Skip to main content

Southern-Style Fried Shellcrackers Recipe

Redear sunfish are delicious any way you prepare them, but this simple, traditional recipe is hard to beat.

Southern-Style Fried Shellcrackers Recipe

Photo by Keith Sutton

Print Recipe

Southern-Style Fried Shellcrackers

Serves: 4-5
Prep time: 15 minutes+ 1-2 hours marinating time
Cook time: 20-30 minutes


  • 2 pounds pan-dressed shellcrackers (scales, heads and entrails removed)
  • 3 ounces Louisiana hot sauce
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Peanut oil for frying


  1. Marinate the fish for 1 to 2 hours in a mixture of hot sauce and milk. Remove fish and drain.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large plastic bag. Add one or two fish at a time and shake to coat.
  3. Cook the fish in 2 inches of peanut oil in a deep fryer heated to 365 degrees. Fry until the thickest part of the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Remove and drain on paper towels.
  5. Repeat with remaining fish.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Game & Fish Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Game & Fish stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now