Most of the smaller fish are eaten fried. They are generally termed pan-fish. Clean well, cut off the head, and, if the fish is large, cut out the backbone, and slice the body crosswise. Season with salt and pepper. Dip in Indian meal, or wheat flour, or use beaten egg and roll in bread or fine cracker crumbs (trout and perch should not be dipped in meal). Cook in a thick bottomed iron frying-pan, laying the flesh side down, and using hot lard or drippings. Fry slowly, turning when lightly browned.