Family Fish Fry – Best Fried Fish

by Alli

Family Fish Fry is always my favorite night when we visit St. George Island! 

My brother and his family have been vacationing at St. George Island since my nephew, Biff, was just a tiny lad.  Somewhere along the way, mom and dad began to accompany them on their adventures.  

A short time later, my sister, Melinda, and her family joined up on a yearly trek, all the way from beautiful Colorado.  My other brothers have been several times, as has my aunt Jane.  

Because of conflicting schedules, I’ve only been a few times, but boy, the priceless memories we have made!

More About St. George Island

St. George Island is a beautiful, unspoiled 28-mile barrier island, located on North Florida’s gulf coast (just threw in a little geography lesson, didn’t I?).  It is a peaceful, serene bit of paradise and is rated as one of the top beaches in the US!

View of St. George Island Sunset

Fishing On St. George Island 

My family goes for the fishing, the beach, relaxation, and isolation. We go to get away from it all! There are only a few rules:  

  • We must be beachfront (read about my views, shared by the rest of the family, on that subject here) with an awesome front porch for early morning coffee and conversation.  I’m not the only early bird in my family!  
  • We must all have our own bedroom/bathroom.  And Patty and Melinda always find the best beach house for us!

St. George Island is not for party animals, nor for people wanting somewhere to go every minute of the day.  If that’s what’s desired, go to North Myrtle Beach, my immediate family vacation hot spot!  I always say that St. George reminds me of those sleepy little islands that beach novels allude to, and we love it!

These are my brother, Stan’s, rods. Novices like me aren’t allowed to touch them!

Family Fish Fry On St. George Island

One of our favorite nights is Family Fish Fry night, where we fry up (well, I don’t actually cook on this night) the fish we have caught, plus sides like fried green tomatoes and Stan’s Hushpuppies.  A few weeks ago we caught sea trout, whiting, Spanish mackerel, and croaker.  My brother cleaned the fish and filleted them.

Helpful Hint:  Use an electric knife to fillet a fish. There are electric knives made especially for filleting fish, but any electric knife will do!

We don’t like a lot of breading on our fish.  We like them the simple way mom and dad have been frying them for years.  Easy on the salt, mom!  🙂


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Yield: 10 servings

Family Fish Fry – St. George Style

Fried Fish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes


  • fish fillets, rinsed and patted dry
  • cornmeal mix
  • peanut oil for deep frying, six cups if using outside cooker
  • sprinkle of salt and pepper on each fillet


  1. Heat oil between 325-350. Don't go over 350 or under 325.
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper over fish and coat with the cornmeal mix.
  3. Fry in heated oil until browned on both sides. It only takes about 7-11 minutes to fry, depending on the thickness of the fish fillets.

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