LITTLE ROCK - One of the best ways to beat the heat of summer for a camping/fishing combination is a trip to the cool tailwaters formed by Norfork, Bull Shoals and Greers Ferry Lakes. The dams forming these Corps of Engineers impoundments release cold water from the bottom of the water column. That rush of cold water can chase away the stifling heat, offering a brief respite from the summer sun.
That same cold water, however, is unsuitable for native warmwater species. To offset this unexpected loss of natural resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to stock rainbow, brown, cutthroat and brook trout. These non-native fish thrive in cold water, and have created world-famous fisheries.
Luckily for campers, theres no better way to enjoy a trout dinner than when it is cooked over a campfire or grill. The delicate meat becomes infused with the smoky flavor of the fire and needs very little else in the way of seasonings. Here are a few favorite ways the anglers at the AGFC have found to create delicious dishes from these introduced delicacies. It doesn't matter if you use rainbow, brown, brook or cutthroat trout, all found in Arkansas. Each recipe suits smaller fish from 12- to 16-inches best, letting you release the real trophies to be caught another day.
6 small dressed trout
6 slices bacon
1/2 cup sherry
1/2 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt the inside of the fish. Mix the sherry, melted butter and lemon juice. Place the dressed fish in a wide pan and cover with the marinade. Let stand for 1 hour.
Wrap bacon around the fish and hold in place with skewers. Cook over a hot fire basting frequently. Cook until the bacon is crisp, turning only once.
(Adapted from a recipe of the Red Cliff Chippewas; from 'Old Times Recipes')
Grilled Sesame Trout
6 to 8 pan-size trout
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 teaspoons salt
1/4 tablespoon pepper
1/4 cup sesame seeds
3/4 cup margarine
Make three light slashes on each side of fish. Combine lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Marinate fish in refrigerator all day. To grill, toast sesame seeds until brown. Add margarine and heat. Drain lemon juice mixture from fish and add some to sesame seeds and butter. Place fish in large folding wire grill basket or directly on grill. Cook over medium coals about 5 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Baste frequently with sesame seed mixture.
Note: A grill basket works well to keep the fish from sticking to the grill and falling apart.
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