Shore Lunch! First though, we need to catch some fish. On our recent Rainy Lake Houseboat vacation we were treated to a truly Minnesota tradition of a shore lunch. Thanks to John and Flora, we had a fishing guide on this lake where none of us had fished before. He lead us to the fishing spots and we had some good results by putting fish in the boat. We caught quite a few fish but it was a killer having the throw back walleyes that were over 17 inches long! Can’t keep them due to Minnesota DNR regulations. So, a 23″, a 22″, a 21″ and a 20″ walleye all got a reprieve from the frying pan.
Here’s our guide Mike with a small keeper. Mike grew up in International Falls and has lived there all his life. He’s been fishing this lake all his life and knows where the fish hang out. Rainy Lake is a U.S. and Canada border lake and is mostly pretty remote and is part of Voyageurs National Park. Mike says that he still drinks the water right out of the lake! In his boat were Mary Jo’s cousin Alan and his wife Sue. Mary Jo was in Mike’s boat too and didn’t fish but watched and listened to all of Mike’s stories.
The weather that day was beautiful, and as you can see, we didn’t have the preferred walleye chop. Seems that fish bite better if you have a little wave action on the water. The fishing was pretty slow according to Mike. “You should have been here last week!” Ha! We fished until a little after 1 pm when we figured we had enough fish for the seven of us. Mike then led us to a beautiful picnic area that was on one of the nearby islands.
Once at the island, Mike pulled out his camp kitchen and propane camp stove and immediately got the potatoes and onions chopped and on the stove. He asked one of us to watch the potatoes while he cleaned the fish. Flora stepped right up and took care of the potatoes.
Mike was then busy cleaning fish.
As you can see, the guts and fish skins go into the water. These get eaten by other fish and animals, so there is no waste. Once the fish were cleaned, Mike brought out his breading mix. I’d never heard of this stuff, but he put it in a baggie with some Lowry”s seasoned salt.
Mike then started to get the pan ready for fried fish. He put about 1/2″ of canola oil in the pan, then threw a kitchen match in it. “What?” This was really strange. Never seen this done. He said that once the match flares, the oil is hot enough to start frying the fish. I found that hard to believe but a few minutes later the match flared up and the oil was ready. Mary Jo kept taking pictures hoping to get the magic moment and I was shocked that she captured the photo. Great job!
It didn’t take long for the fish to be fried and the lunchtime feast was on.
What a lovely setting for our shore lunch!
The walleye was wonderful and the potatoes were great. What a great experience! Glad I got to share it with good friends and family and also to all the readers of Joe’s Healthy Meals!
Joe Jigger, Crappie Al and Johnny Walleye! The Three Amigos!