A fish tale

Lee Bergsbaken spent Tuesday morning ice fishing on Shawano Lake and then made his way to his regular weekly sheepshead game at Take a Chance in Advance.

“I’ve got a nice bunch of blue gills if you want them,” he told my husband as they made their way in to play a few hands. It turns out, the most famous sunflower farmer in all the land can find a bumper crop in any season.

Vince happily scooped up the fish, brought them home and then surveyed the Internet and his fishermen friends for tips on how to prepare them.

Fresh fish you picked up at a tavern during an afternoon game of sheepshead? We were all a little skeptical as we watched Vince assemble his ingredients.

He was so excited about the whole deal that I told myself I’d take a little nibble, just to be polite. We made the little guys hot dogs because no one figured they’d eat the fish.

Guess what? That fish was delicious! Light and flaky, it tasted like the best Wisconsin Friday nights. I slid a piece onto each of the boys’ plates and they gobbled them up. I ate the dainty little maurer smidge I had put on my plate and then went double on the bump, scooping twice the portion on the second round.

I couldn’t believe how good that fish was!

It tasted like Shawano Lake, frozen under a glorious sunset; unlikely friendships born in an unassuming tavern; dedicated sportsmen who know how to pull fish from frozen waters; rookie cooks with Ritz Cracker crumbs all over their shirts; and love.

Lee and his friends play Sheepshead regularly and Vince was happy to fill in this past Tuesday.
We met Lee at Take a Chance in Advance, one of our favorite places to get a Bloody Mary and meet interesting people.
I haven’t taken any pictures of people ice fishing on Shawano Lake this year, but this was a hearty group last year, right next to open water.
You can imagine my skepticism at this point in the process. But, Vince was cheerful and determined.
They started to look somewhat edible…
…and then, voila! this happened!
Here’s to people who can reel delicious things out of lakes, and their friends who are willing to learn how to prepare them, and to the lucky people who get to eat all that goodness.

5 thoughts on “A fish tale

  1. Well at least he didn’t cook up “sheephead” fish. That probably wouldn’t have been so tasty!!😂😂

  2. Well at least he didn’t cook up a “sheepshead” fish as it wouldn’t have been as tasty!! 😂😂

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