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  • Not a crappy crappie dinner

    The plan was to have a fish fry while camping this weekend even if it meant stooping to smallish bluegills and perch. The goal was for the Kid and I to put enough fish in the canoe to feed 8 of us, including 2 teenage boys.

    The state campground is only about 45 minutes away with what amounts to a huge pond or small lake that’s boomerang shaped. We stayed there one weekend last year but didn’t fish it hard and stuck to one end. We knew there were panfish and bass in it but based on what we caught last year weren’t expecting much. After setting up our site the Kid and I headed down to the car top boat launch figuring we’d spend the last hour or so of daylight exploring for where to fish early the next morning. Other than one couple fishing from one of those paddle boats we had the water to ourselves. I spotted a downed tree in the water just across from the launch area and figured that was as good of a starting place as any. We pulled up and began casting Trout Magnets out on the tree top that was in about 6-7 feet of water. Within a couple casts I get a bite that feels heavy but sluggish. I miss it but before I can make another cast the Kid ties into the same thing. The fish gets up to the canoe and it’s game on. Nice crappie, and we know what that means. I hook up on another and unfortunately neither if us realizes the top to the fish basket isn’t staying shut. On our third catch we find this out when there’s only one in it. Oops. We stay until dark landing five, the longest 16”. If I’d known I’d have brought our trout nets, I also lost one at the canoe trying to get it over the side.


    The next morning we’re at the tree before 6:00. The fish are still there but not quite as active. We boat two more, plus a couple short bass and a small pickerel. The fishing is tricky, they aren’t taking hard and are staying back in the wood. We lose several jigs and at least as many fish as we keep. You have to anticipate the bite, set the hook easy and still get them off the limbs. It’s fun.

    We end up cleaning just seven total, but it’s enough. We slice up some fresh zucchini and get out the batter, oil, Dutch oven and turkey frier. Zucchini for appetizer, steam some potatoes and fresh sweet corn and fry up y to he fish. My brother in law grill a couple steaks over wood coals and it’s dinner time. Oh yeah, we take a couple filets and make a version of Lake Erie Monsters; Toasted cheese and fish sandwiches with jalapeño spiked tarter sauce.




    E4A3EC31-02FC-4049-8CE9-98B43438D0EE.jpeg 83FF9238-8CE7-4A1F-A1C9-8CC34C95DA31.jpeg 96A92343-1F45-46E3-9293-3BF1C37FAF60.jpeg 7466B25E-FC5B-4901-8541-0ECAC343BECD.jpeg
    Attached Files

  • #2
    And I wasn't invited? Dang it, now my mouths watering and all I have on hand is sliced turkey and watermelon. I'm going to remember this boy.😬
    On a more serious note, I've been stuck in classrooms most of the last week working on my wife and daughters classrooms getting them ready so they can get them ready for this fall (August). They teach in districts about 2hrs apart. Spent close to $300 on the wife's (shelves with cubbies) and getting close to $100 on the daughters.
    Good to see the stories on here Fitch, keep them coming.
    Last edited by dewman; 07-25-2021, 03:08 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds like a perfect weekend and great story. I could almost imagine Amflyer and myself being there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by franchi20 View Post
        Sounds like a perfect weekend and great story. I could almost imagine Amflyer and myself being there.
        Don't be greedy! LOL!
        Love tangling with those big ol' "barn door" crappie!
        Two of those and the "Boss" and me can have a fish fry!

        YOU call 'em "Lake Erie Monsters" up there!
        We call 'em heaven down here!
        After filling up on fried fish, hush puppies and fries, I can't wait to make a cold fried fish sammich later with the leftovers! WOW!

        Awesome fitch270! You and "The Kid" make a helluva team!
        Neato story! Great family time!

        Comment


        • #5
          This camping trip wasn’t something we’d planned. My sister called my wife earlier in the week to ask if we’d be interested in going with them. All we had going on was the Kid playing vintage ball in town. That turned out to be a double header but they started just after 10:00 am and wrapped up about 2:00 pm. I made the trip back in with him while my wife, daughter and the others went to an Amish grocery store and then a big produce market that’s near the campground. The Kid had missed the last two games due to other commitments so he wanted to play. They used 1864 rules which was different yet from the last game he played in. Playing 18 innings in 80* sun without lunch meant no fishing for us last night after dinner.

          Didn’t get anything done at home but we just checked food plots, pulled memory cards from the trail cams and took down one ladder stand. Food plots look like they’re coming in well. We’d like to do more camping away from home but summer’s getting short with things to do and some family commitments happening. Might just have to settle for staying out back a couple times.

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          • #6
            Didn’t catch I messed up the pics. Forgot this one.



            561D4FF4-5E72-405B-AE63-AB9789287776.png

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            • #7
              Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post

              Don't be greedy! LOL!
              Love tangling with those big ol' "barn door" crappie!
              Two of those and the "Boss" and me can have a fish fry!

