Welcome To The Ultimate Minnesota Fish Fry

“Fishing is much more than fish.  It is the great occasion when we may return to the simplicity of our forefathers”  ~ Herbert Hoover

Hello from the land of 10,000 Lakes!  Growing up, I spent a lot of quality time fishing with my father and grandfather on our annual summer outings to lakes and cabins throughout the state.  Those memories are so precious!  Regretfully, I haven’t been fishing in many years.  It’s lucky for us that we have incredible friends, Anne and Wayne Minske, who happen to be phenomenal anglers.  Last week John and I were invited to their home for a viewing party and the ultimate fish fry.  The scents and flavors of the walleye and northern wafting from the fryer brought me right back to my Minnesota childhood.

What I know for sure is that food is the ultimate connector and there is something very special about sharing a meal with the people who actually caught the fish, filleted it and cooked it.  The Minske’s take part in an annual family fishing contest and the trophy boasts both Anne and Wayne’s names multiple times.  In fact, there is only one year since 2013 where one of them wasn’t victorious.   The fish for this dinner was caught at Farm Island Lake.  

Wayne fried the fish and his home made hush puppies in canola oil.  He allowed me to photograph his prep/cooking process. He swears by the use of Shore Lunch breading/batter mix to coat the fish. The end result was a crispy texture with really amazing flavors.


While Wayne was cooking we had some time to chat, he shared the history of the boat/motor that was used to catch the fish we were about to enjoy.  His father bought the Scott boat in 1963 at the Minneapolis boat show.  It originally had a 14 horse McCullough motor but he updated it to 15 horse 1984 Evinrude which is what he is using now (this is the motor pictured above).


Anne has been gathering with a REALLY fun group of women for viewings of the Bachelor and the Bachelorette (currently in season 15 on ABC) since 2002!  Last Monday the Bachelorette theme was Fantasy Suite Week so she took that opportunity to carry that theme into the ultimate “Fantasy Fish Fry”.

Their viewing party spread was impressive and included cocktails, appetizers, several salads, the fish and hush puppies (served with a family tartar sauce recipe: see below) and luscious layered bars for dessert.

Lisa’s Caper and Dill Tartar Sauce Recipe (This is a Minske family recipe)


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickles chopped or dill relish
  • 2 tablespoons green olives, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon onion, grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt


Mix above ingredients together.  This goes well with pike, walleye, shrimp or crab.  First served in May of 2010.  Big Hit at Farm Island Lake

Thank you to Anne and Wayne for including us in a marvelous evening of food and festivities!  You re-ignited the desire to grab a fishing pole and get back out on one of our beautiful lakes soon.


Gracie “Rose”  is Anne and Wayne’s adorable Shih Tzu.  She loves a good party!

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