With their pretty white meat, crappie have a reputation as excellent table fare.

“They’re real mild,” said Mark Collins, a professional fishing guide on Weiss Lake. “They don’t have a fishy taste. If they were legal to sell, I could sell every fish in this lake.”

Collins catches plenty of crappie and likes feeding them to his family. Like most people, he enjoys the boneless filets fried. He also has a special way to prepare them for a little change of pace. He got the idea while eating snapper scampi on the Gulf Coast.

Crappie Scampi

10 to 12 crappie filets
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon chopped parsley
½ teaspoon oregano
Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place crappie filets in a 10-inch Pyrex baking dish. In a saucepan, melt the butter and combine it with the rest of the ingredients. Cover the filets with the liquid and place in the oven for seven minutes. Remove and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Return to the oven for three more minutes. Remove and serve.

– Robert DeWitt

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