Pat the fish dry with paper towels. To keep the fish from curling up as they fry, score the fish with a small sharp knife, making two or three diagonal slashes about one to two inches apart about two inches long and one-eighth inch deep.
Season the fish with the salt, black pepper and cayenne. Dip them in the cornmeal to coat evenly and gently shake off any excess meal.
In a heavy large skillet, heat about one-half inch of the oil to about 350 degrees. Fry the fillets, several at a time, until golden brown, about four minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels.
Here are a few hints on why we thought Mama's potato salad was terrific. First of all, the homemade mayonnaise was the key. Then, she cut the boiled potatoes (which were cooked in their jackets then skinned) in large chunks while the hard-boiled eggs were finely chopped. She might add finely chopped celery or finely chopped olives, but no onions!