Living in Northwestern Ontario, most of us probably have experienced a traditional shore lunch at one time or another. They certainly are part of the package and a major attraction at many of the resorts in our area.
I look forward to a few days of guiding at the start of every open water season so I can get in a fresh shore lunch of Lake of the Woods walleyes.
With warmer March weather approaching, plan a winter shore lunch on one of your upcoming ice-fishing trips.
There are a couple of ways to cook your meal. You could bring out a small propane stove, which you can put on the tailgate of your truck to cook on and not waste any fishing time.
The other, more traditional method is to cook over a fire.
Find a nice place on shore and get a fire burning hot. Then allow the flames to burn down to hot coals before putting the frying pan on.
The propane method is quicker, but the fire is more rustic and offers more of an experience.
If you have never experienced a shore lunch for yourself, they are relatively easy to prepare. The first thing you need, of course, is some fish. Walleye and crappie are the most popular, but pike, perch, whitefish, and trout all will work great.
The general rule with small walleye is two fillets per person, or one fish. If you are dealing with bigger fish, you can bring the number down a bit.
Remember, though, that any fish you keep are part of your daily limit.
Once you have your fish, batter them by first dipping the fillet in egg and then coating them with a mixture of flour and corn flake crumbs. Heat some oil up to where it starts to make some noise and carefully add your fish.
It will cook in about two minutes.
It is personal preference in what you decide to have with your fish. Usually we cook potatoes (sliced into chips called silver dollars). Maybe add some sliced onions once the potatoes start to brown.
I also like to heat up a can of creamed corn and beans, which you can cook in the can. It usually only takes a few minutes to heat these up over propane or a fire.
Finally bring along some bread, butter, salt, and maybe a lemon to squeeze over the fish if you so desire.
Shore lunches are always fun and if you know someone that has not experienced one, do it up for them.
Just remember, the oil gets extremely hot so bring along some good cooking utensils and an oven mitt. And don’t forget a garbage bag to pick up all the mess when you are done.
Try a shore lunch on your next outing and you’ll enjoy the best meal of the winter.