Drive past any lake, river or beach and chances are great you’ll see people, often entire families, gathered along the shore or in boats fishing. Fishing is one of America’s most popular pastimes, something in which people of all ages can participate. It’s an activity that 46 million Americans enjoy each year as a way to have fun together and spend time outdoors.

Many people go fishing for the thrill of the catch or a peaceful escape. For some, however, those things are just bonuses. They go fishing because they like to eat fish. And the fish they like most are those they caught themselves, fresh from their favorite fishing holes. You probably know you should be eating fish twice a week. Fish are a lean, healthy source of protein, and oily kinds, such as salmon and trout, deliver the heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 fats you need in your diet.

Cooking The Catch: 9 Tasty Fish Recipes

Photo by Jack Bissell

Along with immediate health benefits, eating fish also helps to prevent a long list of diseases, from cancer to heart disease, depression to arthritis, making the consumption of fish well worth your time.

Remember, the shorter the time from hook to cook, the better the flavor. And in summer, always put fish on ice immediately after you catch them so they taste their best. The most important rule when preparing fish is never to overcook it. It’s naturally tender and cooks quickly. When you test the thickest part with a fork and it flakes easily, it’s ready to serve.

All you need now are some recipes to try. That’s where we can help. The following tried-and-true methods of preparation will enable you to cook delicious fish your family and friends will rave about. Unless otherwise noted, they’re suited to almost any kind of fish you might catch. Bon appétit!

This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Spring 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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