Bigger fish to fry
Today we went fishing in shifts: the early shift, the mid-shift, and the late shift. Early shift: Dad, Beth and I went out at around 7:30 a.m. in Dad's boat. We weren't planning to be out long, so we went out to the "tin cans" area again. We caught 7 nice perch, including a 12.5" one that I managed to keep in the boat this time (no measuring until I was back on shore!). I now hold the record for our family, breaking Jared's long-standing record of a 12" perch.
Mid-shift: Beth needed to come home to help Elise with her "kids' club" so we were back in by about 9:30. I then headed out with the next shift (Tom, Seth and Maddie) to Pike Bay. We managed to catch 18 more: 7 rock bass, 4 bluegill, 3 crappie, 2 perch and 1 walleye. Tom was complaining about how everyone in the boat was catching fish and he hadn't gotten a keeper all morning. On our last run through, he reeled in an 18" walleye, which pretty much made HIS day!
Late shift: As we were getting ready to head in, Dad, Mom and Beth came out and joined us. It was nice to see Mom out fishing again. They caught a couple of nice perch and Mom even hooked a 21" Northern Pike (which they threw back due to a sore on its side). Unfortunately, the heat of the day got the best of her and when they came in she was a bit dehydrated. She felt really sick after her shower, so "nurse Linda" and "nurse Beth" tended to her until she felt better.
Paul and Melissa had offered the use of Paul's new fish fryer, so we decided this was the night to try it out. Paul and I worked together to filter out the oil they had used before, and we noticed a little water had gotten in the oil from all the rain we had. We thought the water might just boil/steam away from the oil, but we discovered that oil and water over a hot flame really DON'T mix. The big bubbles caused the oil to splatter and hit the flame underneath, causing some mini-explosions. Luckily, we didn't burn down the cabin and no one was hurt, before we turned everything off and started over. Our second attempt went much better, and the batter-coated, deep-fried fish was a huge hit! We added homemade onion rings, a salad, and some pinot gris to round out the meal. There's nothing like fresh fried fish!
(Fish count notes: We ate most of the fish we caught that morning, except for a few really nice fillets we froze for later...Tom's walleye, 2 crappie, and my large perch. Dad also took 6 perch for freezing.)