Deep fried Crappie
try soaking in milk/water mix for a couple hours prior to cooking ..............i always freeze all my fish in water with a bit of milk mixed in!!!!!!!!!!! works for me every time.........as was said before by others i dont keep any crappies inthe summer
Crappies are for sure softer then gill fillets. I always keep my fish in the livewell until I get home then always toss them on ice for and hour or 2 before filleting. I dont know about keeping fish from warm water. I only fish crappies in early April/early may then again in fall. Water temps are usually only in the 50s max then. I have always thought fish taste better from cooler water.
When I fillet any fish I keep a bowl of ice cold water next to my fillet board. A good handful of ice in the water.
I drop each fillet in the water as I cut and it really seems to help keep the flesh firm. It also separates any scales from the flesh. I wash them in really cold water after this and bag them in cold water.
Works for me all year except the only time I really don't keep and eat panfish in July and August.
Hope this helps! I think crappies and gills are righ up there with walleyes and perch if handled well.
I also always pan fry all my panfish in olive oil. I prefer this to deep frying myself. I love crappie, after bass its my 2nd favorite fish to chase. I also generally prefer to keep 10-12" fish, though I fish the WI river system and get 12"+ fish alot, while I dont usually keep them that size I have tried them and they dont taste alot different to me. But everyones pallete is different. I like gills also but I prefer crappies for eating as the fillets are usually 2-3X the size of a gill fillet so I dont need to clean as many fish. I'll take 5 slab crappies home to eat over a dozen 8" gills anyday.
What I will do with most fish is bread them and put in fridge over night or for 4 to 6 hours before cooking also cut's down on the mess at dinner time and prep time at dinner time as well. When I can I will let sit and cool down in the fridge more or less and let the breading firm up on the fillet. Then put in to deep fryer for 3 to 4 min @ 350 I kid you not you will have the firmest eating fish you can ask for hands down. I use to do shore lunch style fish frys at a few different resorts years ago on Friday nights and did this with whitefish and people could not get enough of these tasty treats.But as said before the size of fish you keep will decide on the firmness of your dinner most times more or less. For crappie I do like the 8 to 11 inchers myself as these do seem to eat the best plus you leave the big spawners behind for the future. But this will work with all types of fish from whitefish to panfish try it the next time you have a nice fish dinner coming up and I am sure you will be happy with it as I am. Good luck out there this ice season and be safe folks. Chequamegon
Get the Golden Dip Beer batter, make sure that the batter is just thick enough to where the batter just starts to drip off, like a thick syrup (not running). Make sure you have a good deep frying oil, Peanut the best, others start to burn to quickly and really ruin the oil.
Next slowly put in the deep frying, if you have a basket you need to raise the basket after about 30-45 seconds to actually pop them away from the bottom of the basket, if you do not do this they will get stuck to the bottom of the basket you definetly do not want this to happen.
deep fry for approx 3 minutes or until they start to turn golden up, we have used this now for many years,
Every year or so I go back to the Shore lunch in a pan with butter, and all the fillets just flake apart, and then I say why did I do this.
try it you might like it, its a little bit of a pain, but well worth it.
For a change, try patting your filets dry with a paper towel, coat LIBERALLY with lemon pepper - place in a hot pan with 1/4 stick of butter, cover, and remove from the pan when the filets turn white and start to separate.
If you don't like (or can't stomach) spicy food, never mind.