fish. You may surprise yourself. If an experiment doesn't turn out that good, you haven't lost a lot of money.


If you have a delicious recipe, please submit it to this site using the "LEAVE A TIP" link below. Be sure to include whatever information you want us to use to give you credit for the tip (name, business name, city, state, favorite fishing hole, etc.). If you have a fishing-related website or a website that includes fish recipes, please provide your URL (website address) and we'll add it to the Fishing Links page, as long as you leave us a good tip or recipe. Professional Fishing Guides can also provide a telephone number, address and e-mail address, which will be posted with the tip or recipe. Watch for your tip to be posted (try the "Tell me when this page is updated" link on the home page) and tell your friends and family to come see your tip posted on the Internet!

Guest Tip from Mark DeMucha: Try soaking fish in 7-up instead of milk. It draws out oils and makes the stinkiest fish bearable. Also, I like to keep marinade and plastic bags with my ice chest. When I catch a fish, I clean it right away, put it in a bag with some marinade and bury it under the ice. The last couple of times I have fished I have done this and the fish seemed a whole lot less fishy and a heck of a lot more fresh. I even ate some and it was a partially enjoyable experience, even for someone who does not like to eat fish. (Dr. Mike's note: many people feel that milk is best for removing fishiness and 7-up is best for removing muddiness. However, more and more people are using 7-up to pre-soak all their fish just because they like the taste.)


Click the above "LEAVE A TIP" link to share a recipe.

eat. sleep. fish. repeat.

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