Deep Fried Smothered Crappie Fillets

This simple twist to a classic shore lunch fish fry will have everybody wanting you to catch more crappies. The recipe works well with just about any panfish including perch and bluegill.

Cooking Time

10 Minutes


  • 12 whole crappie fillets or cut into nuggets
  • Canola oil
  • Approximately 2-3 cups of self-rising white cornmeal 
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper 
  • teaspoons of yellow mustard or ranch dressing
  • A few dashes of Louisiana hot sauce (to taste)


  1. Heat canola oil to 365 degrees and maintain heat between 365-375.  Oil temperature is very important.
  2. In a bowl, lightly coat fish fillets in mustard or dressing and hot sauce. Then coat the nuggets in the cornmeal and black pepper mixture.
  3. Once the oil reaches 365 degrees, carefully lay in 4 fillets.  Cooking too many at once will cool the oil too quickly and the result will be oily fish.  Proper oil temperature is key to a crisp golden outside. Cook for 45-60 seconds.  Thicker fillets may require additional time.
  4. Remove cooked fish and place on paper towel. Serve hot.
  5. Make sure you allow the oil to reach 365 degrees again before starting the next batch.
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