My business is to provide people the opportunity to sample the exciting and challenging fishing available at the southern end of Lake Michigan. This page is dedicated to showing a bit of the behind-the-scenes work it takes to do that and to highlight the trips and fun my customers are able to experience.

Friday, March 28, 2014


Trim up the filets
Plank and Grill
Customers often ask me the best way to cook the salmon they are catching. I tell them,  “Remember in the movie, Forest Gump, when Bubba and Gump were scrubbing the floor with toothbrushes and Bubba started listing all the ways to cook shrimp? It’s like that with salmon. You can fry it, bake it, broil it....”
Another way is to “plank” it. The result is a marriage of smoked salmon (delicious) and grilled salmon, equally delicious.
Grilling planks are available in many places. