Alright. As we learned last week, I am not infallible. I know, I was shocked too. I can even be wrong, sometimes. I was wrong when I told Little Brother that all the charter fishing boats for the holiday weekend would be filled up long before last week. Turns out, My Insane Mother has the skillz to get shit did. That’s actually not at all news, but it’s so rare that she uses her powers for good (as opposed to, say, using her powers to annoy the hell out of me) that I forgot how she works miracles. She works miracles. We went fishing.
Now, if you want to go fishing near my Up North, the only place to go is Fishtown. Leland, Michigan that is. Apparently they now have a “Historic Fishtown” sign up. Dad thinks that makes it less historic. He figures, if it’s historic, it just IS and doesn’t need a sign. Oh well.
Sure, it’s a huge tourist trap. But it’s fun and the fish is always good. In the past, we’ve gone there for many things – shopping, a day in the sun, smoked salmon (YUM), and the Dam Candy Store, which was always my favorite as a kid.
What? It’s right next to the dam. What’d you think it was? Other than an awesome excuse for kids to say “dam” in front of their parents and get some candy? Anyway. Fishtown is fun. It’s all old shanties and a canal and a dam and tons of fishing boats. Cute and rustic and stuff.
I’ve been going to my Up North and visiting Fishtown every year of my life. My Insane Mother has been going to my Up North since she was 5. This was the first time any of us went out fishing. No idea why it took us so long.
Headed out on the boat, and promptly had a great view of Lake Michigan, and the Sleeping Bear Dunes. No, they aren’t shaped like a sleeping bear covered in sand ANYMORE (erosion, kids) but they’re nifty.
And then we got down to the business of catching fishes. The captain was real cute and tried to explain that there was a shelf and the fish hang out right along the shelf, and Little Brother and I were like, “THE DROP OFF? THEY’RE GOING TO THE DROP OFF??” and then we made big plans to fry them up and eat them with chips. We might have made some school jokes and talked about touching a butt. Whatever. WE ARE SUPER MATURE AND AWESOME.
And then we had a catch. So we reeled it in, one at a time. And reeled ‘em in and reeled ‘em in and reeled ‘em in. Over about 4 hours, we caught 15 fish. Lake trout, that is. And when they got close, we pulled ‘em into the butt. It was sweet. Hey, did you know fishes are kinda slimy? They are.
Of the 15 we caught, about 12 were keepers – they had to be 20″ long for us to keep them. Any shorter and you have to throw them back. That sliminess? Also very slippery. I might have pulled one out of the cooler to throw him back and dropped him on the floor of the boat. Oops. He eventually made it back into the water, but probably with a bit of a fishy concussion.
After the fishing was done, we returned back to Fishtown and headed to Carlson’s Fisheries, the place to get your fishes cleaned up and filet-ed. You can get them smoked too, sometimes, but nobody was there to do the smoking. It’s all filets for us!
See? They do lots of smoking, but only of fishes.
And then we took our haul home and nommed on some Nemo. And then we had lots of leftovers so Little Brother got some and my aunt got some and my cousin got some and my folks got some and I got some. YUM. In no universe did I ever think I’d like fishing, but it was very idiot-proof and lots of fun. Plus, I don’t even like to eat fish, but this stuff is RUL GEWD fresh out of the lake like that. It’s also rul gewd smoked on a cedar plank on the grill with awesome Up North Seasoning on it.
Voila! K, J.D., Fisherperson.
Oh. Pete caught more fishes than me. And his were bigger than mine. I only caught one we could keep and two we had to throw back. Sadface. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.