What’s for dinner? How about freshly caught fish?
At your Sandbridge Beach rental, you can reel in your own “catch of the day,” then cook up a luscious seafood meal in your fully equipped kitchen. All you’ll need is a Virginia Saltwater Fishing License (for the ocean), a Freshwater License (for Back Bay), and/or a Cast Net License (for shrimping).
Licenses are readily available – online, at area tackle shops, and even at the local WalMart. They’re affordable, too. You can get a five-day combined saltwater/freshwater license for only $24 (Virginia residents) or $31 (non-residents).
Visiting from out of state and planning to fish in fresh water? Pay just $8 for a one-day license or $21 for five consecutive days. Prefer surf fishing from the shore? Get a 10-day permit for only $10 (residents and non-residents alike).
Where to Catch Dinner
Love freshwater delicacies like channel catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill, perch, and crappie? Grab a seat on a nearby boat dock overlooking a Back Bay canal. If you’re patient and persistent, you’re pretty sure to get a bite.
Prefer saltwater fish such as gray trout, flounder, bluefish, striped bass, drum, croaker, and mahi mahi? Cast your line from the ocean shore or from Little Island Fishing Pier.
Hankering for deep-water fish like cobia, sea bass, king mackerel, striper, and tuna? Charter a head boat or charter boat for an offshore fishing excursion. (All charter companies are located in nearby Virginia Beach.)
Eager to try your hand at shrimping? The warmer waters around Sandbridge Beach teem with delicious Virginia shrimp. Stock up on shrimp bait, purchase a shrimping net, and start casting. (If you’re new to shrimping, just ask your local tackle shop for tips. Or go online to watch instructional videos.)
Once you’ve caught and cleaned your haul, you’re ready to take it to table. Try these three yummy recipes, all proven family favorites:
Parmesan- & Panko-Crusted Fish
4 fresh fish filets of your choice (approximately 6 ounces each)
1 egg white beaten with 2 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of flour seasoned with a sprinkle of salt and pepper
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Canola oil for shallow frying
Preheat a skillet to medium heat with approximately 1″ of canola oil in the bottom.
Season the fish with garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Dust each filet with flour. You might use a zip-top baggie and gently toss the filets around, so the flour is evenly distributed.
Dip the filets into the egg wash, then press the fish into the grated parmesan cheese (on both sides).
Gently lay the fish into the heated oil and shallow-fry until golden brown on each side. (Approximately 4 minutes per side.)
Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.
Oven-Roasted Beaufort Stew
2 dozen jumbo shrimp (deveined but in the shell)
6 ears of corn cut in half
Smoked sausage or kielbasa of your choice, cut into 3″ pieces
2 pounds of small red potatoes, scrubbed
Old Bay seasoning
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a single layer on a large metal sheet pan, add the corn and potatoes. Keep each in its own section of the pan. Drizzle with canola oil. Sprinkle with salt and Old Bay. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove the pan. Turn the potatoes and corn. Add the sausage pieces (to the same pan with the potatoes and corn). Season with Old Bay. Return to the oven and roast another 20 minutes. Pull the pan out. Turn the corn, potatoes and sausage. Add the shrimp. Drizzle with oil and Old Bay. Roast for 10-20 minutes or just until the shrimp turn pink and are firm to the touch.
Cheesy Shrimp-&-Grits Casserole
4 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 cups grits
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons butter
6 green onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 pounds small fresh shrimp (cooked, peeled, and de-veined)
1 ten-ounce can of diced tomatoes and green chilis, drained
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Bring 4 cups chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in grits. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15-20 minutes, stirring often. (Note: If using Quaker quick grits, simply follow instructions on package.)
Stir together cooked grits and 1-1/2 cups cheese.
Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add green onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute’ five minutes or until tender.
Stir together green-onions mixture, grits mixture, cooked shrimp, and next three ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Optional for cheese lovers: Sprinkle additional shredded cheese over baked casserole before serving. Yum!
Prefer Something Even Quicker and Simpler?
- Pan-sear trout filets in butter or olive oil.
- Rub mild, delicate fish with clarified butter, paprika, and nutmeg; bake in a covered dish at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes; and serve with a savory butter-and-capers sauce.
- Grill fish steaks to juicy perfection and serve with sour cream/horseradish sauce.
Your options are as endless as the ocean. And just as wonderful!