A native of Lebanon, Bashir Bounajin moved to Raleigh more than 20 years ago, and he's been a regular visitor to Kure Beach Fishing Pier during the fall spot run.

Like most anglers, when he cleans a "mess" of spots, he uses a serrated fish-scaling tool. However, he leaves the heads on the fish.

"Spots are good to eat. I fry them with their heads on. I put black pepper, salt and cumin on them, then cover them in some flour and fry them in vegetable oil," he said.

Any spice preferred by the chef will enhance the flavor of seafood, including something as simple as a spot. Cumin is a spice similar to parsley; it adds an exotic taste. Leaving the heads on leaves more tasty meat to eat than cutting them off at the cleaning table and makes handling the cooked fish while eating it and removing the backbone easier.