New to HLS? Check us out.

Working against the current of your typical “Catch & Release” fishing program, Hook, Line & Skillet attempts to bring the exciting realm of “Catch & Eat” sport fishing to the viewer in a format that is a part travel-log, part sport fishing, and part cooking show.

HLS Host Pete Flores

In each episode, fishing enthusiast and former chef, Pete Flores will take you on a road trip to some of the most well known, unknown, or soon to be known fishing hotspots across the country in search of the perfect catch. Pete will explore the local culture to reveal useful tips, facts, and strategies that anyone can apply from the amateur to expert level fisherman.

With every great catch comes a great dish and Pete Flores delivers with culinary genius from simple dishes to fancy fare as he demonstrates a unique way to enjoy the fruits of your labor and indulge in some of the local areas best kept secrets.

Follow us on Twitter

On iGoogle or My Yahoo? Be sure to subscribe HLS updates.  On Facebook? Subscribe to our HLS fan page for all the latest HLS news.

Copyright 2009

Simon and Garfunkeled Crab Cakes – Great for your Super Bowl Party

There is something about the summer that makes us want to use fresh herbs.  I don’t know about you, but  often times I would go Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & the produce section in our super market and buy a small fortune of fresh herbs, only to get to use them once and then…. they went all stinky bad.  I finally decided to take matters into my own hands – I’m gonna grow my own

 One summer, I got my hands on a monster patio planter.  My wife and I decided to make it a focal point of our patio and thought, let’s try planting our favorite fresh herbs in there. So we drilled some holes in the bottom of the planter and filled it to the brim with the miracle grow organic soil.  We then planted the Simon & Garfunkel collection.

It was like dancing with the gods of culinary accents… Every day was like a new culinary experiment…  We want to try basil, go cut some basil, rosemary – ahhhh rosemary…   So lovely to be able to try something new – everyday.parsley

One of the perks of some of the herbs is that they are perennials, meaning they’ll come back next year… rosemary, sage and oregano have always come back.  While they do like sun, don’t worry if you have a shady back yard, I definitely do and have still yielded a lovely selection of herbal accents.  It’s a $25 investment each spring for almost 6 months of fresh herbs.  I have a fresh selection from Memorial Day well into Thanksgiving.

Here is a recipe for crab cakes that uses the Simon & Garfunkel collection. Try it— you won’t regret it.



Simon and Garfunkeled Crab Cakes

Makes 12 crab cakes. 3 cakes per person

16oz lump crab meat

½ cup chopped green onions, just the green partscrabcake4

½ tsp chopped fresh parsley

½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary

½ tsp chopped fresh sage

½ tsp chopped fresh thyme

½ tsp salt

1 tsp Cajun seasoning

1 cup bread crumbs

¼ cup mayo

1 beaten egg

1 tsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup vegetable oil


crabcakedinnerPlace in a medium sized bowl the crab meat, chopped green onions, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, Cajun seasoning, and half of the bread crumbs. Separately mix together the wet ingredients; mayo, the beaten egg and Dijon mustard. Then combine everything. Do not mix too much.  Measure out crab cake mixture into 12 equal parts about a ¼ cup each. Roll the cakes into balls and then flatten each to about a ½ inch think. Spread the extra bread crumbs out on a flat plate and then dredge each cake slightly top and bottom. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet and cook cakes in oil till golden brown on each side. Serve with lemon and favorite seafood sauce.

Catskill Mountain Zen

Last weekend we took a trip to the Catskill Mountains of N.Y. It got us feeling so nostalgic about our very first episode that we thought it might be fun to re-release the segments of that episode.

So here they are, for your viewing pleasure, all three segments of Hook, Line and Skillet’s Catskill Mountain Zen.  Enjoy! -Team HLS


Striped Bass Oreganata with Red Wine Marinara Sauce

Recently, I went fishing on the Jersey Shore for Striped Bass. It seemed like everyone on the boat went home with some nice filets. Since then everyone has been asking me, “How did you prepare them”? Well, here’s the recipe. It’s pretty simply and Italian inspired. 
Striped Bass Oreganata with Red Wine Marinara Sauce (Grilled or pan seared)

Striped Bass filets cut into 4 4oz steaks
Substitutions: RedStriped bass Oreganata Snapper, Tilapia and Chilean Sea Bass will all work here.
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small yellow onion chopped
2 gloves minced garlic
½ cup Italian red table wine
Substitution: Any dry red wine will do.
½ cup chicken stock
3 tbsps. tomato paste
1 tbsp. fresh thyme chopped
1 tbsp. fresh basil chopped
2 tbsps. fresh oregano finely chopped
¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil for brushing fish, the sauce and for the pan searing method.

