Perfectly Pan Fried Pickerel Fish Fillets

So Bulldog and Waspbait went ice fishing yesterday and came home with some beautiful fresh caught pickerel!  Straight from the lake to the pan.  It doesn’t get any tastier than that!  My family loves it best when it’s pan fried to a nice golden brown color.  Here’s how to perfectly pan fry pickerel or trout fish fillets.

Pan fried pickerel walleye

What you need:

Fish Fillets                                                                  Lemon Dill Mayo Sauce

  • trout or pickerel fillets                                    1/4 Cup mayonnaise
  • Canola Oil                                                     1 tsp dill
  • 1 Cup all purpose flour                                   1 tbsp lemon zest or 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp paprika                                               1/4 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp salt                                                       seasoning salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • lemon pepper seasoning
  • lemon juice


Pour the canola oil into a deep frying pan until it is about 2 cm deep.  Heat the oil on a medium high heat.  (On my oven I set the dial for the stovetop element to 6.  It’s the perfect temperature!)  While that heats up mix the flour, paprika, salt and pepper on a plate.  Rinse the pickerel fillets but don’t pat them dry.  Leave them damp.  Dredge the fillet through the flour mixture until it is completely covered.  Lay it gently in the hot oil.  Repeat with the rest of the fillets.  Don’t crowd the pan though.  Make sure there is some room all the way around the fillet for the oil to do its job.  Sprinkle some lemon pepper seasoning onto each fillet as it cooks.  Let it fry in the oil for about 5 minutes  (a little less for thinner fillets, a little more for thicker)  Check occasionally so it doesn’t get overcooked.  You don’t want to end up with some kind of tough fried fish jerky, we are aiming for a nice flaky fish.  (to check just gently lift up one end of a fillet with tongs an peek at the color, don’t take the whole fish out of the pan)  When it is a nice golden color gently flip the fillets to cook the other side.  Sprinkle again with lemon pepper seasoning.  Cook the second side for 2 to 5 minutes depending on the thickness of your fillet.  Again check occasionally.  When the second side is a beautiful golden color remove the fillets from the oil.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve with tartar sauce or a nice lemon dill mayo on the side.

pan frying pickerel walleye trout

Lemon Dill Sauce

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and serve alongside the fried fish.

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