Grilled Whole Bass (fresh from the stream)

My family is filled with fishermen (and women). My grandfather came to the US from Greece as a very young man and fishing was part of his DNA. He could always be found on streams in Pennsylvania, fly fishing for trout or bait fishing for whatever would bite. My uncles fish, my father (who is a master fly fisherman, I might add) fishes, my brother and nephews fish, my husband fishes and now my daughter and her boyfriend. Penns Creek is our fishing destination, mostly for the cool, quiet pools directly in front of our cabin. Trout is a prized fish on Penns Creek, both rainbow and brown, and Penns Creek is famous in fishing circles for its Green Drake hatch that happens in late May. But today, on a hot, late July weekend, smallmouth bass was the prized catch. My husband was catching one on every third cast (which sounds like a fish tale but it’s true). After 15 fish, he decided to keep three of the largest, to be cleaned and prepped for a breakfast fish fry. My daughter and her boyfriend were there to share in the feast, which for my daughter, has been a special breakfast treat ever since she was a little girl.

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Fresh from the Stream Grilled Whole Bass

3 large whole fish (about 1-1 1/2 pounds each)

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup ground cornmeal

¼ cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon each, salt and pepper

Mix the flour, corn meal, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Coat both sides of the fish with the flour mixture. Heat grill to high. Spray a grill pan with cooking spray and add 2 tablespoons canola oil. Place grill pan on the hot grill. When oil begins to shimmer, add the flour coated whole fish. Grill for about 5-10 minutes per side until the skin of the fish is crispy. Serve with lemon or lime wedges.

 

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