Bacon Butter Potatoes – from the Walleye Capital of the World

Ingredients:
2 bottles (12 oz. each) medium-bodied ale (3 cups)
4 pounds red-skinned potatoes
8 slices thick-cut bacon
1/4 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt

Directions:
1. Bring beer to a boil in a 5- to 6-qt. pot that can hold a steamer basket snugly. Meanwhile, cut potatoes into bite-size pieces and put them in a steamer basket. When beer boils, put steamer basket of potatoes in pot, cover, reduce heat to low, and steam until potatoes are tender when they are pierced with a fork (about 15 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in a frying pan over medium heat until crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, chop, and set aside. Pour off fat in pan, but don’t wipe out or rinse. Return pan to medium heat and add butter and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to brown (about 10 minutes).
3. Meanwhile, put potatoes in a serving dish, reserving beer in bottom of pot. Add 3/4 cup beer and reserved bacon to onions, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of frying pan.
4. Pour bacon mixture over potatoes, add pepper, and stir gently to coat. Add salt to taste. Serve hot or warm.

Recipe is courtesy of Lake of the Woods Tourism: https://lakeofthewoodsmn.com/bacon-butter-potatoes/; Phone: 1-800-382-FISH (3474); Email: info@lakeofthewoodsmn.com.

 

A Special CASE for “Border Water Walleye and PERFECT Boneless Fillets”

  • Expert Guides DO Simplify Catching Fish – with simple JIGS
  • Rainy Day BLESSINGS on the Rainy River  
  • One BEST Fillet Tool CAN SIMPLIFY Cleaning Walleye by the Dozen

By Forrest Fisher

Nature and the peaceful wilderness to be found near Sportsman’s Lodge in Baudette, Minnesota, will create NEVER-FORGET memories for all that visit. Forrest Fisher Photo

We arrived in the front lobby of Sportsman’s Lodge on the Rainy River in Baudette, MN,   The weather was cold and nasty, and VERY rainy.  We were in a momentary downpour.  I looked disappointed, my better half smiled at me and joked, “It’s ok, it’s gonna be good luck, it’s raining and we’re on the Rainy River!  I couldn’t help, but smile back.

Hungry Lake-of-the-Woods walleye are asking anglers, “What’s for Dinner?”  Forrest Fisher Photo

We were one step closer to the fishing the Walleye Capital of the World that we had read about so often, not to mention a few decades of dreams.

What I didn’t know was that the number of fish to catch in the Rainy River and Lake of the Woods was beyond the normal angler’s day of fantasy fishing.  We discovered a brand new REALITY here, an iconic, never-forget celebration of most-ever-walleye-caught memories.

Not long after we arrived, we were fishing with Captain Ralph Christofferson (218-634-1342) aboard his 27-foot Sportcraft, a beautiful, fully-equipped, big water vessel.  Lake of the Woods offers about 1,700 square miles of fishing with more than 14,500 islands and 65,000 miles of shoreline.  Impressive fishery numbers and with plenty of forage in the form of emerald shiners, tulibees and various crustaceans.

We boated out to the lake and anchored, only a 10-minute ride with that giant 454 Chrysler engine humming us into competition with throngs of honking Canada Geese that were nearby.

Captain Ralph provided everyone his hand-made, 6-foot 2-inch, personally customized, St. Croix fishing rods to use.  The rods were light .and beautiful, a pleasure to hold.  Perfect balance.

Captain Ralph Christofferson provided the expertise that enabled us to catch walleye and sauger at the unbelievable rate of more than 20 fish per hour.  Forrest Fisher Photo

The rods were geared up with an open-face spinning reel, 6-pound test monofilament (P-line) and gold-plated 3/8 ounce jigs tipped with a salted emerald shiner minnow.  The minnows were “slid” onto the hook with Captain Ralph’s “secret twist.”

It didn’t take long to discover active fish at our anchored spot.  In less than 3 hours, we landed more than 50 walleye and sauger. Captain Ralph said, “It’s sort of a slow day.”  In the words of our young friends and millennials, OMG!  Except, he wasn’t kidding!

We kept our daily limit of 4 walleye and 2 sauger each, and there was five of us.  Yes, we had a cooler filled with 30 fish and ice, ready for the pan or the freezer.  We arrived at the dock, it was a short walk to the Sportsman’s Lodge state-of-the-art fish-cleaning house.  There were plastic bags, foam trays for holding the clean fillets, saran wrap, ice and lots of bright lighting.  I could see the light.  Indeed, in more ways than one.

While some anglers use an electric knife to clean fish, most old-timers know there is about 15 percent waste with that method.  I’m an old timer and I had a brand new fillet knife that I received on my birthday.

A manual fillet knife job will yield the most meat for the plate.  If you consider some of the catches for the week – and we ate most of the fish right on site the day we caught them – you might think that manual filleting the fish was a tough task, but not so.

