Salt E News

Pan Seared American Red Snapper in Pineapple Habanero Cream sauce


American Red Snapper (ARS) is the subject of considerable conversation around Gulf States dinner tables these days and not for its culinary qualities. Sector Separation, catch shares, Us vs Them, and such are dominating the table talk. Set that, and yet another unbelievably short recreational season, aside the ARS is still a favorite fish to work with in any kitchen.

The flesh of ARS is variously described as being lean & medium, having a sweet nutty flavor and  mild & flaky. I fall somewhere in the sweet & nutty opinion. ARS can hold its own in a complex flavor environment.



The Fish

  • American Red Snapper – 1 lb
  • Butter – 2Tbsp
  • Oil – 2Tbsp
  • Cardamom – 1/4 Tsp
  • Saffron Threads – 15-20

The Cream Sauce

  • Heavy Cream – 1Cup
  • Pineapple – 3/4 Cup Diced
  • Habanero – 1/3 – 2/3 Julienned
  • Lime Zest – (optional)


Most of the fixin’s for the dish. Nothing particularly fancy here. It’s all in how these few ingredients come together in the final product.



We start with the sauce. Chop, slice and dice your flavoring bits (Pineapple & Hananero) and combine with the cream in a small cook pot. The amount of Habanero is variable as it is not only quite hot but, can easily overpower the flavor profile of the dish. I recommend you start with a small amount first and adjust through the cooking process. The pineapple provides flavor and sweetness. If you desire, additional sweetness (sugar) may be added to taste.


pineapple habanero cream sauce on the boil

Cook the sauce on medium-low heat to reduce and thicken. This can take 20 minutes or more so get started well enough in advance of your expected mealtime. Cook until flavors are perfect and the desired thickness is achieved. Remove from the stove top and set aside.


melted butter with cardamom and saffron

Partially melt the butter and mix in the Cardamom and Saffron threads.


red snapper coated with saffron cardamom butter

Coat a clean, dry Snapper fillet with 1/2 of the seasoned butter. Set aside, refrigerated,until ready to cook.



Add the remainder of the butter to the oil in a big iron skillet. Heat the skillet to a medium heat.


pan frying delicious american red snapper

When the oil/butter mixture reaches heat, add the ARS, cooking on both sides for 2 minutes each.


pineapple habanero cream sauce plated

Start the plating process by placing a spoonful or two of the Pineapple Habanero Cream Sauce on your serving plate. If you choose, this is where you would add the lime zest. Just sprinkle it on the sauce.


tasty red snapper from the west coast of florida

Bring the ARS to the plate, top with a few more spoonfuls of the sauce and you are ready to head for the dinner table.


Pan Seared American Red Snapper in a Pineapple Habanero Cream Sauce

The juxtaposition of the Cardamom, Saffron Butter and the Pineapple Habanero Cream sauce create a subtle (depending on how much Habanero you used) and varied taste experience. American Red Snapper is perfectly able to pull this off and more. The dish, as shown here, is served with Dilled Green Bans.

Tight lines and enjoy.

2016 SPRING King of the Beach Tournament – Recap

The 2016 Old Salt SPRING King of the Beach Kingfish Tournament & Festival is in the books now. This years King was every bit as awesome as we hoped. Here are a few of the highlights:

608 teams competed to be crowned King of the Beach

245 fish were weighed (King & Spanish)

Old Salt paid out $219,900 in cash and prizes to over 50 teams.

The winning King Mackerel set a new King of the Beach tournament record weighing in at 62.95 pounds.

On the field anglers and festival attendees had their choice of 100 vendors to shop and eat with, kid played in the Kidz Zone and Tampa Bay Brewing provided hand crafted adult beverages to help beat the heat. Off the field, the weigh-in and awards were live streamed to viewers from across the United States.

The 2016 KING – Team Wise Guy

2016 Old Salt king of the Beach Winner - Overall Division
Team Wise Guy – Captain Richard Fabrizi


Weighing the 2nd fish in the tournament, and at 62.95 pounds, Captain Richard Fabrizi and TIMG_3353eam Wise Guy set the bar for the entire weigh-in. No one was able to catch them. Capt. Fabrizi has been fishing Kiingfish tournaments for over 25 years with this being the single biggest and richest win to date. The King was caught in 110 feet of water and brought aboard by crew Stephen Dellane at approximately 7am. They had a winner in the locker all day.

Team Wise Guy took home the $50,000 1st place prize money plus an additional $29,908 by participating in the Standard and High Roller TWT’s. It pays to play…. That’s a total of $79,908.00. A good day on the water by any standard.

