This section is from the book "The American Woman's Cook Book", by Ruth Berolzheimer. Also available from Amazon: The Domestic Arts Edition of the American Woman's Cook Book.
Whole Large Fish - Dress and stuff the fish (See chapter "Stuffings for Fish, Meat, Poultry and Game.") and sew up the opening with a trussing-needle. If a white or medium fat fish is used, cut three or more slits in its sides and insert a strip of salt pork in each. Fat fish needs no larding, it has fat enough in itself.
Place a cloth or a rack in the bottom of a baking-pan. Upon the cloth place a thin layer of minced salt pork and a few slices of onion and tomato. Upon these place the fish itself. Dredge with salt, pepper and flour and lay on more salt pork; place in a hot oven (425c F.) add a cup of boiling water and cover. Cook fifteen to twenty minutes to each pound, basting frequently, adding water after each basting if necessary. After the first fifteen or twenty minutes reduce the heat to 350° F. Milk may be used instead of water in baking dry fish steaks. If a dripping-pan is used, it is not necessary to add water, and fish has more flavor if cooked without water.
Small Fish or Fillets - Follow directions for whole large fish, allowing a total baking period of twenty to thirty minutes.