Shore Lunch Basics

There are many anglers who are lucky enough to be able to enjoy a morning of fishing with a handful of friends. The day doesn’t have to end there, though, especially if everyone’s pulled in their limit. One of the most relaxing and enjoyable experiences in the outdoors is cooking what you’ve caught and sharing a meal with those you’re with. Shore lunches are a great way to end the day and with a little preparation and teamwork, you too can share such a great experience that will only add to the memories of your time on the water.

Conventionally, shore lunches consist of fish, first and foremost, but also other foods like beans, potatoes, onions, biscuits, etc.; the majority of which are cooked in cast-iron skillets over an open flame. If roughing it appeals more to your tastes, then this method is a great way to embark down the traditional route. Though, to ensure that—modern or rugged—your shore lunch goes off without a hitch, preparing a standard kit that will accompany you on your trips to the water is a great idea.

Having a few staple items and creating a kit consisting of everything you’ll need to prepare a proper shore lunch no matter where you find yourself is very easy. The best part is, depending on how many of your own additions you include, the kit fits easily in a plastic bin or cardboard box that you can leave in the car until you’re ready to get to work.

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to meals, but a good outline to follow when preparing your own shore lunch kit consists of the following: fillet knife, large tongs, oven mitts, waterproof matches, can opener, cast-iron skillets, cutlery, paper plates, paper towel, garbage bags, cooking oil (enough for all dishes), breading and seasoning mix for fish, ketchup (packets will do, and they take up little room), seasoning (salt, pepper, etc.), cold drinks, and any other food you want to include.

If space is an issue, the real trick is remembering to take only enough for one meal, keeping in mind how many people will be eating, as well as the extent of each individual’s appetite. Items like salt, pepper, and ketchup can be limited to restaurant-size packets. I suggest opting for paper plates and cups, as they can be burned after use.

As I said, each of us has different preferences when it comes to food, but the bare essentials I’ve outlined will make up the foundation of any good shore lunch kit. Try not to get too fancy, unless of course your culinary skills are better than most, and limit yourself to meals easily cooked over a fire. By preparing your own shore lunch kit to keep around for such occasions, you and your fellow fishermen can enjoy the fruits of a hard day’s work on the water in true, rugged fashion.