The Great Outdoors


C – A – R – P

(The other fish meat.)

People ask me what is my favorite fish, where I go to fish, and why. All I have to do is mention C-A-R-P and I set my listeners into a fury. You might as well join them in their jocularity and then I’ll set you straight on my choices.

First of all there is no limit on the size or number you can catch. You can spear them if you don’t have the patience to set on a 5-gallon bucket and watch your poles or hunt for them with bow and arrow. And finally, if you don’t want to eat them you can use them to fertilize your garden, flowers, or rhubarb patch. If C-A-R-P are caught in ‘fresh’ water (NOT AROUND SEWERS) they are good to eat. They are the cheapest fish to catch with bluegill and trout bringing up the final choices on the fish species that I like to go after. All you need is a can of whole kernel corn and you’re all set to go fishin’ or as we say down home, go carpin’.

Once you have a single carp or several carp you’re ready to ‘fix’ ’em for supper. I like to use a 6-inch wide board with a clamp on one end when I’m going to scale and/or filet them. If I’m going to filet them for frying I don’t bother to scale them. I just filet them as usual and just before I bring the knife all the way out I flip the filet and slide the knife between the filet and the skin and then slice the skin away along with the scales. If you are going to bake the fish whole then you need to scale the fish. It’s the same way you filet a bass if you’re not one of those ‘catch and release’ fin-atics.

CARP filets (mud streak removed – this lies just under the skin)
Salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder (to taste)
Egg (beaten with a little water)
Canola oil or olive oil for frying

Mix the cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder together in amount of each to suit your own personal taste. Dip the filets in the beaten egg mixture and roll in the cornmeal/flour mixture. Fry in about an inch of oil until golden brown on one side and then turn the filet and do the same with the other side.

CARP filets from about a 6-lb fish
Cooking oil
1/2 cup sour cream

Coat a baking dish with oil or spray with Pam. Lay the salted filets in the baking dish and spread the sour cream over the filets. Sprinkle with paprika and bake for 20-minutes at 300 degrees.
Melt some margarine in the bottom of a glass baking dish, lay the filets in the melted margarine, turn the filets over to coat the filets, and sprinkle them liberally with Lemon Pepper and bake as above.

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Ray McCune

He has lived in Waynedale for over 45 years. He has taken to his lifelong dream of being a full time Outdoor Freelance Writer and author. Ray has authored one book and has written Kampfire Kookin' as well as other outdoors articles for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer