Fried Florida Redfish Italian Style

Thursday, October 8, 2009
Here is what we consider the perfect catch, our favorite Fried Florida Redfish.

My husband Nemo and I got up at 5am and headed over to the beach to surf fish in the ocean, around 85+ degrees, a perfect Florida day.

Using mullet as bait, my husband using a cast net, couldn't believe how plentiful they were.

He said this is the mullet run when the mullet head for South Florida for warmer water.

We both love to fish, and this is one of our favorite fish to eat, Red Fish.

I asked my husband, Nemo, to help me post on how to filet a fish, and with a name like Nemo, yes like the fish, he is definitely the expert.

Believe me, he has had many people comment on his real Italian name, and reference to the movie Finding Nemo.

He was a real partner on this meal with me, as he will give you great instructions on how to filet Red Fish, and he makes it look so easy!

Fileting the Red Fish (these are my husband's instructions below for cleaning) he cleans it, I cook it.

I have a hard time reeling these bad boys in so he is holding up mine and the one he caught.

Melbourne Beach, Florida October 8th, 2009 The Red (Drum) Fish Story

fried redfish with cracker crumbs

nemo holding my catch of redfish and his

Cleaning Redfish Step By Step

  1. Start by making a cut behind the gill from the backbone to the stomach section.
  2. Then, begin cutting along the backbone toward the tail.
  3. Pull the filet away from the bone and run your knife gently along the previous cut line along the backbone, the filet will separate nicely from the body.
  4. You must then cut through the rib cage and finally cut the filet away from the body.
  5. Flip the fish over and repeat on the other side.
  6. Then, using your fingers, find the bones and slice them out with your knife.
  7. Using a filet board, place the skin at the end of the tail in the clamp, lay your knife flat on the skin, and run the knife under the meat, separating it from the skin.
  8. You will have two nice filets and easy-to-dispose-of carcasses or use them to make fish stock.

cleaned redfish

Other Fish Substitutions Using this Recipe

  • Haddock
  • Walleye
  • Tilapia
  • Alaskan Cod
  • Catfish
  • Halibut
  • Striped Bass
  • Trout
  • Perch
  • Chilean Seabass
  • Trout
  • Snook
  • Redfish
  • Flounder ( very thin best batter fried)
  • Halibut
  • Salmon
  • Bass

fried redfish


  • Before cooking, make sure your filet is completely dry—inside and out— since excess moisture lowers the temperature of the oil and causes the oil to become more agitated, which leads to burnt fish and a messy splattered kitchen (I know from experience).
  • Always heat the oil first to heating instructions
  • Don't crowd the fish in the pan
  • Putting a lot of food into the oil all at once can lower the temperature drastically and allow the oil to seep into the food, resulting in greasy and heavy food.
  • Frying in small batches produces much better results.
  • A good rule of thumb is to not use more than half of the surface area of the hot oil.
  • Place fish on paper towels to drain the oil after cooking

fried fish

Some Red Drum fish facts:

The Red Drum, also known as the Redfish or Channel Bass, has a reddish overall coloration and one or more dark spots at the base of the tail.

It feeds at the bottom on crustaceans and mollusks.

It also takes small fish, especially mullet. The usual adult weight is under 40 pounds but can reach into the 90-pound range.

The Redfish is a super-challenging opponent on the grass beds and flats of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. We live around nine miles from the ocean and 4 miles from the Indian River, where these usually are found.

Also, Titusville, Mosquito Lagoon, is a really popular place to fish for them.

The shallower the water, the more chance you have to find these.

The bulk of small marine life and food will be found in shallow water around structures and near grassy areas.

This offers small fish, crustaceans, and mollusks protection from predators.

Therefore, Redfish will be found near this abundant food supply, and since mullet were plentiful yesterday, Redfish were in the area.

breading station

Fishing Redfish Basics:

Redfish are very wary and will spook very easily.

This is especially true in shallow or very clear water.

Approach quietly with a push pole taking extra care not to make any unnecessary noises.
Incoming tides bring with them food, bait fish, etc. that the Redfish will feed on.

Also, small crabs and shrimp become more active on the incoming tide enticing the Redfish to feed at those locations.

The opposite is true for outgoing tides – as the water withdraws, the Redfish will wait and feed on whatever bait is carried back out with the tide.

Channels and deeper areas are good places to find Redfish on an outgoing tide. Work these locations for some terrific action.

Lures and Baits:
Shrimp, pinfish, small crabs, finger mullet, and cut baits are excellent for catching Redfish.

They can be fished under a float or free-lined into currents past structures or grass flats where the fish are.

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Yield: 6
Author: Claudia Lamascolo
Fried Florida Red Fish Italian Style

Fried Florida Red Fish Italian Style

Redfish is a deliciously mild and flaky fish found in intercostal waterways or along the beach
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 6 MinTotal time: 21 Min


  • 2 fresh Redfish filets cleaned (use any mild white fish)
  • 1 package of buttery crisp crackers ground in a food processor or crushed in a plastic bag using a rolling pin
  • 1/2 cup flour seasoned with 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon each of salt, and pepper (if you like hot and spicy add a pinch of cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 cup milk with a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice
  • canola oil or vegetable oil for frying


  1. In a plastic bag shake the fish to coat with seasoned flour.
  2. Place milk in a pie plate or long dish with vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Dip fillets in the milk and then into the cracker crumbs.
  4. In a large heavy fry pan or deep fryer, heat oil to around 375 degrees.
  5. Place filets in the oil when hot and cook on both sides till nicely browned.
  6. Fresh fish cooks quickly for around 3 minutes on each side.
  7. This fish doesn't need anything added to it. The meat is firm white meat and has a delicate flavor.
  8. Serve as is or with cocktail or tartar sauce.


Other Fish Substitutions Using this Recipe

  • Haddock
  • Walleye
  • Tilapia
  • Alaskan Cod
  • Catfish
  • Halibut
  • Striped Bass
  • Trout
  • Perch
  • Chilean Seabass
  • Trout
  • Snook
  • Redfish
  • Flounder ( very thin best batter fried)
  • Halibut
  • Salmon
  • Bass

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

2.4 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.37 g

Carbs (grams)

15 g

Fiber (grams)

0.09 g

Net carbs

15.45 g

Sugar (grams)

0.52 g

Protein (grams)

1.85 g

Sodium (milligrams)

909.52 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

0.21 mg

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