One of the great fallacies in the history of cooked freshwater fish is the notion that walleye needs to be breaded and deep fried. We all love a crisp, bread-crumbed walleye fillet atop a hoagie slathered in tartar sauce and slaw, but ask yourself the next time you order this North Country belt buster:
Each early January, there seems to be a brief thaw. The mercury may flirt with 60 degrees for a day or two, then reality sets back in with a harsh cold front and return to lows in the teens and ice on the river.
This week’s entry has a dual meaning. I am writing this late in the evening of February 3, 2013. Earlier today we said our last goodbyes to Jim Hudson, a fellow Ice Team member who lost his life in a tragic accident on Lake Superior on January 26th. I had planned to tell you all about the forgotten and under-appreciated burbot, but I can’t help but think of Jimmy… He loved the slimy buggers as much as I do, and would’ve wanted me to let you in on the secret of the often overlooked freshwater cod, so we’ll start there.
No matter how many soft plastic baits are out on the market or in your tackle box, they are worthless without a good hook.
Most anglers love to fry their fish, and they can’t be blamed for it—especially in the heart of winter when fried crappie, perch, and walleye from the fishhouse serve as one of nature’s most effective comfort foods.
I met Jed years ago at one of the many winter outdoor shows I used to man a booth at. I recall our discussing sweet spots on pools we had both found fishing independently. Before long we were on the water together, dissecting new pools with jerkbaits, tubes and small swimbaits.
This week I head out on Mille Lacs Lake in search of mid season walleye and perch.
Spinnerbaits seem to get skipped over in favor of more “glamorous” lures, but they remain tremendously effective and a bass tournament workhorse. Few lures can cover so much water and pick off big bass as well as this wirebait. While many people have their favorites, selecting the right one for the condition can be challenging. Here is some advice from pro anglers to help you become spinnerbait-savvy.
Muskies are supposed to be the fish of 10,000 casts. Ten years ago, I decided to target them and planned a trip to where I knew a friend had caught several. On my third cast I hooked and landed a 35 incher. Beginners’ luck I suppose.
Incorporating apple cider, lemon, and rosemary, this fish stew is a festive, tangy centerpiece to a holiday or winter meal. I like to use firm-fleshed fish such as eelpout (a freshwater member of the cod family with a snake-like appearance and lobster-like consistency) or, from the ocean, marlin or black cod. Firm fish provides a good counterpoint against the crunchiness of the wild rice and the tanginess of the cider and lemon.