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Taste Test! Saltwater Vs. Freshwater Plus Fried Fish Recipe

Author: Will Daniel

            On January 13, 2021, we loaded up my Key West boat and headed east to reach the cold waters of Badin Lake in Badin, North Carolina, to chase some crappie for dinner. The method of fishing was very slow trolling jigs with long rods off the side of the boat. The day started off pretty eventful with a lot of bites early, but the bite quickly turned off after catching a few crappie to put in the cooler. The only thing we found the rest of the day was bait, and I mean lots of bait. In 35 feet of water, by sonar showed bait from the bottom all the way to 5 feet in this one pocket. Finally realizing the fish were not biting, we packed it up and headed home. We had enough fish for a normal person to have dinner, by my dad and especially me can put away seafood like nothing so we needed something more. I went to Publix to get ingredients to cook the crappie and saw that they had just gotten fresh cobia in from Florida. I thought this would be a perfect time to do a saltwater verses freshwater taste test.

            I decided for this taste test to do my favorite fried fish recipe. In no particular amount, the recipe consists of:

Wet Batter:

3 Eggs

Dry Batter:


Buttermilk pancake mix (secret ingredient)

Panko bread crumbs 

Fresh cracked salt

Fresh cracked black pepper

Lemon pepper

Garlic powder

Cajun creole seasoning 

 This is by far my favorite recipe I have come up with to fry fish, shrimp, scallops and other seafood and I highly recommend you try it, especially with the pancake mix, that is the secret right there. For cooking, we used a deep fryer filled with vegetable oil and cooked until the batter was crispy and golden brown. Salt the fish after coming out of the fryer. The crappie was cooked whole why the cobia was cooked in fingers/nuggets. Now for the taste test. Both fish were amazing. Frying the crappie whole was amazing and I think the bone in any fish adds a lot of flavor to it. Although this crappie is easily competing for the best freshwater fish I have ever had, it still does not beat the cobia. Cobia has just such a great taste and got so juicy and flakey from the frying. It is hard to get past the distinct freshwater taste with any fish to rival anything from the salt. So overall, I would rank crappie as a top three freshwater fish to eat easily and I highly suggest you try it, but the cobia was amazing and top of the line, making it one of my top five favorite fish of all time to eat. I hope you enjoyed this taste test and gained an awesome frying recipe!

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