The People, Places, and the History of The Northern Neck of VA

November 2, 2022

There are more than one fish to fry…

“Boiled Fish and Potatoes for Breakfast!”

It may seem funny, but Wheaties was not the breakfast of champions for everyone on “The Neck.”

A hearty breakfast of boiled  fish, potatoes,  crisp bacon then using a drizzle of the bacon drippings over the  potatoes and the fish was the breakfast of choice for many a household.

For most, the fish of choice were either the spot or the croaker. Both spots and croakers have the versatility as good choices for frying and boiling.

“Spot and croaker are often mentioned together since they are caught in the same way, in the same place, using the same bait. Mature spot are broader and not as long as mature croakers. They have a distinctive spot just behind their gill plate. Croakers have a dark base to their pectoral fin, causing inexperienced anglers to confuse the two species. These days I mostly use spot and croakers for bait to catch larger fish. But in late summer or early fall I will still target larger “yellow belly” spot when they are moving out of their inshore haunts toward their fall and winter spawning grounds. “Yellow belly” refers to the tendency for the belly of spot to turn yellow late in the season.

Eating-size spot and croaker used to be abundant throughout the summer and into the fall. Though these fish are still around, the average size is much smaller these days.”


Both of these fish are wonderful fried, so pass the corn bread, and hot sauce, and let’s eat!


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