Gone Fishin’

Ladies, help me out! What to do with these delicious morsels? How to honor our first catch? Warning: if killing fish for food upsets you, do not read this post (and sorry).

When my friend Macki from Cooking With My Kid suggested we take our gang of tots to the adorable Trout Dale fishing area for their first fishing experience, she had me hook, line, and sinker. HA. Ha. ha?

Fine, not every play on words is going to be a winner. Anyway… I have a fridge full of headless fish, what should I do with them? I mean, obviously I am going to eat them, but wondering if you ladies have any suggestions for serving up our first catch?

Of course, Scarlet selected her finest fishing attire.

Check out our haul and tell me what to make with it after the jump! Jacinda suggested salmon cakes, which sound delicious… but trout cakes don’t sound quite as nice? Maybe i’ll go for old fashioned fish-and-chips? I know there have to be some serious fishing prudent mamas out there with some tips for making tots dig on fresh fish. Your comment could win you that adorable PDF art caddy pattern!

How cute is this place?

Fishing poles consisted of bamboo sticks with line and a hook on the end.

We shelled out an extra five bucks to upgrade from corn to worms as bait. Only Macki was willing to spear those suckers.

Though Lincoln was of course willing to touch them too.

First catch of the day!

Not afraid of a little fish guts.

I don’t know about this floppy fish business.

I’ll take a cupcake, thankyouverymuch.

Look at me teaching valuable life skills like fishing. I mean, pretending to know anything about fishing.

Sylvie checking out our catch.

Our haul, 6 fish in under an hour.

The reaction to every single catch:

So, the fish are gutted and headless but otherwise intact in my fridge. I really want Scarlet to actually eat them, and she really wants to as well, so what’s a fun kid-friendly trout recipe/activity we should try? Thanks for your suggestions!




You could try out some kind of fish stick recipe. My dad used to coat them in seasoned flour (salt and pepper i think was it) and fry them when we were kids.
Your fishing trip pics are extra welcome today because it is snowing here. weep weep


its hard to filet trout since they have such itty bitty bones…but if you can filet them and bread them and fry them and make some fish tacos…that is about the only way my kids will eat them…we like them grilled with the skin on, and stuff the inside with garlic, jalapenos, onions, lemon, salt and pepper (we wrap them in foil over the campfire or grill)- fresh trout is the BEST so dont keep it in the freezer too long 🙂 nice catch BTW!


lol, the video was great! all i could see of scarlet were little feet running as far away from that bloody fish as fast as possible!!!! she's my kinda girl. especially with her jackie o shades on!


Oh, what a fun fishing trip! I would love a cupcake on my next outdoor adventure, and I'll be sure to sport a darling dress, too. 😀 (This is totally my kind of fishing outing.)

We like to cook fish with peaches, maple syrup, and pecans on top, but that may not be so Scarlet friendly. What about some yummy batter & fried trout with lemon slices? Little fried fishy pieces seem kid friendly, and I love lemon on my fish.


Who knew fishing could be so freakin' cute! What about a yummy fish in parchment paper recipe? Obviously you have to skin the fish, put then put on some parchment paper, maybe some thyme, rosemary, and some fresh lemon juice… make a pocket and cook in the oven?


Fry those bad boys up! Tacos. Po'boys. Newspaper wrapped with chips. It's all good. Because, as Padma Lakshmi noted once, "You could fry my big toe and it would taste delicious." I'm sure trout will be also. 🙂


We like to coat ours in cornmeal and flour and fry them whole. To eat, or take off bone for littles, remove fins first. Nibble the top and then each side. We also like to tuck thin slices of onion, lemon and butter butter in the cavity and wrap in foil and grill them. Another way to is wrap them in bacon and broil them until done and serve them with a shallot, tomato and butter sauce. The last one is a big rich but yummy. We do them whole and skin on for each method. You may need to help the kids with the little bones just to be safe. Enjoy! We catch ours in the North GA mountains and have them every week or so throughout the summer.

Four and 20 Blackbirds

Fry 'em up! So good that way – it's just like camping, but you sleep better afterward.
coat in a bit of flour or cornmeal and salt and pepper and fry 'em up in some butter in a frying skillet.
Since you're in Cali – maybe heat the skillet on the grill outside? Cuz otherwise, let's face it – your house will smell like fish for 2 days.

Kathy @ MerrimentDesign.com

You can't go wrong with breaded and pan-fried. Season fillets with salt, then dip in flour, then egg, then panko. Pan fry in olive oil with a smidge of butter. Make a quick side sauce – mayo, yellow mustard, dill. You guys look adorable, BTW.


