Fishing on Fish Fry Lake
Imagine being gifted with an opportunity to go fishing every day, sometimes twice a day! Throw the canoe on top of my $600 Pontiac Tempest (quick and easy for me at 6′ 8″), and take off to fish one of about seven lakes I knew intimately. This would happen around five every day, when I didn’t feel guilty about quitting regular work to “go fishing”! At the time, I was a student, and the publisher of “Outdoor News of Marinette County.” Northern Wisconsin – true lake country. Note that my home state has half again more lakes than “famed” Minnesota.
I’d solo canoe around the perimeter of the lake, casting into the nooks and crannies of edge cover. Every now and then my line would “twitch”. This was a signal. There were others too. Like the “resistance” as I brought the leech-like plastic bait through otherwise “open” water. At that point, I’d rear back into a setting-of-the-hook mode. And maybe every fifth time it would be an actual fish. Most of the time, it was some slight vegetative resistance.
This was bass fishing in the north. I could fill out a limit of five 2 – 4lb fish in a few hours.
There is something about the flavor of bass…an umami, earthy aftertaste, that some of us enjoy, and others don’t. It’s like bluegill, but even more so. I love it, but my wife Anne, with an incredibly discerning palate, is not as enamored! On the other hand, she derives from Northern England, so who can say? (Hey! – Ed.)
A couple days ago I stepped onto a floating island archipelago, the fishing dock two hundred yards from my office, at 3 in the afternoon! This was unheard of; totally outside the normal, rigid, Puritan work standard. I went fishing. Over the space of thirty minutes I landed four bass between 2.5 and 4 pounds. It was a blast! The concentration of fish connected with BioHaven floating islands was amazing!
Water improves as three standards occur: Prevention, stewardship, harvest. The greatest of these is Harvest (at least on this day). All three must come together to achieve sustainability. So yes, Anne and I, and a number of friends, are enjoying / tolerating drawn butter infused umami fillets of chunky, succulent bass!
To read more about Fish Fry Lake and Bruce Kania’s method of harvesting as a water quality strategy, try these articles: