Fishing with Capt. Gus! Fish Recipes

Dave Moore

Photo credit Capt. Gus
Dave Moore visiting from Ohio holds a trophy largemouth bass

Lake Norman’s fish are not only fun to catch, but are mouthwatering when prepared properly. The recipes below are favorites submitted by friends and clients over the years. All are easy to prepare and delicious when served with fries, slaw and hushpuppies.

Black Crappie Recipe from Capt. Rick Rodriguez

  • 1 cup of flour
    ·1 cup of corn starch
    ·1 tablespoon of salt

Coat fish with mix and fry in a shallow pan with Grape Seed Oil. This oil allows the use of a little more heat than other oils without burning, and results in a crispier fish.  Fry until filets are golden brown. Serve and enjoy.

Pretzel Fish Recipe from Michelle Armstrong, Professional Angler
2 egg whites
2 cups of pretzels (crushed)
1 tsp thyme
Pepper to taste

Soak fish in buttermilk for ten minutes.
Mix pretzels, thyme and pepper.
Dip fish in egg, then in pretzel mix, coat both sides.
Pan fry until light brown and crispy. Enjoy.

Coconut Flavored Striped Bass; courtesy of John Dodson, Mooresville, NC

  • Canola Oil
    · ½ cup plain bread crumbs
    · ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 pinches ground cayenne pepper
    · 11/2 teaspoons Chinese 5 Spice powder
    · 1 cup shredded coconut
    · 2 egg whites
    · 1 lb. Striper filets

Heat 2” of oil over medium heat.  (A cube of bread should brown in a 10 count when oil is ready.) Season bread crumbs with salt, cayenne pepper & 5 Spice. Toss with coconut. Lightly beat egg whites. Dip filets in egg white, and coat with coconut breading. Fry 4 to 5 minutes until evenly golden and crispy.

Low Country Catfish Stew

– 1/8th tsp. cayenne pepper

– 1 ½ pounds catfish filets cut in 1 inch pieces

– 3 to 5 slices chopped bacon

– 1 cup chopped onion

– ½ cup chopped green bell pepper

– 1- 28 ounce can tomatoes

– 1 cup water

– 1/4 cup ketchup

– 2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

– 1 tsp. salt

– ½ tsp. black pepper

– ½ tsp. thyme

Wash catfish filets and cut into 1 inch pieces. Set aside. Fry bacon in a large heavy pan for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook until tender. Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the fish and cayenne pepper and cook for another 20 minutes. Add water if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve hot with crackers or cornbread.

Tips from Capt. Gus: Zatarain’s Seasoned Fish Fry Mix makes fish taste great. A great recipe is printed on the backside of the box.

Free Safe Boating Class – “How to Navigate Lake Norman Day or Night” will be held at The Peninsula Yacht Club, 18501 Harbor Light Blvd, Cornelius, NC at 6:30 p.m. on April 23rd.  Becky Johnson and I will cover “Understanding LKN’s Channel Marker and Buoy System”, “How to Avoid Shallow Water”, “Ten Most Dangerous Spots”, and “Interpreting Lake Maps”. For more information, call Ashley at 704 892 7575.

Hot Spots of the Week – Scattered stripers and hybrids are hitting A-rigs above the Highway 150 Bridge. Sabiki rigs are taking white perch in thirty to forty feet of water in Stumpy Creek. Crappie fishing is excellent around downed trees in Hicks Creek and shallow brush in Mountain Creek. Bass are hitting a variety of baits, mainly in water less than fifteen feet deep.

Norman’s water level is about 1.8 feet below full pond and is 3.0 feet below full on Mountain Island Lake. The surface water temperature is in the sixties in water not affected by power generation on Lake Norman.

Capt. Gus Gustafson of Lake Norman Ventures, Inc. is an Outdoor Columnist and a full time Professional Fishing Guide on Lake Norman, NC. Visit his website at or call 704-617-6812.


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