Lightly brush the fish with olive oil and then season with Oregano, salt and pepper, set in a dish. If you prefer less oregano you can cut the amount in half. Then sprinkle the fish with the lemon juice. Cover and place in the fridge while you prepare the sauce.

In a medium sauce pan heat about 2 tbsps. of the olive oil. Once the pot is hot quickly add the garlic only sautéing it for a flash and then add the onions. Reduce heat and stir constantly till the onions are translucent. Turn heat up again and add the red wine slowly till the alcohol is cooked off, between 1 and 2 minutes. Add the can of diced tomatoes, chicken broth and thyme. Bring to a boil. Stir gently and reduce heat to medium. Stir in the tomato paste. Depending on how thick you like your sauce you can subtract or add 1tbsp. to tomato paste. Cover the sauce and reduce to low heat. Let the sauce cook for the time you are preparing the fish. Be sure to keep an eye on the sauce and stir frequently. About 5 minutes before serving add the basil, stir well and then salt and pepper to taste.

There are two ways you can prepare the fish and it’s all about what you prefer. You can either pan sear or put it on the grill. 
For pan searing:
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Remove fish from the refrigerator and let sit while oven is pre-heating. On the stove top heat up an oven safe skillet and add 2 tbsps. of olive oil. Once hot add your fish by place it skin side up at first. Cook about 5 minutes or until there is a nice golden brown crust forming. Turn and cook skin side down for another 5 minutes. Based on how thick the fish is (Striped Bass tends to be pretty thick) you may have to finish it in the oven. Place the entire skillet in the oven and let cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the fish and place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Remove from paper and plate fish cover with a fair amount of Marinara sauce and serve.
For Grilling:
Preheat the grill with both a hot and cool section. When the grill is ready, place the fish, skin side up, on a hottest part of the grill. Cook for about 5 minutes or until nice dark grill marks develop. Be sure to make sure that flames do not contact the fish directly. Flip fish skin side down and cook for another 5 minutes. At this point move fish to the cooler area of the grill and cook for another 5 minutes. Cover the grill if possible.

When firm to the touch, move the fish to a plate and cover with a fair amount of the marinara sauce and serve.

Striped Bass Oreganata

Try serving this with your favorite pasta, rice and or vegetables. Sautéed spinach or broccoli rabe would be perfect.



HLS Shorts: Colby Classic Ice Fishing Derby 2012

Hey Skilletheads,

Check out the lastest in fast food.  We Like to call them Hook, Line & Skillet Shorts. This episode is a flashback to last last March featuring a little Ice Fishing Derby we attended in the Adirondacks. As I said, this video is from last year. If you need more info on this years Derby you can go to the Saranac Lake Fish and Game Club’s website.  It’s coming up quick and scheduled for March 2nd – 3rd, 2013.


Team HLS


The Urban Angle

Sometimes the most important question is, “Where do I go fishing”? For those of us who live closer to the big cities the answer often involves driving, one maybe two hours from our homes.  I sometimes wish that I could just drive a few minutes and drop a line. 

Close to me in North New Jersey there is the Hackensack River. This river starts in NY State and heads south emptying into the Newark Bay. The problem is that the river has developed a bit of a bad reputation over the years as being just too polluted.  This river, along with another river in the area called the Passaic River, were so damaged by industry and waste disposal (some highly toxic) that when I was a kid we made jokes about three eyed fish coming from those waters. For sure people in the area didn’t fish there and if they did they kept it a secret.

For many years now I have been living near the Hackensack River and seeing it at high tide, I would often think to myself how great it would be if I could just go fishing there and then recently I discovered a little secret. Back behind the River Square Mall on Route 4 is a small park of sorts.

