Catching a bunch of croakers and frying them up whole is a childhood memory many locals still cherish. Today, it’s pretty much gone because trout and redfish get all the attention. Croakers large enough to eat are sometimes difficult to find, and few anglers even try. But recently, some nice-sized croakers have begun to appear at Seabrook and other areas around South Louisiana — offering a chance to renew this old tradition. 

On the trip with Sumas and Weiss, we were able to target and catch enough croakers to have a fish fry. The best time to catch croakers is mid- to late summer and early fall, with deep-water areas being the best places to try. 

We were fishing in 30 to 60 feet of water, and we used drop-shot rigs and small pieces of market shrimp straight down on the bottom. You may have to cycle through a few hard heads, but if bull croakers are there, you’ll catch enough of them for a meal. Remember, all you have to do is scale them, cut off the head, gut them and fry the whole fish (rolled in corn meal) in hot grease, just like you used to do. And yes, they still taste just as good as they did when you were a kid.