Our Northwoods fishing history is stoked with tales of barefoot fishing guides rowing wooden boats across lakes that were loaded with fish. We still have lakes with plenty of fish but all the guides I know wear shoes. For a taste of those old days, nothing beats a traditional Northwoods Shore Lunch.
What makes a shore lunch so memorable is you get to eat the fish you caught that morning. My typical shore lunch is made up of fried fish, fried potatoes and onions, beans, bread, and, of course, a piece of chocolate cake. It’s not just the food but the camaraderie that you experience. Chances are good you will recatch every fish of the morning and of course you will hear stories about the big ones that got away. Oh yeah, more than a few anglers have succumbed to a nap under a beautiful Northwoods sky.
Here is what you will need:
Fresh Fish Filets (enough for your group)
Plain Bread Crumbs
Our prime ingredient is your fish. All of our popular fish are great tasting. Keep enough fish for your group plus a couple more, because people always seem to eat more at a shore lunch.
After filleting your fish, dip them in an egg bath (I use egg beaters to make it easy) then coat them with bread crumbs. Because our fish have a very mild flavor, I use plain bread crumbs that you find in the baking section of the grocery store. I don’t want to overwhelm the fish flavor with the breading. The secret to frying fish is hot oil, 325-350 degrees is ideal. The old guides always carried little stick matches in their pockets and would toss an unlit match in the grease, when it ignited the grease was ready. It will take about 4 minutes to cook a filet. Watch for them to float or stop bubbling to a nice golden brown.
Next on the list is fried potatoes and onions. I recommend precooking the potatoes half way ahead of time so they fry quicker. Again get the oil hot before you add potatoes and onions.
When heating a can of beans leave the lid barely attached, it will keep the heat in and provide a handle to lift the can.
Once your feast is cooked, sit back and enjoy the great Northwoods and don't forget the chocolate cake before heading back out on the boat.