Episodes - Lessons
Panfish in the Pan
Panfish in the Pan

Are you craving for delicious fish for dinner? Perhaps you should try lunching on crappie! This is a panfish you can find in rivers and lakes all over the country. They are not picky eaters and so many beginning anglers can pull crappie into the boat by fishing with minnows around downed trees, weeds, stumps, and rocks. And when ranked by anglers on tastiness, crappie are usually at the top of the list!

So what’s the big hype? Crappie do not have a “fishy” taste or odor. Instead, the meat is light and flaky in texture with a sweet and lemony flavor.  And they are also great for your health! Crappie meat is high in protein and Vitamin D, which help your muscles and organs function and improve your immune system. Crappie also contain Omega 3s which are very beneficial to your health. These fatty acids can fight depression, lower risks of heart disease, can help prevent cancer, and promote brain growth!

Yet, you won’t be able to find these in a store or a restaurant! That’s why families and anglers will fish out in nature to get a taste of this yummy fish. And because you are harvesting crappie right from your rivers or lakes, the fish are fresh and still high in nutritional quality. And they make for some great dishes and meals for your family!

So what are some ways you can cook your crappie for dinner? Chew on some of these ideas:

  • Grill – This is a great way to sear in the flavor and juices of the fish! You can grill crappie over any type of grill … including a campfire. Lightly coat your crappie fillets with olive oil and then season them with spices, salt, or pepper. Then grill your fillets until the meat easily flakes with your fork.
  • Pan Frying – This method doesn’t require much gear. With an adult, heat 1/4” of oil in a pan. Then wet your fillets, coat them with batter or flour, and place your fillets in the pan. Let the fillets fry for 3-5 minutes on each side. This will give your fish a golden crunch while keeping the insides moist.
  • Bake – Your fresh crappie fillets are seasoned with salt and pepper, and dipped in butter and lemon juice. Next, you wrap your fillets in aluminum foil, place them on a tray, and bake them in the oven around 400 degrees. This method keeps the center of your fish juicy and moist while giving your meat a nice flake.
  • Deep Frying – This is one of the most popular ways to cook crappie ... To learn more, dig into the video and discover how you can deep fry your fish outside by the river!


Oh there are so many delectable ways you can cook crappie for your table! And if you would like to explore how your family can enjoy you meal by having a shore lunch along the riverbank, tap on the “Learn More” section below or by downloading the lesson activity.

But remember …. It’s important you have an adult with you at all times while preparing and cooking your fish! They can be a great helper in the kitchen and ensure you are safe while handling kitchen appliances.

For all kinds of other helpful information and resources on how kids can learn where-to and how-to go fishing, explore our companion KidsFishing.US website. To discover more about becoming a future angler, visit our educational partners that helped make this video, webpage and lesson possible by clicking on their logos below.

And if you decide to fish, you really need to get serious about being a safe angler. So take the complete online boating and water safety course using the link below.

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