Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fish Fry

This past weekend Char and I attended a fish fry. It was the finest fish fry I have ever been to but a bit unusual. It was a two-day event and fish were optional.

Since we had to provide the fish we started early in the morning. This time of year, mornings at Harlan County Reservoir are foggy and cool.

Most people would not have gone out under such conditions but our Captain was fearless. He knew his boat and he knew these waters.

The first task was to catch some bait. This was almost a religious experience. I was in charge of ‘casting the net upon on the waters’. We were in search of shad a small fish often used as bait for larger fish.

Then we headed out to open waters. The majority of the crew took shelter from the harsh elements of Mother Nature. Okay, maybe the weather conditions weren't that harsh but it was a little cool.

The first mate, Marilyn, made ready the poles. We all knew the fish fry depended on us. Marilyn was intense. Up until this trip I never realized she was a two handed fishing woman.

Fishing was great but the catching was slow. After awhile the fishing boat was transformed into a party boat complete with shrimp, cocktail sauce, assorted meats and cheeses, fruit, and other goodies. We might not be catching fish but were sure having fun.
Just as we were feeling all hope was lost, the Captain hooked a fish. After a lengthy battle with this creature, also known as a channel catfish, the Captain successfully landed the fish - the only fish. The fish fry was saved!

Back on dry land, we returned to our fishing shanty, also known as a cabin. On the concrete, you’ll notice a propane burner with a Dutch Oven. That pot produced fried potatoes and onions, and fried catfish. Inside the cabin fried okra was prepared while fresh homegrown tomatoes where sliced. Put it altogether and you have a feast.

But, after a couple days, the sun set on the fish fry at Harlan County Reservoir.


Blogger Paul Nichols said...

Your captain looks an awful lot like Cliff Morrow who lives over in Nebraska. You should show these pictures to Cliff. The resemblance is uncanny. But it was nice of your captain to give you his catch and to give you such a good day fishing. I might try that someday.

8:30 PM  
Blogger nora said...

Happy birthday! That guy that looks like Cliff is appearing in lots of places - weddings, at the helm of boats and in Nebraska.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Mountain Mama said...

That sounds like a perfect day to me. Even the lovely sunset!

9:44 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Looks like a whole heap of fun to me Ralph! No wonder you didn't post your Sunday funnies. That sure is a big fish the captain caught. Beautiful place to fish!

(BTW, Happy Birthday!!)

9:51 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Well, Ralph, that was a nice little lake right in the middle of you two families to meet. 13,250 acres would make it about 60% the size of our Lake Conroe (Texas) where we live.
Were you doing a preview party for our Blogstock '10? Those cabins look pretty nice but I do know Nebraska cabins book fast. We never could get enough at Mahoney St. Park for a family reunion.

Finally, Happy Birthday. Thank you, Nora, for the heads up.
I did have one question, how long did that ONE fish have to last for the four (more?) of you? If I remember right everyone each ate their own fish like that the last time I was at the marina restaurant in Decatur, Nebraska.
Oh I know, Jesus fed 5,000 with five little fishes, but ...

1:03 AM  
Blogger bobbie said...

Happy Birthday, Ralph!

Sounds like a real good time was had by all. And what a gorgeous sunset!

4:42 AM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

I will never understand the multitude of fish fry gatherings I have attended that depended on someone catching the fish that same day. Each time I believe we will not have fish to cook. Each time we leave with our bellies full of fish, etc. (Lots of etc.) That catfish probably could have been half the size and you would have served him up and called it a fish fry. Ah for happy endings!

What's this rumor about a birthday? Happy Birthday Ralph.

6:27 AM  
Blogger Jerry in Indiana said...

I keep thinking of that song, You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive. Looks like a fun day of fishing and boating ruled the day. Glad you ended up with something that you could cook.

Happy Birthday, Ralphie Boy!

2:51 PM  
Blogger Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Ralph! A couple little birdies (Cliff & Bobbie) told me it was your b-day yesterday. Happy belated Birthday.

That sure is a beautiful place to fish. It doesn't matter if you catch anything. Great family and friends are always the best catch of the day. Lisa

2:56 PM  
Blogger Cheyenne said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time. I'm not big on eating fish but I do love boating.

11:35 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Life is good...eh Ralph?

It was a blast we'll not soon forget. Thanks for all of it.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Aravis said...

I loved that first shot; it was so serene!

Trust you and the others to turn the one-fish fish fry into such a great time! Adaptability and friends are key. :0)

11:28 AM  

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