I’ve got to clarify one item. A lot of people think/expect an outdoor writer to write about a different topic every time and for my magazines I do but for my newspapers I don’t. Let me explain.
Right now bear season, whistle pig hunting and crappie fishing are all in full bloom. And crappie fishing is leading the pack. They are still spawning and fishing is still unbelievable. Why would I veer off on some other tangent when crappie fishing is as good as it can get?
And there are so many angles to a topic if you love it. On crappie for instance: Pre-spawn crappie fishing, post-spawn crappie fishing, different methods to fish for them, then of course different ways to cook them. So, in a nutshell what I’m saying is that I could write for six weeks just on crappie fishing.
The outdoors runs on seasons. You may wake up Aug. 4 and want to go morel mushroom picking but sorry, it’s out of season then. You’ll have to wait until next spring. So that’s what I love about writing for the Journal. Doing a weekly article allows me to write about pertinent topics as they are happening — real time. Make sense?
So, if you’ve read my crappie fishing articles and been going fishing, then most likely you have the question, “What do I do with all of these fish now”?
I love crappie fried plain, dusted with cornmeal. But I also love them battered in pancake batter. Or blackened with Paul Prudhomme’s blackened Redfish spices. Or using Roe’s (a Cajun girl I know) trout meuniére recipe.
But — for a light lunch on a hot day, fish tacos are hard to beat.
So with that said, I’m going to tell you how I like to make my fish tacos but realize, there is nothing sacred about my recipe. Tweak it to fit the taste of your family.
To begin, cook your fish. I like to roll my fillets in cornmeal and season with Tony Chachere’s seasoning and fry to a golden brown.
Then heat some corn tortillas in a skillet. I put in a little grease and heat them up.
Next, lay out the tortillas on your plate or a cookie sheet. Lay a fillet on each tortilla and put on a little bit of salad.
Splash on some salsa and sprinkle on cheese. Instead of salsa we also like some of the spicy or vinaigrette types of dressings — or last week I used some Sweet Baby Ray’s Dipping Sauce. That was excellent, too.
Lately, I’ve also chopped up some onion slips and sprinkled on, too, which are good. You can also add fresh chopped tomatoes and especially slices of avocados.
Fold the tortilla over and indulge.
Try a fish taco and you might just find it hard to go back to eating fish fillets by themselves.
Tom Claycomb lives in Idaho and has outdoors columns in newspapers in Alaska, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and Louisiana.He also writes for various outdoors magazines and teaches outdoors seminars at stores like Cabela’s, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Bass Pro Shop.