Easy recipes to turn your catch into your next tasty meal

One of the best ways to take your fishing experience to the next level is learning how to cook your fish. You don’t have to be the world’s best angler or a classically trained chef to turn your catch into a delicious meal. Here are a few easy and tasty recipes brought to you be WVDNR staff and friends to help get you started. All you need is to go fishing and hungry friends or family members. Happy fishing and bon appétit!

Hearty Fish Chowder


Walleye, sauger, pike, pickerel and musky are good options for this recipe.

1-1 ½ pounds of skinned fish, chopped into ½ inch pieces

Bacon slices

1 cup onion

3 baby portobello mushrooms, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

2 potatoes, chopped

¼ all-purpose flour

8 ounces clam juice

1 can evaporated milk

2 ½ cups chicken stock

½ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Salt and pepper


Brown slices of bacon in a deep pan or Dutch oven, then remove and leave most of the fat. 

Add onions, mushrooms and celery to pan and sauté on medium-high until tender.

Stir together flour and clam juice. Set aside. 

Add Old Bay, salt, pepper, potatoes and chicken stock to vegetables. Cook until potatoes are tender.

Add fish to the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Turn off heat and add evaporated milk and clam juice.

Stir and serve.

Catfish Stew


Channel, flathead or blue catfish are good options for this recipe.

1 ½ pounds catfish filet, cut into ½-inch chunks

Bacon slices or salt pork

1 large onion, chopped

2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

4 cups water

Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon oregano

2 bay leaves

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and pepper

4 servings cooked rice, served hot


In large pot, cook bacon or salt pork until crisp and remove.

Add onion, garlic and cook in drippings until translucent and soft.

Add tomato sauce, tomato paste and water. Season with oregano, bay leaves and Worcestershire sauce. Salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 30 minutes

Add catfish and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Beer-battered fish


Bluegill, walleye, sauger, yellow perch, crappie or bass are good options for this recipe. Make sure you use self-rising flour, which has leavening agents that make the batter light and crispy. You can make your own by combining 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder and ¼ teaspoon fine salt. If you don’t drink beer, try using an unflavored seltzer or carbonated water instead. 

1 ½ pounds fish fillets

2 cups beer (dark stout works best)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion powder 

1 teaspoon garlic powder 

½ teaspoon black pepper 

1 egg 

Self-rising flour


In large mixing bowl, add beer, baking soda, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and egg.

With a whisk, slowly add enough flour until the batter is thick and sticks to a wooden spoon.

In a separate bowl, add enough flour to dredge fish fillets.

Heat oil to 350F in deep fryer or in a deep pan, such as a cast iron Dutch oven.

Once oil is heated, dredge fillets in flour, then dip into batter covering fillets.

Place fish into heated oil and cook 6-8 minutes, depending on thickness of filets.

Fried Fish Sandwich


½ cup mayonnaise 

1 tablespoon sriracha 

½ cup all-purpose flour 

2 large egg whites, beaten 

½ cup cornmeal 

Kosher salt 

2 tablespoons bacon fat 

1 ½ pounds fish fillets 

Black pepper 

4 soft round buns 


Red onion rings 

Dill pickle slices 

Tomato slices


Place flour, egg whites and cornmeal in three separate bowls.

Heat oil to 350F in deep fryer or in deep pan such as a cast-iron Dutch oven.

Sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour, egg whites and cornmeal.

Fry each fillet 6-8 minutes, flipping half way through.

To make sandwich, spread sriracha mayonnaise on buns and layer with lettuce, red onion, pickles, tomatoes and fish.

Broiled Fish


Walleye, sauger, bass and yellow perch are good options for this recipe.

¼ cup lemon juice 

¼ cup lime juice 

1 teaspoon minced garlic 

¼ teaspoon ground ginger 

1 tablespoon brown sugar 

¼ teaspoon pepper 

½ teaspoon salt 

½ teaspoon dill weed 

1½ pounds fish fillets 


Combine all ingredients except fish and mix well.

Place fillets in large Ziplock bag and pour marinade over fish.

Push out air, seal bag and refrigerate for 3 hours minimum, turning the bag over midway.

Remove fillets, place on broiler pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Broil for 8-10 minutes, until fish flakes easily with fork.

Cheesy Fish Bake


Walleye, sauger, yellow perch, bass or bluegill are good options for this recipe.

10 oz fresh asparagus spears cut into 1-inch pieces 

1 ½ pounds skinless fish fillets (6 oz each fillet) 

¼ cup margarine 

1 medium onion, finely chopped 

1/3 cup all-purpose flour 

1 cup milk 

1 1/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

¼ teaspoon pepper 

1 cup crushed crackers


Heat oven to 350F.

Spread asparagus evenly over bottom of 10×6 inch baking dish, then arrange fish fillets on top of asparagus.

In a separate saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of margarine over medium heat.

Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes.

Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Blend in milk, cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add cheese, salt and pepper. Remove mixture from heat.

Stir cheese until melted, then spoon evenly over fish fillets.

In saucepan, melt remaining 3 tablespoon margarine over medium heat.

Remove from heat and add cracker crumbs and stir.

Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over cheese sauce.

Bake 40-45 minutes until fish begins to flake with a fork.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving

Smoked Trout 


¾ cup kosher salt 

½ cup sugar 

¼ cup packed brown sugar 

¼ cup honey  

8 cups lukewarm water 

6 whole trout (gutted and gills removed)


Combine salt, sugar, brown sugar, honey and water in non-metallic container large enough to hold trout.

Whisk brine until ingredients dissolve and then chill.

Submerge rinsed trout in brine and place in refrigerator for 6 to 8 hours.

After 6-8 hours, remove trout from brine and rinse.

Dry fish by patting with paper towels and place on a wire rack in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours

Preheat smoker to 170F and smoke for at least 3 hours.

Trout are done when fins are dry and crispy and skin peels away easily.  

Smoked Trout Dip


2 trout fillets (add liquid smoke if smoked trout fillets are unavailable)

1 package cream cheese, softened 

1 package goat cheese, softened 

3 tablespoons dill 

1 cup chives 

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 package crackers 


Set cream cheese and goat cheese out to soften at room temperature.

If smoked trout is unavailable, then in a skillet with butter, cook trout fillets and then shred. Season the trout with salt, pepper and smoked oil.

Remove the trout from skillet, place in a large bowl and allow to completely cool. Once cooled, add the cream cheese, goat cheese, dill, chives and garlic powder. Mix all ingredients well and place in refrigerator to cool. Serve with crackers. 

Hush Puppies


½ cup all-purpose flour 

½ cup yellow cornmeal 

½ teaspoon salt 

¼ teaspoon baking soda 

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper 

1 large egg 

½ cup buttermilk 

1 cup minced onion 

2 cups vegetable oil 


Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, baking soda and pepper in a bowl.

Stir together buttermilk and egg, then add to dry ingredients.

Stir mixture until moistened and then stir in onion.

Heat oil to 375F in a deep fryer or cast-iron skillet.

Drop batter by tablespoons into the oil and fry for 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.  

Tartar Sauce


1 ¼ cups mayonnaise

1 medium size dill pickle

2 sprigs parsley

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried onion flakes

¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 


Mix ingredients together in a food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds until finely chopped.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour prior to serving.  

Cajun Remoulade Sauce


½ cup mayonnaise  

2 tablespoons chili sauce 

2 teaspoons spice brown mustard

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 

2 green onions, minced

1/8 teaspoon cayenne 


Mix ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.

Cover and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours before serving.

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