My 6-inch W.R.Case fillet knife is unequalled as an angler tool and doubles as my favorite kitchen tool.

It’s not work if you a knife like mine, a new 6-inch Case, fixed-blade, fillet knife (Model BR12-6 SS).  My Case fillet knife is so sharp and rigid, but also provides some bend in the blade if you press a bit, to be flexible, making it so simple to use.  It seems to never lose its really sharp edge and we cleaned so many fish with it.

Every now and then, I touch up the edge with a very gentle stroke on a carbide diamond wedge, then a final stroke or two using a very smooth Arkansas super-fine stone and water.

One other thing about this knife, it is ergonomically perfect to fit my hand. It feels just right, you know, comfortable and solid.  The steel blade and formed poly-handle are melded as one, permitting full control, and it works like a hot poker through butter.  Even with potatoes, onions, carrots and sausage, you get the idea.  It’s my favorite all-around cutting tool.

Many things we buy in the USA are now manufactured elsewhere, but W.R.Case knives are made in the USA (http://www.wrcase.com/knives/), one more of many reasons why I like them.

The bottom line for a good knife: can it hold an edge?  Indeed.  This thing holds an edge like no other fillet knife I have ever used, and I have used most of them.  I’m not sure what kind of steel alloy this Case knife uses, but whatever it is, please tell them to never change it.

My grandkids will want one of these 20 years from now and, of course, my Case will be here ready and waiting.

Last, this knife is an easily affordable investment at about $25-$30 cost.  Check google for the best price or go direct to W.R.Case.

Love this knife, the expert guides and this deluxe accommodation where we caught all these fish just a short boat ride and simple drop-jig cast away.  Dreams are made of this.

We’ll be back soon (http://sportsmanslodges.com/).

 

 

Walleye & Sauger Slamming Jigs at Lake-of-the-Woods – Baudette, Minnesota

  • Usual Fish Catch Rate is 4-7 Fish/Hour
  • Hot Lure: 3/8 Ounce Jig (hammered gold/pink) Tipped with a Minnow
  • Angler Qwest Pontoon Boat Rig was Safe and Extra-Comfy

By Forrest Fisher

Lake of the Woods offers top notch walleye and sauger fishing just 5 to 15 minutes from the dock.  This graph is typical for fall fishing stints. Forrest Fisher Photo

Brad Dupuie and Roger Nieson treated several friends from the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) to a short afternoon “Angler Qwest Pontoon Boat fishing trip” for walleye and sauger on Lake of the Woods near Baudette, Minnesota.

Roger Nieson with a nice walleye from LOTW (Lake of the Woods). Forrest Fisher Photo

With the lake in turnover mode and the water with a tea-like water color, we still landed over 30 fish, keeping 18 in the 3-hours.

Executive Director, Julie Knutson, from the Watertown, South Dakota, Visitor’s and Tourism Bureau, were visiting and fishing with us at the conference…the action was non-stop!Forrest Fisher Photo

We dropped lines with simple jig/minnow rigs and VMC jigging spoons in 26 feet of water off the Rainy River outlet to the lake.   The technique that produced good fish was to release the jig straight down alongside the boat, let it hit bottom, then lift sharply about 6 inched to one-foot, then let the jig flop back to bottom, wait 5 seconds, then lift about 4-6 inches off bottom and wait.  Repeat every 20 seconds or so.  Slam, dunk!.

Welded stainless steel side plates and fixturing is standard gear with this Angler Qwest pontoon boat model. Forrest Fisher Photo

The Angler Qwest pontoon boat was not ordinary, powered by a 200HP, 4-stroke Merc that used very little fuel (regular gas).  The well-outfitted boat could outrun (speed) more ordinary 27-30 foot fishing craft designed for six anglers and a charter captain.

The boat featured extra special build items that included a teak floor, live wells, rod holders, deck wash-down hose, measuring board table, sidewall cupboards, set up for downriggers, welded stainless steel fixturing all around, side-deck grill options, all equipped to handle 4-ft waves in the Great Lakes.  AND, it travels at 45 mph!

Trax Tech Rod Holders  allow high-tech fishing with boards, riggers and divers. Forrest Fisher Photo

We had 8 of us friends on board too.  Rods were 6-7 feet lightweight open-face spinning reel rigs with 8-pound monofilament line, though many anglers use lightweight braided lines tied direct to the jigs.  The stained water color allows the line color of any type.

David Gray of the VEXPO North American Sportshow shared fish-catching fun moments. Forrest Fisher Photo

All of us enjoyed a great time fishing out of the Sportsman’s Lodge in Baudette, Minnesota, where special fall rates are in effect or the next few weeks.  Visit http://sportsmanslodges.com/ for more information on lodging.

Lovin autumn life in the outdoors!