My whole life, I did the flour, egg, bread crumb, deep fry. Not a big fan of batter until lately, just have to make the batter thinner than i have been. My go to, lately is something I think was posted on lake link. Season fish ,Dip fish in melted butter, lots, coat with bread crumb. Fry again in lots of butter or bacon grease. No messing around with all the flour egg and bread crumb. I prefer all cracker crumb or half bread crumb and cracker crumb. A friend of mine who grew up at a resort turned me on to the cracker crumb only, and it really is the way to go. Turns out just the same as deep fried. Takes a lot less time.
it works. Don't really need to cut in strips either. I just score the meat through the Y bones with a sharp knife, maybe 1/4" apart or a little less and the bones will fry right out. I usually have to do this to the so called camp cleaning experts when they end up butchering the fillet job miserably.
I talked with an old timer at a launch a number of years ago up north who had his limit of pike. Most were small, probably no bigger than 17-19”. I asked him if he kept those for pickling. He said, no for frying. I asked how he cleaned them in a way that didn’t result in him getting a mouthful of y-bones. His answer was that he filleted them like normal but then cut vertical 3/8” strips of meat through the area of the fillet where the y-bones were. According to him, the y-bones in fish that size will dissolve out during frying if the vertical strips are no bigger than 3/8” wide. Anyone ever try this? I've always meant to but have never remembered to toss one that size in the livewell. I may if I get a small pike this weekend while at the cabin.
Prolly a good way to prepare small musky as well. Yank Yank!
Boil salted water , salty enough to taste when you dip your finger in, too much wont hurt, and i believe it firms up the meat better. Boil fillets until tender and flaky. melt a lot of butter and get it hot. Soak the fish in that butter and broil it with the butter just a minute or two. Serve on a hot plate and squeeze lemon on it. Put the hot butter in a small pre heated cup for dipping. Im sure some of you know already ( the poor mans lobster).For those of you that dont know how to take out y bones this recipe is great because the meat will flake apart and you can get them all out before you broil
You can do just about anything you want with them. My preference is to use them to make poor man's lobster. You can fry, bake, deep fry, etc. You name it, you can do it with them. Smaller ones are better for pickling. Guys who'll take one that's in the 27 inch range or so and up and pickle them are fools. The meat you get off of one like that is a pretty good chunk.