There was a time, in nursing training, when a patient told a classmate and me about how great the pickerel fishing was in Sturgeon Lake, Alberta. All you had to do was go, with a yellow feather lure on your fishing pole, the third week in May, at the crack of dawn and VOILA pickerel, pickerel, pickerel.
I borrowed my mother’s Studebaker Lark, and Lee(trusty Lee, the one who studied human anatomy with me, with the same vague concepts of what went where and what did what)…begrudgingly accompanied me to Northern Alberta.
We had to drive through a first nation reserve before parking at the marsh-like, bog-like beach site, after having been distracted by the erratic flashing, of flash lights( or fireflies) and the blurred images of bodies romping through the brush.
We locked car doors, wrapping the warm blanket of darkness around our shoulders; we snuggled into the vast cushioned seats of this antique vehicle, & under a night sky studded with stars, awaited a cold damp long-suffering dawn, one that penetrates and makes you wonder why you are here, or for that matter even alive……
With sunlight spreading across the lake, I feel a smile spread across my face.
I call out to Lee “We can cast our lines now!”
I ponder, sitting on a rock, while the black velvet water remains still, “She’s not interested in fishing?” I quietly walk back, peering into the car’s back seat window to witness Lee nestled into her sleepmg bag in an exaggerated fetal position.
WHAT A GIRL…what a fine friend. I am overwhelmed with the feeling of warmth from the sun and… friendship.
Then, recently, I finally explored why #26 Stormy Point’s original structure was a fishing hut, built by 4 fishermen and some “shop” highschool students.
Bob and Cathy Nicksy were kind enough to have me over for coffee and explain why Bob ( a fisherman) sees Stormy Point as an excellent area for Pickerel(other name is Walleye) fishing. He says that there is a mid-lake hump directly in front of my property. The map indicates where Walleye are located with “W”. The fishfinder is a good gauge for the fisherman(certainly before the GPS). The transducers(the bullet like instrument attached to a cord) is lowered into the water and as the boat evolves slowly around the circumference of the mid-lake hump, it transfers images to the screen, indicating the depth and size of fish. Some of the pickerel lurk in and out of the different leveled shelves, on either side of the hump.
On The Canadian, when we crossed over into Ontario, the menu changes included Pickerel. …and it was the 3rd week in May. …and the fish was fresh.
How does this sound: HEMP-CRUSTED PICKEREL..Boneless fillet of pickerel breaded with nutty hemp seeds, and grilled in butter to golden brown.
There’s another recipe from WhiteWater Cooks (from the Canadian Rockies) that speaks to Halibut, but the same recipe could apply to Pickerel, as their flesh is quite similar.
The ingredients: Cilantro, 2tsp curry, 2T olive oil, 1 T gingerpaste, 4 pickerel fillets, 1 1/4 cup of sliced grape tomatoes, 1/4 cup slice green onion, 2T lime juice, 1tsp honey..a pinch of salt.
(you can figure out the cooking procedure)