View Larger Map

It’s called the Hackensack River County Park. It’s not much more than a well-groomed lawn area hidden behind the Mall’s parking lot but they constructed two overlooks or piers that jut out over the river, conveniently close to the edge of the tide line. I discovered the larger of the two  while taking a walk with my wife after getting dinner at the mall. I told her that one day I was going to try out the fishing there.

On one recent Sunday morning I did just that.  I grabbed some worms, carp and catfish bait and decided to check it out. As fate would have it, I arrived there to find a few people  bird watching on the overlook. 

Well I couldn’t fish there so I took a walk around to see if there were any other access points and that’s when I found it. Hidden away behind low hanging trees and tall swaying reeds was the second overlook. This one had a very long walkway probably 50 feet or so through those same weeds and over the marsh. This overlook was smaller than the first one but it was perfect.

Now down to the fishing. My expectations were low but I found out quickly that the river is packed with many different varieties of fish. There were White Perch, Yellow Perch, Channel Catfish, Bullhead Catfish, Spot, Stripped Bass and I even caught a Blue Crab. And they were all very hungry. Since I’ve started fishing there the worm (nightcrawler) has been king but pair it up with a small Killi (Killifish) and it’s deadly.

Now my hope is that these aren’t the biggest fish out there but it shows that you can catch fish on this river. By the way, there are also some massive carp swimming around in there. I saw them, I just didn’t get one.  Maybe next time. I have to admit I’m a believer!

Recently I learned that over the years there have been many initiatives to cleanup the river. Although I cannot claim to be an expert on these efforts I know that there are several organizations that might be able to say more about them. Hackensack Riverkeeper Inc. is a non-governmental group that is an honest and true advocate for the Hackensack River and its renewal. Check them out.  

DISCLAIMER: One important note. Everyone knows that Hook, Line & Skillet is all about consumption of the catch but the Urban Angle is about fishing locales that may be in areas close to city centers where the bodies of water and waterways have been a bit abused over the years. Even though the fish and wildlife are thriving in these areas again they still may not be suitable for consumption. I have read that New Jersey has a ban on eating any fish or shellfish from the Hackensack River. Please, before you consume any fish caught in your area make sure to check with your state’s game and wildlife departments for regulations.

Good Fishing   –Pete


Hey All,

Welcome to the new and improved Hook, Line & Skillet. In addition to a bit of a face lift, we will begin to present blog posts that follow similar subjects. Each will still involve the adventures of Pete Flores and include everything that you love about the show, travel, fishing and cooking, but we will include some new hooks on classic fishing stories. This first installment, Inshore/Offshore is about one of Pete’s favorite pastimes, party boat fishing. Enjoy!

Fishing on the Jersey Shore. Party Boats are always an option!

Two weekends ago I had a last minute urge to get out on the salt and do a little fishing, but since I don’t own my own salt water fishing boat I had to find some other way. Living in New Jersey there are many options for salt water fishing, the whole state is one big long coastline and you are never more than two hours from a beach. You can hit the surf, charter a boat or jump onto a party boat. Since I didn’t have a lot of time to plan, my good friend Danny and I chose a party boat. 

View Larger Map

We found ourselves in the Atlantic Highlands, just about an hour and fifteen minutes outside Manhattan; some of you might remember that we shot one of our episodes from there back in 2011. When we arrived we saw several boats ready to go at the Municipal Harbor Marina. We picked a local favorite known as the Atlantic Star. And Fluke was the name of the game.

The first thing I noticed about the boat was how clean and bright it was, not that cleanliness will help you catch more fish, but it’s nice to know that the appearance of the boat is important to the captain. The next thing or person I noticed was the Captain. Captain Tom Buban was out in front of his boat speaking to everyone who went by.

A nice guy, who did not lack for cheesy-but-funny one-liners, invited us aboard and right away made us feel at home. The mates were also very friendly and willing to help out with any issues we had.

One nice thing about fishing on a party boat is that you really don’t have to bring much other than some sun block and refreshments. For around $50 you get a half day out on the water, rod/tackle/ bait and on this boat, it got you entered into the pool. That day it was for the biggest fish.

We set out at 8 a.m. and spent most of our time just around the sandbar known as Sandy Hook and were in full view of the Verrazano Bridge the whole time. 

