Bobby Pic

I got to go to the annual fish supper. Some of my friends have been going on a fishing trip in the spring for the past 20 years. At least I think they have been doing this for 20 years. Their math is kind of fuzzy. Twenty years of an annual fishing trip can be rather confusing. The fishing trip lasts from five days to two days. People come and go. Boats come and go. Some boats got out on the lake and never came back. That’s a long tradition of fish and drinks that can’t be totally cataloged.

I’ve been to this supper one time before. This year some guys picked me up and I rode with them to the supper. We get to the lake house and there is no one there. They are all out fishing.

Within an hour here come three trucks pulling boats. The victorious fishermen are back. They all pull out a few fish. Now there is visual evidence of what they caught. You won’t hear much about the size of the fish this trip. You can see what they caught.

It doesn’t take long for the trash talk to start though. One guy had a nice bass. “Where did you catch him?” “In the lake.” “What did you catch him on?’ “A hook.” Those answers came out without the first beer. It can only get better.

Soon more people were there and things started in earnest. Some of the new guys had been fishing somewhere different. They didn’t bring any of their fish. It seems they caught the biggest fish. It didn’t take long to start comparing the fishing this year to the fishing many years ago. That’s where all the fuzzy math comes in. People on this fishing trip are using boats that cost $1,500 to $75,000. It’s hard to keep up with the $75,000 boat guys, but the guy that caught the biggest fish was in the $1,500 boat.

Fishing equipment is harder to keep up with. Seems like every year there is newer better fishing equipment. One guy had been on a different trip and found a new fishing rod. “I saw the rod and reel on the last trip. I went to the store and told the guy I had seen it when I was drinking and now I wanted to see it when I was sober.” He ended up buying it.

Amazingly, there was no fish served at the fish supper. All the fish were put in coolers and would be cleaned later for a different supper. Everyone was instructed to bring a steak. A big grill was set up and the cooking started.

Once a bunch of guys start cooking the conversation really takes off in a different direction. Now the talk turns to gas grills, cast iron pots, and a new griddle that will cook anything. The geeks are analyzing the size of the tubing for the gas and the diameter of the gas jets for the best cooking temperatures. Stews, perlo, vegetables, chicken, beef, fish, and all the chopped onions are thrown on the griddle with the pork chops and eggs.

Once the steaks start coming off the grill, it gets quiet. In about 15 minutes the steaks have been consumed and the talk of boats back on the lake in rough water starts up. Ten minutes of rough water in anything from a category five hurricane to 50 below zero windy day have caught these guys out on the lake.

The steaks start weighing heavy on the stomachs and the old guys are ready to head home. I leave before they get to the serious fishing that is about to start up.

The last tale I heard was a planned trip to do some fly-fishing and bear hunting in Montana. Sounds kind of strange. Why would you want to catch a fly with a fishing pole?