The Shore Lunch Check List

October 22, 2008 By: Marshall Cutchin

I distinctly remember the first time I enjoyed the company of a professional trout guide. The fishing was educational, of course, but the moment that noon arrived and the guide began a setting out a stunning spread of food is what sticks in my mind. I had guided for years in the Keys already, and the idea that a guide would serve food to the client was novel by itself. But it quickly became apparent to me that the “shore lunch” was not just a simple daily event. It was a ritual as important as the fishing itself.
In New West, Bill Schneider expresses a similar amazement at the shore lunch concept and outlines the step-by-step ingredients for a great midday meal. “On our last day we had hor’dourves–blackened pike. Mike kept a small pike so we could have some thin fillets, and then he put the frying pan directly on the fire (not on the grill), so it could get ‘white hot.’ He soaked the fillets in butter and added a liberal doze of Cajun spice on both sides before searing them for about a minute on each side. They don’t make adjectives to aptly describe how delicious it was.”