Mullet

What is it: It’s not unusual to see a Mullet flying through the air. Not only are there entire festivals dedicated to tossing this fish, they often jump on their own accord, possibly to avoid deep-sea prey. They’re used as bait fish more often than not, but the old salts will tell you that fresh Mullet from the Gulf Coast is one of the tastiest fish you’ll find.

When to Get it: When a fish is thrown for sport, you know there’s going to be plenty to go around all year long. Mullet are freshest when enjoyed during the spring or fall months, so look for it when the weather is moderate.

Where Does it Come From: Mullet aren’t very picky about their living spaces, so you’ll find them in both salty and fresh waters, especially where the two waters meet. It’s been said that salt water Mullet are the tastiest sort, so choose wisely if you’re fishing for your own. And remember that regular bait won’t do—these guys are vegetarians.

How it’s Prepared: You can cook Mullet just about any way you please, but folks will tell you that this is the perfect choice for a backyard fish fry. Once you’ve rounded up enough filets, season them heavily with salt and pepper, roll them in corn meal and deep fry them in peanut oil for about five minutes.

Species: Striped Mullet.