The Fish Fry
by fishing guide Charlie Worrath
One of the most enjoyable parts of a fishing trip, the fish fry! The one thing I personally enjoy the most after a great day on the water is having a fish fry. That’s when fish taste the best, is straight from the lake to the frying pan. I think the most enjoyable spots to do this, if possible is on the lake your fishing. We are lucky enough to have a lot of state and Federal land, which contain picnic areas in which to do this.
Cooking a shore lunch, can be and is a very simple process. Items required are:
- First a fry pan, I like using a steel fry pan over cast iron, because it takes a lot less heat to cook with and easier to handle.
- Secondly a small wood fire or propane cooker works well.
- Quart of cooking oil
- You can figure 1 lb. of potatoes per person, leave the potatoes whole, just scrub them, do not peel or cut till you are ready to fry. Then cut them in irregular sizes, this keeps them from sticking together when frying. I like to season them fairly heavy with Creole seasoning.
- Stick them in fry pan when oil is hot, season, then let them brown on the bottom side. Do not turn or stir any more then you absolutely have to, or the potatoes will get mushy.
- When brown turn, and season again, wait till just about done, then if desired you can add a couple sliced onions, cook till soft and tender.
- 1 can of bake beans, open lid set can next to fire until warm.
- Then come the main ingredients, fresh fish from today’s catch. After filleting the fish let soak in cold water, till ready to fry. Take out and lay them on paper towel to absorb some of the moisture.
- Put some Charlie’s Gone Fishing or Fishing Fever fish batter (which is sold in many of the local stores) in a plastic bag, drop in a hand full of fillets, shake till fillets are completely covered.
- Change the oil out after frying the potatoes. Test to make sure is hot but not to hot. Add fillets, a key to frying fresh fish is lay skin side down first; otherwise the fillets will curl in the fry pan. It’s easier to cook both sides equally when they don’t curl.
- When the fillet is firm and golden brown remove and enjoy one of nature’s finest meals.
To make up a small kit to do this, here a list of all the items you need. I like to use a small plastic tote to keep things dry and clean.
Delicious, fresh walleye, from the lake to the pan
- We’ll start with a small grill to set on the ground for a wood fire or use a propane cooker.
- Steel fry pan
- I also use a pair of welding gloves to handle hot items
- cooking oil
- can of baked beans
- can opener
- fillet knife
- paper plates
- plastic forks and spoons
- paper towel
- fish batter
- cutting board
- large fork or spoon
- plastic bags
- plastic pail
- and a couple of large onions and potatoes
Now that you have these items all rounded up, just keep your tote refilled and it can be used for many future outings.
If fishing is slow, remember you don’t just have to have walleyes to make a great meal. Northern pike (fillet properly, no bones) perch, and crappie, combined or just one of the species will make great shore lunch. From the lake to the pan you’ll have a hard time tasting the difference. This usually takes a couple hours to do, so plan your day according, and what a great way to end the day in the outdoors, with the smell of a wood fire and a meal of fried potatoes, beans, and best of all, fresh caught fish, large onions and potatoes.
2019 Fishing Opener Dates
Walleye & Northern Pike - May 11, 2019
Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass - May 11, 2019
Muskie - June 1, 2019
2019 Fishing Regulations
2019 Fishing Regulations
MN DNR Fishing Regulation Handbook for 2019
Charlie Worrath on Jason Mitchell Outdoors talking early season walleyes
Charlie Worrath talks early season walleye for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)
Jason Boser appears with Jason Mitchell on Jason Mitchell Outdoors
(l - r) Jason Boser and Jason Mitchell pose with a Lake Winnie walleye
Jason Boser appearing on an episode for the television program Jason Mitchell Outdoors on Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota. (watch the video)
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