1. Wipe the smelts with a damp cloth. Mix salt and pepper with the flour and sprinkle the mixture over the fish. Dip floured fish into the eggs lightly beaten with the water and then roll in the bread crumbs.
2. In a shallow skillet heat the shortening, add the smelts and saute until browned on both sides, above five minutes. The fish should be turned carefully with a spatula.