Hello, everyone. Tight Line Jr. here, and I hope all of you had a good week. Looks like sunshine this weekend so I hope you’re out there enjoying it.
I have a few reports from our coast and from around the southeastern fishing area. My friend Mike Flatt and company went down south to Steinhatchee, Fla., last week for a four-day fishing trip. He said they caught and released a mess of small trout. However, the keepers measured between 19-22 inches long, and they caught their limit. That had to be a good time. When you are landing trout that size, you need to make sure you have an expert working the landing net, which is an important part of a fishing trip.
Locally, the shrimp are not plentiful but it should not be long before they start showing up in abundance. I spoke with local crab fisherman Capt. Jerry Allen this week and he said the crabbing is starting to pick up.
Allen said that the soft-shell crabs are in season and his catch has been pretty good. If you’ve never had a fried, soft-shell crab, you’re missing out on one of the tastiest pleasures in life. It would be in your best interest to try the recipe I provided.
The large amount of rain we got last week will help out on the salt-water fishing. I have a report from Jekyll Island from my good friend Capt. Eric Moody. Moody had a charter this week and said they caught a nice mess of whiting and several big catch-and-release spottail bass. They also landed some shark, which is a sure sign the water temperature is warming up.
Many locals remember the old Tea Room at Yellow bluff. Eating oysters and square dancing at the Tea Room was a big thing back in the day, but that was a long time ago. Although it is no longer there, we still have photos to remember it. Thanks to Lu Smith for the sensational photograph.
Fried soft-shell crab
4 soft-shell crabs
½ cup of milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of oil for frying
Clean each crab. Lift one pointed side of the top shell and remove the crab’s gills. Push the shell back down and repeat on the other side of the crab. On the bottom side, remove the tail flap by twisting and pulling it off. Using a pair of scissors, remove the face by cutting behind the eyes. Rinse the crabs thoroughly with cold water and dry them on paper towels.
In a shallow dish, whisk together the egg and milk using a fork. In a separate bowl, stir salt and pepper into the flour. Lightly salt the crab, then dip it in the flour, dip it in the egg and then dip it back into the flour again. Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet until it bubbles.
Carefully place crabs in the hot oil. Cook approximately 2 minutes or until golden brown on one side. Carefully turn the crabs over in the hot oil and cook until golden brown. Drain the crabs on paper towels. Serve immediately. You can eat the whole crab.
If you need bait, Yellow Bluff has live minnows and fiddlers. Rayburn Goodman said he was going to try to get some live shrimp this week. Sunbury Crab Company has fresh, frozen shrimp. Halfmoon Marina has frozen shrimp. The Sunbury Country Store has local frozen shrimp and squid.
Until next week, remember what Ol’ Tight Line always said: Get out there and go fishing and if you do, remember to keep a tight line. I say hit the docks, keep a sharp eye and watch that cork go down.
Tight line Jr.