Division Winners

Overall Division: Team Wise Guy

Traveling Angler Division: Team Reel Quick

Single Engine Division: Team A&J

Ladies Division: Team The Office

Youth Division: Team No Escape

TWT Division: Team Wise Guy

High Roller Division: Team Wise Guy

Spanish Mackerel Division: Team None

See the complete tournament results HERE.

The 23rd Annual 2016 FALL King of the Beach Kingfish Tournament is scheduled for November 3rd, 4th & 5th. See you at the Captains Meeting….

“Beat the Heat”

crabbys cornerWe all love the warm and tropical climate we live in, but through the next few months the afternoons can be downright unbearable.  In this article I will give you a few late spring and summer time ideas that will keep you cool and produce some very impressive catches.

Andrew ZarecznyNight fishing has always been a summer time favorite of mine and there are few fish that are more active and willing to bite than our coastal sharks.  Depending on the size of the sharks you are targeting and weather you are fishing from a fixed position or a boat your tackle and presentation are key.  For smaller sharks in the 50 to 100 pound range conventional reels in the 4/0 and 6/0 category filled with 30 to 50 pound mono are perfect.  For terminal tackle a six foot piece of #9 wire and a 8/0 4x strong circle hook with enough lead to get the bait to stay on the bottom is as simple and effective as it gets.  Bait is a little more complicated though.  While most dead baits will work well, fresh far out performs frozen.  My favorite fresh baits include sting rays, ladyfish, mullet, and especially mackerel.  If fishing from a boat just anchor up away from any swim buoys near the passes and fan some baits out around the boat checking them regularly as smaller fish will pick them clean over time.  The waiting is the hardest part but bringing some chum can speed up the action.  Leave your reels in free spool with the clicker on and when something picks up the bait let them swim away for about 10 seconds, then just put the reel in gear and start reeling the circle will do its job.  If fishing from the beach you will need to change things up a bit. First you will need a kayak or stand up paddle board to get your baits out past the sand bar. Just as important is your sinker.  You must use a “sputnik” or surf lead.  These specially designed weights have wires that stick out to anchor them in the sand and keep the baits where you put them.

For the truly large sharks in the 150 to 500 plus range you have to beef it up quite a bit. Reels in the 9/0 to 14/0 category with short stiff rods and roller guides are the weapon of choice here.  Monofilament line won’t cut it here you must use braid or dacron in the 130 to 200 lb range and don’t forget your fighting belt either. Terminal tackle is quite different also, stranded 400 pound cable and 14/0 ultra strong J hooks. The cable or bite leader only needs to be about 5 foot, but a 250 or 300 pound mono shock leader around 15 feet or so will need to be crimped to the swivels between the main line and the bite leader. One more trick is to wrap the cable leader with electrical tape to help it from putting off ultra sensitive electrical signals that can deter some sharks, sounds crazy but it works.

Bait is still the same but instead of using chunks use whole baits with slits cut in them.  These techniques will produce some true monsters and make you a little nervous the next time you go splashing around on the beach. But don’t worry we are not on their menu.

Jason MillerTarpon are also very active at night when boat traffic slows down and appetites pick up.  Despite what most people believe tarpon are actually scavengers and do most of their feeding on the bottom.  Good places to find these fish are near the mouths of passes and the edges of sandbars on the beach.  Your normal Tarpon outfits will work and you can use 80 to 100 pound mono leader, but steel leaders don’t seem to bother the Tarpon at night and will prevent bite offs from sharks.  Bait is pretty basic, while fresh baits work better frozen Shad, Ladyfish, Mullet and Bonita all work well too. Use a 6/0 to 8/0 3x circle hook and enough weight to keep it on the bottom.  I leave my reels in gear and in the rod holder, Tarpon will inhale the bait and swim off letting the circle hook do its job. After a fish is hooked you will need to follow it, keep constant pressure and “bow” to them when they jump.  Once boat-side, get a pair of gloves and grab them by the lower jaw being careful of the fish’s swinging armor plated head and always keep an eye out for the large sharks that hunt these giants.  It is good to always check the current regulations before you fish, Tarpon are a catch and release species only with a possible of one tag per person per year. Also, you will be allowed to temporarily possess a tarpon for photography, measurement of length and girth and scientific sampling, with the stipulation that tarpon more than 40 inches must remain in the water.

Thank You,
Brian Crabtree,
Madeira Beach Marina Manager

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