I’m going to broach a very serious angler topic today – but it’s one I’m pretty sure you will at least somewhat agree with me on, even in this day of polarized political viewpoints. So, what you ask, could it be? My short answer: it’s all about the food!
Looking back to my early fishing days, I don’t think I appreciated the food we took on our trips nearly as much as I do now. Back then I had to eat around six to eight times a day (small meals mainly) to keep up with my huge caloric output training nearly four hours a day for the decathlon back. I got tired of having to eat so often!
That slowly changed after I stopped competing until one day I realized I was now anticipating the upcoming feast or famine between fishing spots – depending on me, my buddy or a guest’s food foresightedness. The obvious difference between having a few cheese and crackers washed down with some tap water compared to a full-fledged gourmet picnic began to get my attention. I could feel the screw turning! Hmm … maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to bring along some really good stuff.
Of course, out of self-preservation I became proficient in making well-timed and thinly veiled suggestions to my upcoming guest or fishing buddy that bringing along some “special snacks or food” could appease the captain! It might also lead to catching more and bigger fish for them! Should I be ashamed of this subterfuge? Heck, no! It was just good planning!
Funny, I can still vividly recall the first fishing trip a couple of decades ago when one of my good buddies reached into his cooler bag during a break in the fishing and slowly pulled out a cold Starbucks iced coffee (Mocha!) and a big bag of Hawaiian potato chips. Whoa! A feast that couldn’t have been any more appreciated! I saw that a perfect snack – or food that’s brought out at exactly the right moment – is a talent some buddies just naturally have. To this day, he brings along this pair of snacks in an ongoing celebration of our friendship.
Some of the most memorable meals/snacks have been the most unexpected ones – like the time a guest, who’s an undercover chef, brought along a whole meal of fried chicken, potato salad, cookies and assorted other goodies that he had prepared. I wondered earlier why he had brought two huge ice chests; I’ve learned since, that’s a good sign!
In another memorable trip I had a Japanese couple ask me if I would like to try out the homemade food they had graciously brought for me. I admit I had never eaten anything like it before in any Japanese restaurant I’ve gone to, but every bit of it was as delicious as any food I’ve ever eaten – although I couldn’t tell you what dishes I ate if my life depended on it. Fantastic food that I will never forget. The food made it a great trip.
Some of the best snacks guys/gals have brought on my boat have been different types of jerky (Teriyaki, smoked, peppered), cake-type brownies with nuts, Macadamia nut cookies, snack crackers, Oreos, chips, trail mixes and special cheeses. Good sandwiches (with the right bread and toppings) are hard to get. I’ll admit I’m a Deli Delicious sort of guy and the Dutch Crunch bread is to die for! Am I picky? You bet! The fishing trips right after Christmas and Thanksgiving are great times, too – leftovers galore!
Yes, I always try to set the bar high on what stuff anglers get for the trip, since they usually ask me what to bring.
Never give up!