              YOU call 'em "Lake Erie Monsters" up there!
              We call 'em heaven down here!
              After filling up on fried fish, hush puppies and fries, I can't wait to make a cold fried fish sammich later with the leftovers! WOW!

              Awesome fitch270! You and "The Kid" make a helluva team!
              Neato story! Great family time!
              The Lake Erie Monster came from an article in F&S several years back. One of the food column writers did a piece about a restaurant in Ohio that specializes in grilled cheese sandwiches. The pic in the magazine made me want to eat the page it was printed on. I should look it up.

              Comment


              • #8
                https://www.fieldandstream.com/artic...-erie-monster/

                Comment


                • #9
                  THAT requires a beach towel! NOT a napkin! LOL!

                  Okay, NOT to be critical, buy....

                  That tartar sauce (especially the jalapeno!) looks to die for! Amen on that!

                  We, the wife and me, like our fried fish super crispy. Almost like dipping chips.
                  Fillets like you got off those crappie, I split in half.
                  We have a recipe "fish meal" that we came up with.
                  Cornmeal, flour, black and red pepper and garlic powder.
                  We dredge it in that then fry it on the stove top in a non stick skillet with very scant olive oil.
                  Cold fillets with some of THAT tartar sauce ought to make you hurt yourself! LOL!

                  (OFS, cheese and fish aren't compatible! LOL!)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post

                    THAT requires a beach towel! NOT a napkin! LOL!

                    Okay, NOT to be critical, buy....

                    That tartar sauce (especially the jalapeno!) looks to die for! Amen on that!

                    We, the wife and me, like our fried fish super crispy. Almost like dipping chips.
                    Fillets like you got off those crappie, I split in half.
                    We have a recipe "fish meal" that we came up with.
                    Cornmeal, flour, black and red pepper and garlic powder.
                    We dredge it in that then fry it on the stove top in a non stick skillet with very scant olive oil.
                    Cold fillets with some of THAT tartar sauce ought to make you hurt yourself! LOL!

                    (OFS, cheese and fish aren't compatible! LOL!)
                    Fish and cheese are very compatible!!!!!!!

                    We do crispy as well. You can sort of see in the pic I posted separately how I filet panfish with the ribs removed.

                    I just picked up a Lithium Ion Rapala filet knife to replace the corded electric that was donated in Canada. My father in law and I used to prep fish for 17 people on our vacations. One would make the standard cut but run right through the rib bones with the electric knife stopping just at the tail, flip the meat over skin down then free the meat. Flip the fish over and repeat. The other one of us would then cut the ribs out of the main filet then slice the small hunk off the ribs themselves. Makes short work of a mess of fish with little waste. The main hunks are good for sandwiches and the small scallop sized pieces just for finger food.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fitch270 View Post

                      Fish and cheese are very compatible!!!!!!!

                      We do crispy as well. You can sort of see in the pic I posted separately how I filet panfish with the ribs removed.

                      I just picked up a Lithium Ion Rapala filet knife to replace the corded electric that was donated in Canada. My father in law and I used to prep fish for 17 people on our vacations. One would make the standard cut but run right through the rib bones with the electric knife stopping just at the tail, flip the meat over skin down then free the meat. Flip the fish over and repeat. The other one of us would then cut the ribs out of the main filet then slice the small hunk off the ribs themselves. Makes short work of a mess of fish with little waste. The main hunks are good for sandwiches and the small scallop sized pieces just for finger food.
                      Yes sir, I fillet with an electric knife the same way. But I removed the ribs with a small, pointy, steel blade and leave the "thumb" in place.
                      My electric knife isn't the highest quality. Occasionally it leaves flesh along the spine. I try to always go back and clean those "tidbits" off. That's where I get my "nibblers".
                      Little golden bits of crispy goodness!


                      "... Fish and cheese are very compatible!!!!!!! ..."

                      My grandmother would have cats with little rubber tails if there was any milk product besides butter on the table with fish! Drinking milk and eating fish would kill you! LOL!
                      Born in the mid 1890's, she was a little (?) old fashioned! 😉!
                      Blame it on my "raisin'"! LOL!
                      Last edited by FirstBubba; 07-25-2021, 10:06 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FirstBubba View Post

                        Yes sir, I fillet with an electric knife the same way. But I removed the ribs with a small, pointy, steel blade and leave the "thumb" on place.
                        My electric knife isn't the highest quality. Occasionally it leaves flesh along the spine. I try to always go back and clean those "tidbits" off. That's where I get my "nibblers".
                        Little golden bits of crispy goodness!
                        Same here with trimming, leave none behind. Didn’t mention specifically that boning the ribs was with a standard Rapala filet knife.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fitch270 View Post

                          Same here with trimming, leave none behind. Didn’t mention specifically that boning the ribs was with a standard Rapala filet knife.
                          Yeah, ya gotta be able to "feel" those bones! LOL!

                          Comment

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