My Dad's company owns property in Virginia and every year they hold a "fishing party" for the employees and their families. They have a stocked lake with several streams and ponds (including one for women and children only, which I always took full advantage of (sorry, feminists) because it has more fish in it! It is all trout and when I was growing up we always had a freezer full from our fishing trip. My Dad always either cleans and filets the fish himself or pays a man to do it (for every fish he cleans, he takes one of yours). When he wants to fix it, he thaws it, then soaks it in milk in the fridge all day (takes some of the fishy out of it) then seasons it up with lemon pepper and grills it (wrapped in foil) YUM!!


looks like a lot of fun! My only suggestion is to eat them right away. They are so good freshly prepared.


You all seem to be fans of America's Test Kitchen – cooksillustrated.com has two of my favorite trout recipes: simple and delicious Pan-Fried Trout, and Roasted Stuffed Trout. Check them out if you have the subscription – you won't be disappointed!

Moncada Family

This won't help you now but it is MUCH EASIER to get bones out if you leave the heads on until after you cook them…I know its gross BUT after you cook it you just peel the head back and the bones come with it. VIOLA!!!! You can't mess up with trout it is delish any way you cook it! Have fun! 🙂

Katie @ Dark Fairy Designs

Wow that place looks like so much fun, I'm a big supporter of teaching children where their food comes from (especially with such cute results!)

You don't want to do too much to these and please, please don't coat and fry them! Fish this fresh needs to take centre stage! I'd suggest stuffing herbs, olive oil, slices of garlic, slices of lemon and a bay leaf into the stomach and grilling those babies.

Or bake them with a little olive oil then flake them up when cold and mix with a little mayo and lemon to make sandwiches.



pan-fried (but not breaded) in a iron skillet is my favorite way to eat trout, but grilled is amazing, too. Add lemons and capers!!! Yum!!


We did this several years ago and we grilled them in tin foil w/ lemon and other seasonings. My kids loved it and it was their first experience eating fish.

Theresa and Robert

When we are fishing, we coat them in a mix of cornmeal and flour with salt and pepper, and then fry them in a nonstick skillet. You can tell they are done when the skin starts to peel away from the edges. To eat, we take the tines of a fork, position it near the spine area inside the fish, then gently pull towards the outside. The meat will come right out and the skeleton and skin will remain. Sometimes we don't coat them, just fry them up in a buttered skillet, pull out the meat and make fish tacos. Cooking in camp makes them taste extra special! And fresh is best.


Congrats on the great catch! I have always loved fishing, and on family trips we've caught and cooked our own trout too. In case you don't want to go the fried route, I'd suggest oven-baked trout. Lemon juice, fresh herbs, and some white wine- a simple, delicious fish dish. 🙂


You went to Trout Dale?! That's awesome. I always drive by it on the way to the beach, but have never actually stopped.


I love trout that is baked in the oven whole. It can not be easier to prepare. Salt and pepper the fish and put thinly sliced lemon in the middle. Dot with butter and bake. After it bakes it is really easy to separate the fish from the bones. Hope you enjoy them!


For trout, I butterfly them (take out the ribs and spine as much as possible – it can get a bit messy) and then put butter and brown sugar and salt in a cast iron pan. When it's all hot, I put the fishes, skin side down, in the pan and cover it over. They cook in just a few minutes and smell and taste mild and smoky, like I cooked them over a campfire.

mmmm. It's fast, though, so make any side dishes before!

Your daughters are too too cute!



We just ate this last night: Fish Tacos. Cook the fish on the grill, make some guacamole, mango chutney, and salsa. Have a side of vinegary coleslaw and soft tortillas. Pile it all up in the tortilla and Yum! I don't even like fish and I really enjoyed the fish tacos we had last night.


We really like whole trout cooked in a salt dome. It sounds odd, but the fish don't end up too salty, just delicious. The salt might be fun for Scarlet to work with and pack on. The recipe we use comes from the food network. I think it might be Alton Brown…good luck!


trout hash. i'd cook the trout with butter in a cast iron skillet, skin side down to add some crunch. then shred up the trout and toss with oven roasted cubed garlic/sea salt potatoes (broiled for a bit of crunch, too). then add a drizzle of brown butter over the top. and of course a side of eggs. mmm…wish i had fishies in my fridge!


My dad used to take my brother, sister and me to Troutdale. One time we ran out of "bait" (American Cheese- my dad wouldn't spring for the fancy worms) and my brother caught a fish by sticking the bucket into the water!


I don't have a recipe for you — just a little story: my daughter went fishing for the first time this summer and was the first on the boat to catch a fish — a flounder — she was very proud and excited and didn't make the connection to the little mermaid until the next day. Thankfully we had thrown the fish back so it wasn't too traumatic!


Lot's of yummy recipes! I went fishing this weekend, but we didn't catch anything. I vote for SongBird's recipe (comment 21), sounds like my salmon recipe. Onions, brown sugar, pinch of salt and a few squeezes of a lemon, wrapped in foil and put in the oven. Scarlett's reaction had me lol'ing at work..!


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