In the Pacific islands where I have lived fried fish is often cooked without coating the fish with flour or batter. If the fish is whole, 3 or 4 diagonal cuts are made on each side of the fish. Then the fish is rubbed with salt and sometimes other seasonings before being cooked. I remember that when I first saw fish cooked like this I thought it would not be very good. I was wrong it was very tasty and now I often cook fish like this today.