To fry a bass filet I roll it in a mixture of 4 parts cornmeal and 1 part flour, drop it into the hot grease and let it cook until just done. Overcooking fish is the best way I know to loose flavor and make it tough. You can dip the filet in egg before rolling in meal, and that makes it stick better, if you want more meal on your filet. If you like a lot of breading on your fish, make a batter of milk, egg and flour, dip your fish in it and then fry. The batter will get crunchy brown but the fish inside will be moist and tender.
I don't especially like baked fish but it is simple. Put a couple of filets in a microwave pan, dab on some butter and a little salt and nuke until it turns white. Add some onion and bell pepper for added flavor. Lemon pepper seasoning salt also makes it better to me. Even better is to cover the filets with Pepperidge Farms Stuffing Mix before baking. Crush up the mix into a coarse powder, cover the filets and nuke. It is very good, with little fishy taste.
I have never met a fish stew or chowder I didn't like. One of my favorites is a milk based stew. Boil your fish and remove the bones. Fry up some bacon and crumble it up Flake the fish into a pot, add diced potatoes or rice, bacon and onions, cover with milk and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Add some salt and pepper while cooking. It is almost as good as New England clam chowder. I use rice milk since I am allergic to real milk, and although not as good, it ain't bad.
Another strong fish stew is made with tomatoes. I filet my bass but keep the bones and any attached meat. The bones are covered with water, salt and a couple of bay leaves and boiled. The broth is strained and kept. Add the filets and any meat you can pull off the bones back to the broth. Add diced canned tomatoes, hot sauce like Tabasco, salt and chopped onions. Simmer about an hour. For a more hearty stew, add diced potatoes or rice. Make it as hot as you like. It is great on a cold winter day.
Carp recipes are common. Ron Brooks reminded mo how to cook roasted planked carp. Scale and gut a carp. Nail it to a plank. Roast over an open fire until the meat flakes. Throw away the carp and eat the plank. Onions and bell pepper may be added. There is also a recipe for baked carp. Scale and gut the carp and split into two halves. Place a brick between the two halves, cover with bell pepper, onion and salt and wrap in tin foil Bake in an oven for three hours. Unwrap carefully, throw away the carp and eat the brick. It will be better than the carp. Also works with a shingle or, if camping, a river rock.
I do have a serious recipe for carp. I can mine. I filet the carp, cut the filets into two inch chunks, bone and all ,and put into a pint canning jar with a tablespoon of cooking oil and a tablespoon of salt. Put the top on the jar and pressure cook for 90 minutes at 110 pounds. Take out and cool and let the jars seal. The bones will be soft just like in canned salmon. I make fish patties with the meat, chopped onion and bell pepper and crushed saltines. When pan fried they are almost as good as salmon croquettes.
One of the best fish I ever ate was while camping on Cape Breton Island off the New Brunswick coast in the mid-1970's. I caught an ocean fish and was told it was a pollack. I had never heard of them but they are sold in local grocery stores now. I wrapped it in tinfoil and baked it on my charcoal grill. The white meat was excellent! You can grill almost any fish but bass and other tender fish tear up easily. I got a fish holder for my grill. It is two long handler with a grill-like square on the end of each. They attach together. Put the filet between them, close it up and you can turn the fish without tearing it up.
Let me know about your favorite ways to cook what you catch.