It took us about thirty minutes to get to our first hole and – people were catching fish right away.  At first it was a lot of “Shorts” and “Birds” (under sized fluke {17.5”} and Sea Robins), but soon people were catching some nice keepers. Most were using Spearing that the mates provided but some were using live Killies and strips of squid that they had brought.  It’s always pretty exciting when someone calls out for the net and the mate comes running. Paul, one of the mates on our side of the boat, did a great job netting our fish as well as helping to clean up some of our hookups and tangles caused by the drift. The one thing that people hate about these trips is when lines get hooked up, but in truth a little patience goes a long way. You have to remember that it’s all a part of the process. 

By the end of the trip there were a lot of keepers, one of which was mine.


It wasn’t the biggest on the boat but was enough for my dinner that night.  I spoke to a nice gentleman named Bill (he got two keepers himself) and asked him what he likes do with his catch. “I like to stuff it with a little seafood stuffing.”  Yum!  That sounded so good that I decided to do the same. Thanks for the idea Bill.

Shortly after catching my keeper the captain made the announce that we were heading back. That day sure went fast. All the good ones do. As we were making our way back in, the mates started cleaning the fish and had everyone ready to go by the time we got back to the marina.












Nice job guys. Don’t forget to tip these folks. They work really hard to make your trip enjoyable.




 After we left the boat and were on our way home, I started thinking about the stuffing I was going to make for the fluke and decided on something very simple.










I used a little shrimp, some bread crumbs (whole wheat bread), onions, garlic, spices and of course a little Ocean (Pete’s Seafood Seasoning Rack). I wrapped it all up and threw it on the broiler. Man, I have to say, it was good.



If you want to try this dish from the pictures in this blog, go for it, but this recipe was so good that it’s going in the cookbook. You will just have to wait for that one.

If you’re interested to hear more about our trip or want to plan your own just email us at and we will send you some info right away. I have to say it really is a great time.

Good fishing and good eating.



HLS, Back in production!

Hey All,

We just wanted to let you know that HLS is going back into production. 2012 is already looking like a busy year, chock full of travel, fishing and cooking.

Starting us off is our return to Adirondacks for the Colby Classic Ice Fishing Derby in Saranac Lake.  This is going to be a fun one, albeit a bit chilly. Pete will be competing in the annual event but more importantly he will be searching out some great ice fishing tips and some awesome recipes for the catch.  Have you been to this event before? Let us know about it.

Keep checking back for updates on other HLS productions.

And don’t forget that the HLS online store is up and running. Click on the HLS Store tab on our home page or just click here Have  you tried any one of the Pete’s Seafood Seasoning Rack blends?  They are awesome!  

A fan of Ocean sent in a picture and had this to say,

“Yum! Chicken and Shrimp Fajita Salad using Pete’s Seafood Seasoning Rack (Ocean Blend)! The taste is phenomenal!” – Jillian Baden Bershtein

Chicken and Shrimp Fajita










Hook, Line & Skillet and Pete’s Seafood Seasoning Rack: Ocean, are Trademarks of Sinker Swim Productions LLC. All rights reserved 2012

Bringing you Travel, Fishing and Cooking since 2009. 



Seven Fish (and shellfish) Dish for the Holidays.

The other day I was thinking about the tradition of eating fish for the Christmas holiday. The Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes involved members of the family bringing a different fish dish to the table on Christmas Day. Eel, Squid, anchovies, smelt, octopus, salted cod and lobster would often be used.  I thought that it would be fun to combine this idea into one dish and serve it as a dinner for two.  I looked at several options and settled on a Bouillabaisse and although the Italians have versions of their own, I favor the French flavor!  Also I wanted to take the opportunity to use something off the Pete’s Seafood Seasoning Rack which includes Ocean, Lake and Stream.

I decided Ocean would be perfect with its hints of lemon, pepper and fennel. In truth it was the flavors of a Bouillabaisse that inspired the combination of spices in Ocean.

I collected the ingredients and got started.


First, I prepared a nice fish stock. In a large sauce pan, I heated olive oil. In that I sautéed the onions and celery for around 3 minutes. I added the garlic and cooked it for another minute or so. I added the bay leaf, peppercorns, fish bones, water, Ocean and dry white wine. I brought the liquid to a boil and reduced it to a simmer. It cooked for another 30 minutes. I removed it from the heat and strained it.

 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

Salt and pepper

2 cloves garlic

1 bay leaf

10 peppercorns

1 pound fish bones (I used red snapper and shrimp shells)

Water to cover

1 cup medium dry Riesling

2 tablespoons of Ocean-Pete’s Seafood Seasoning Rack

After the stock is finished I got started on the Bouillabaisse. I placed the stock back on the heat and brought it to a simmer. I added the saffron, leeks, tomatoes, fennel, garlic, and parsley.


Pinch of Saffron

1 cup leeks, julienned

1 can diced tomatoes drained. Liquid reserved.

1/2 cup fennel, julienned

2 tablespoons garlic, chopped

1 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

1/2 pound of red fish

½ pound of Tilapia

1 large lobster

1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

12 mussels

12 little neck clams

Salt and pepper



I then added the fish, squid and lobster. Cooked it roughly 10 minutes added the shrimp, mussels, and clams. I cooked that for another 7 minutes. Note: Make sure all shells are open. Get rid of any that didn’t open. Lastly, I hit it with a little salt and pepper to taste.











Traditionally, the Bouillabaisse is accompanied by crusty bread and a Rouille, a kind of creamy dipping sauce that is to be served with chunks of bread. In this recipe I make an extreme variation on a Rouille using extra virgin olive oil and Pete’s Cajun Fish Bait, pepper sauce. And yes they are perfect together.


Wisk together till emulsified:

¼ cup extra version olive oil

2 tablespoons Pete’s Cajun Fish Bait

And that’s the finished product. It’s a perfect little dish. And it’s pretty easy.  Try a variation of your own.  Just about any Ocean fish will work.


Enjoy and Merry Christmas.


A Fishy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Here is an oldie but goodie if you are looking for something a bit different on Thanksgiving.

I was thinking the other day about an alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. In honor of Hook, Line & Skillet, I decided to make fish the main course, while infusing some traditional elements of the holiday dinner.

I decided on stuffed salmon. People generally like it and the word “stuffed” brings to mind “stuffed turkey”. Trust me it works. I also prepare boiled potatoes with sage and nutmeg; parmesan broiled asparagus and a shrimp and cranberry sauté.

 I start by preparing the stuffing. This is very simple.

Easy to make!

 Sauté ½ of a small onion finely chopped and one finely chopped garlic clove in two tablespoons of butter. Combine the sautéed onions and garlic in a bowl with 1 cup bread crumbs (best if day old stuffing bread is used), 8oz of lump crab meat, 2 tbsp chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Next, take one large filet of Alaskan wild sockeye salmon. Yes, that’s the healthy one.

Sharp Knife Needed

With a sharp knife, butterfly the filet creating a pocket for the stuffing.  Spoon the stuffing in the fish pocket and place on large olive oiled baking pan. Lightly oil the filet, salt and pepper and garnish with rosemary twigs and lemon slices.  Place in an oven preheated to 350 for 25-35 minutes.


Prepare the potatoes. Again very simple and the nutmeg adds a very exotic taste.

Nutmeg and Sage?

Start with small red potatoes boiled till tender, drain the water and while still hot add 2 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, pinch dried sage, pinch nutmeg. Salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently.

Prepare the asparagus. The combo of cheese, lemon and butter really make them yummy.

The Cheesier the better.

Blanch asparagus until it just starts to be come tender. Drain thoroughly and stack in baking dish. Place 3 pats of butter on asparagus then cover the asparagus with grated parmesan cheese. Sprinkle about 1tsp of lemon juice on the asparagus. Place under broiler till the cheese begins to brown. Remove and serve.

Prepare the shrimp and cranberry sauté. Another infusion of traditional Thanksgiving with a twist.

Thanksgiving Fusion

Sauté ¼ small onion thinly sliced, 1 small garlic clove chopped in 2 tbsp of butter, add 1/2lb of peeled and de-veined shrimp, once shrimp is cooked add 1 cup dried cranberries, 1 cup of cranberry sauce and 1tbsp of lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley.

Put it all together and serve up to 4 people.

The finished product

The big plate

The little plate

Doesn’t that look great?  And it’s healthy.  The fun part about this dinner is that it can be made any time of the year for any type of celebration.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.