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Ask a Florida Sportsman.

Asked: In Sanford, FL, at the Crappie Masters Florida State Championship. A hungry Florida Sportsman staffer watched as tournament anglers released fat crappie into Lake Monroe after weighing them in alive, 7 per team.

Q Your favorite way to cook crappie, and what side dishes?

Eva Rambo, Bloomington, ID, retired high school Chemistry teacher

We just like to put them in JR Mad's fish breading and deep-fat fry them in peanut oil. All fillets--we take the bones off, it's all pure meat. Started doing that when our daughters were small, so they wouldn't get any bones. Fried potatoes, hush puppies and cole slaw.

Russell Riley, Blythewood, SC, certified prosthetist

(Caught the biggest fish of the event, 2.43 pounds, top right) House Autry seafood breader, and I sprinkle a little Tone's Cajun season-ing--not a lot, just enough to cover it; you get it at Sam's. Dust the fillets and deep-fry in peanut oil. We serve them with grits and cole slaw.

John D. Peyton, Leesburg, FL, retired railroad engineer

Deep-fried with Golden Dipt Cajun mixed half-and-half with coarse corn meal. Fry it at 350, preferably peanut oil, or canola, if someone's allergic to peanuts. Sometimes we'll dip the fillets in egg and milk first, if we want to get a little thicker batter. Cole slaw and baked potato.

John Shannon, Warsaw, MO, retired underground cable worker

Usually put the fillets in Bisquick and half corn meal, salt and pepper in it, and fry it. Sometimes we bake it with lemon pepper. My other half makes a good potato salad, and we like baked beans.

Deen Ruppelius, Wagner, OK, retired automobile plant worker

Sprinkle Lawry's Seasoned Salt on the fillets for a minimum 20 minutes. Then take a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent mustard. Then mix 50 percent flour and cornmeal. Dip'em in the mustard mixture, then roll in the corn breading, and deep fry in peanut oil. We'll have cole slaw, salad and always some barbecue beans.

Paul Alpers, Clinton, MO, president Crappie Masters

Fry with JR Mad's fish breading--one of best in the country. Or, I'll just put a little butter on the fillets, some salt and pepper, wrap them in tin foil and cook on the grill. Fried taters, green beans and com.

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Title Annotation:Q&A; cooking crappies
Publication:Florida Sportsman
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2013
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