The perfect shore lunch should be comprised of all of the food elements that would frighten your cardiologist and is certain to insure your blood pressure medication is well worth the money your spending on it. A shore lunch will never contain anything resembling a vegetable (though I suppose corn on the cob is ok), fruit (unless it is a fruit cookie), nuts or “diet” food. This meal is meant to be generous, decadent and sustaining to an outdoorsman though a long hard day.
The key to any successful shore lunch is a good fire as it not only provides the heat to properly cook your meal but also the ability to warm cold and potentially damp companions. A good cooking fire is constructed by having the proper mix of quick burning softwood (like cedar) and hardwood (birch, oak, etc.). By starting the softwood first, you are able to get hot fire going quickly that will easily ignite the heavier hardwood. Once the hardwood is successfully burning, it insures a slower longer burn that will assist you greatly with your cooking endeavors. If you are planning to have your shore lunch in an area that is devoid of available wood or cutting is not allowed, a milk crate full of cut and split hardwood with a small side bundle of softwood is a good allotment.
Preparing a shore lunch need not be a complicated endeavor but there are a few essential supplies that need to be available for meal preparations to be successful. All of these listed supplies can best be carried in a large dry box, pack basket or even a couple milk crates. Please remember that when preparing a shore lunch cleanliness is the most important item. Make sure to have family, friends and clients see you thoroughly wash or sanitize your hands before you begin cooking.
1. Fillet Knife
3. Coffee Pot
4. Dutch Oven Gloves
8. Grill Top
9. 2 Large Cast Iron Frying Pan or Dutch Oven
10. Garbage Bags
11. Zip Lock Bags
12. Coffee Cups
15. Paper Towels
16. Small Container of Hand Sanitizer
For the prefect shore lunch you need only supply the following edible elements. For many the taste of freshly caught fried fish is hard to resist. However, if the fish refuse to bite or someone on your trip prefers to eat something else it pays to have a back-up plan. Thinking ahead of easy menu substitutes is sure to keep you popular.
1. Hot Coffee or Hot Coco
2. Potatoes and Onions
3. Fresh Caught Fish
4. Coating and/or Seasoning for Fish (Premixed in Ziplock Bags)
5. Baked Beans
6. Rolls and Butter
7. Chocolate Chip Cookies
8. Cooking Oil
9. Bonus Items Carried By Master Guides: Salt and Pepper, Ketchup Packets, Tarter Sauce, Sugar, Creamer, Irish Whiskey or Scotch
The quality of any shore lunch can be evaluated by the period of time that eclipses after eating, when family, friends and clients are content to sit on the shore farting, belching and potentially napping. The longer the amount of time that passes, before someone finally says, “hey when are we getting back to the fishing”, the higher rating your shore lunch receives.