What do you get when you mix 26 anglers on a corporate trip sponsored by Nortek with 13 Scott Lake Lodge guides with a passion for creative outdoor cooking, add a big bunch of northern pike that were swimming just an hour or even minutes before becoming fillets, throw in a spectacular beach setting on an equally spectacular summer day (the not too hot/not too cold variety) and season the mix with lots of beer and wine and a primitive ten-foot long fire pit? You get an epic shore lunch, a picnic on steroids. That’s what our recent corporate group enjoyed on their last afternoon of a three-day fishing adventure. This was not your run of the mill Canadian “fish fry”. This was an extravagant feast. To be sure there was one entrée of crispy pike from the giant pans and some “buffalo jack” to kick things off. But there were offerings that this crew had never seen before at any shore lunch—the legendary Scott Lake honey garlic pike; a very interesting pike chili; mouth-watering grilled pike fillets, photogenic and delicious fish tacos, and a to-die-for ranch bake that had everyone returning for seconds. Of course, there was a small mountain of the kind of French fries that can only be done over a hot wood fire. When the eating was done, there was nothing left but scraps for the waiting seagulls and ravens. It was a wonderful capstone on three days of getting down to business—the business of having fun while accomplishing business objectives.
This may have been the capper of the trip but not the highlight. That would have been the encounter at a shore lunch two days earlier. As with most big groups some friendly wagering went on for the biggest pike and lake trout. Well, Tim Prasoloff and Dan Walters were fishing in the same area of Scott Lake Lodge’s 200,000 acres of pristine water and had plans to meet up for lunch. They arrived at lunch with aces up their sleeves: both that morning had hooked and landed huge 47” pike, fish that on a three day trip even with 26 anglers were pretty sure contest winners. One can imagine their mutual surprise when the greetings and small talk about the morning ended up with something like—“so you got a 47 too”. The odds that two fish like that were caught the same morning on the same part of the lake by two guys who had planned to meet for lunch? Way too low to compute but it does make a great fish story (and a true one). Tim did take his catch a bit out of the “just luck” category by landing another giant pike, just a half-inch smaller, the next day. For the trout bet? Even more bizarre. Again two anglers, Brent Snider and Ron Pierce this time, tied for the biggest lake trout, but they did it from the same boat and within minutes of each other. Both got fat 38 inchers. Another great fish story. Nearly everyone of the group caught a trophy pike or lake trout, but everyone did leave with a collection of fish stories and a trophy experience. Maybe they even closed a deal or two.