I am in the process of planning my first BWCA trip with my son this summer (early August, East Bearskin Lake entry point). We are interested in fishing and were wondering if anyone has suggestions about cooking fish, including ingredients. I am not new to the whole canoe camping/backpacking thing, but have never cooked fish on such an expedition I am typically a catch and release angler). I can think of several ways to do it, but am especially looking for efficiently packed methods and recipes that people find tasty!
I just came back from that area and had 9 days of adventure. Fish was a big part of that.
I suggest you put all dry ingredients in a freezer zip lock bag to season fish before frying. One skillet will do and canola oil…a small one to keep the weight down. Plus you can cool it and pour it back into the container to use again.
Also, bring heavy duty foil. And I always pack a varietuy os spices.they weigh next to nothing.
I made a little foil pan…sprayed with Pam(this is great stuff) place sage and basil on the bottom. parlic whatever you like…then fish then other spices…cover with foil and place over the smoke…it will heat slowly and only takes a short time to cook.,.DELICIOUS and easy…lemon over it is good…honey…the dandelions are in full bloom there so some greens and flower buds are good as a side dish…USE YOUR IMAGINATION
That sounds good…
I assume that you put the canola oil in something like a small nalgene so it won’t leak. Instead of PAM (which would require hauling an additional container), I would guess I could oil up the aluminum “smoker” a bit. With the spices and so-forth,I really like that idea! Mmmmm fresh trout or walleye…!
For frying, I like the idea of reusing the oil and probably wouldn’t have thought of that on my own. What would be a reasonable amount of oil to bring (4 people for 5 days, so I assume at least a couple of fish meals if they are biting!) Is there a good mix of spices that someone favors? A breading suggestion?
Take some Peanut oil in nalgene container. You put a small sheet of plastic wrap on top before you screw the lid on to keep the oil from leaking into your pack. The best breading, IMHO is Martha White Hushpuppy mix. And when I fry fish in the BWCAW, I usualy fry up one whole sliced onion first, then set it aside. Gives the fish a little more flavor dropping the fried onion on top of the fillets. I also use a ziplock to bread the fillets in. BTW, you going into Alder towards Canoe and Pine, or up from E.Bearskin? You need to plan on a trip to Johnson Falls on the West end of Pine. But the portage from Canoe to Pine is a REAL BOOGER! WW
This is for Walleye, bass, northerns, etc. I don’t fry trout, as their flesh is a bit different. I sprinkle with lemon pepper (I sprinkle all my fish with lemon pepper) and put the trout and butter in aluminum foil and cook over the coals, checking frequently. Don’t want to overcook trout. WW
Thanks for the mix suggestion
I think I’ll give it a try at home and see what the other trippers think (given that it will of course taste better in the wilderness!). My understanding is that peanut oil will go to a hotter temperature than many other cooking oils without scorching, so that would probably be a good thing, especially if reusing some of the oil.
The trip wil be E. Bearskin >> Alder (Sidetrip to Pierz) >> Canoe (sidetrip to Crystal) >> Pine >> Little Caribou >> Caribou >> Deer >> Moon >> E. Bearskin
I have read about Johnson Falls and am planning to do that. Have also heard that the Canoe to Pine portage can be difficult, but since I am planning a pretty liesurely trip, I’m just gonna take my time and enjoy the pain…
I, too, like baked fish. Place aluminum foil shinny side up. Smear foil with margarine. Put fish filet on foil. Add more margarine and sprinkle with herbs (commercial mixed herbs for fish). Some parsely. A little lemon pepper. Close foil. Place on hot coals for 12 - 15 minutes. Turn. Bake another 8 - 12 minutes.
Also, take along a small bag of peeled, baby carrots. They are a great lunch snack, but, also, a few can be thrown in the foil packet with the fish.
No, I don’t mean fish taken illegally!
Take a frying pan with water, and perhaps some spices, in it. Heat to near boiling. Add fish filets. Turn after a couple minutes. When both sides are white and firm they’re done. Serve with melted margarine on the side.
Easy Fish Chowder
Good for those times when you have to “stretch your catch”. One package of Knorr’s Vegetable Soup Mix. One cup of minute rice. Add 2 cups more water that called for on the soup instructions. Bring to a boil. Add fish chunks. Cook for an additional five minutes.
If you catch enough fish to fry, then use the soup and rice as side dishes.
I bring a couple cups batter mix in a ziploc bag.Bring extra bags, then use just what you need each time,put filets in bag and shake it up to coat. BW fish is the best,it dont matter what kind it is,ITS ALL GOOD.It will always taste the best in the wilderness.You take the same fish home and you cant duplicate it as well,I dont know why this is. You dont even have to have batter.I use peanut oil and put it in a veg oil bottle. The key to frying fish is get your oil HOT.OK,let me tell you again,use HOT oil.The oil is HOT enough when a drop of water splatters when you add it the oil. Once its HOT then add your fish.I like using a stove for constant stable heat. I like to use a fish basket for keeping fish alive very well and away from gulls,turtles and otters.This way you can clean them anytime you want.
Never Used Fish Basket, BUT…
…that’s a good point. My first BWCAW northern got a chunk taken out of him while on a stringer by a snapper. Would have taken more had I not noticed the commotion. Also had some otters pilfer a couple walleyes off a stringer. That fish basket’s a good idea, Hybes. WW
…< 10.0" native trout w/spices…
If you get somekind of fire/stove to create somekind of spicy dressing(garlic, S&P, scallions/onions, broccoli, butter, lemon, white-wine…etc) I’ve just wrapped up fresh trout in foil over the fire for ~10min…then add dressing = greatness. Of course, a hot & spicy mex preparation is super too.
Foil is the ticket! We take some salad dressings to cook the fish in. Italian, Ranch, whatever floats the boat!
It’s quick and easy, got your oil and spices all in one. If you don’t have cold storage, get some foil packs of dressing and keep them in a good ziplock.
Gatta have the potatoes and onions to go along with that though, and don’t forget the beens!
Good trip and keep the screens open!..jeff
Can u tell me more on that?
the dandelions are in full bloom there so some greens and flower buds are good as a side dish…This sounds something I would like to try, what did you do on it?