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Catch Your Cook: Alaskan Rockfish Tacos on the Boat

Fresh fish with mango salsa makes for a delicious family meal on the water

How-To On the Water

This recipe comes from Mercury Pro Team member Rob Endsley, an Alaska charter captain and retired river guide from Gig Harbor, Washington.

My wife, Nicole, and I are constantly looking for ways to make our family boating adventures in Alaska extraordinary, and cooking black rockfish (also known as sea bass) tacos at sea is an activity that’s made its way to the top of our list. Black rockfish are readily available, and our daughters, Ava and Emma, love catching them. Plus, my goodness, they are good to eat!

Since our Mercury-powered Alaska charter boat isn’t equipped with any cooking appliances, we bring along our Camp Chef® cookstove on these adventures. YETI® coolers provide the perfect tabletop on the back deck of the boat, and we’re off to the races.

Nicole preps all the taco fixings at home, including delicious homemade mango salsa. Having the prep done ahead of time makes it super simple to put these tacos together once we’re on anchor. She keeps the fixings as simple as possible so we’re not packing more items to the boat than necessary.  

Our list of supplies also includes a non-stick frying pan, an aluminum roasting pan or container for breading the fish, cooking tongs, paper plates, and paper towels.

For our family rockfish trips, we usually sleep in and depart the dock midmorning. There’s no need to get there early, and this way the kids are well-rested and energetic. 

Ava and Emma catch the rockfish, and we only keep as many as we can eat for lunch – usually three or four, depending on the size. Then we find a quiet place to enjoy our meal.

Alaska has 34,000 miles of coastline. Near Craig, Alaska, where we operate our charter business in the summertime, there are hundreds of remote and beautiful coves that provide a perfect anchorage for our fish-taco adventures. While on anchor, we often see humpback and killer whales, bald eagles, sea lions, sea otters and myriad other creatures, which makes the experience of enjoying a sea-to-table meal with the family even greater.

Check out this Cook Your Catch video to see how easy it is to make a meal of delicious rockfish tacos – from finding the fish to the final meal. Then follow the recipe below.

Prep the Mango Salsa at Home

Before departing, Nicole makes the mango salsa by combining diced mango (a bag of chunked, frozen mango makes this easy), diced red pepper, diced red onion, cilantro, and the juice and zest of one lime in a sealable container. You can also add jalapeno if you’d like.

Alaskan Rockfish Tacos

Start to finish: 20 minutes

Servings: 4

3 or 4 eggs

1/2 cup milk

fillets of three or four black rockfish

panko breading

cooking oil

salt and pepper

corn tortillas


Premix egg wash at home by whisking the milk together with the eggs to thin them out. Pack the egg wash along in a sealable container.

Cut rockfish fillets into strips and remove the bone line.

Dip fish strips in egg wash.

Dredge fish in panko seasoned with salt and pepper.

In a nonstick skillet, heat a small amount of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Hot cooking oil can be dangerous, so keep kids and pets a safe distance away on the boat.

Fry the fish for two to three minutes on each side.

Rest fish on paper towels to drain oil then lightly salt to taste.

Repeat the process for remaining fish. Remove any excess batter from the oil in between batches.

Warm corn tortillas on the grill surface.


Serve the rockfish strips with mango salsa on a warmed corn tortilla and enjoy! All it takes is a little prep time and a small kit of cookware to enjoy a delicious meal in the outdoors that everyone in the family will love.


Rob and Nicole Endsley are the owners of Prince of Wales Sportfishing ( based in Craig, Alaska. You can follow Rob on Instagram.

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Catch Your Cook: Alaskan Rockfish Tacos on the Boat
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