Walleyed Pike

[An ancient post – from June 28, 2012] I used to go fishing once a year or so.  Up near Minocqua, Wisconsin, with my friend Dan.  We’d get a guide – always Jim W. who is best in the North Woods – and head out onto the deep waters in the gray fingers of dawn.  Looking for walleye.   It was so early that the loons were still sleeping (“what are they doing here?”).  

To catch walleyes, you need big worms and a small jig with a medium-sized hook.  You string the worm onto the hook so most of the worm trails behind.  Then you cast and reel in slowly waiting for a little tug.   There are times when I’ve not had so much as a nibble.   And then there are times when the fish are biting so fast and furious that you have to bait your hook behind a tree.  

At the end of the day, Jim would clean the fish and portion them into filets.  As with tilapia, not much needs to be done.  A quick roll in some olive oil, Italian seasoning and bread crumbs and saute over a medium heat until the fish is flaky.  I swear there isn’t a better-tasting fish on the planet when it’s fresh out of the lake.  Add some homemade hash browns (I cut organic potatoes thin and saute in a squidge of olive oil, some butter, salt and pepper and finely-chopped Vidalia onion), steamed broccoli and wagon wheel chocolate chip cookies for dessert.   Oh yes and some Caymus cabernet.   You’ll have a North Woods meal fit for Paul Bunyan.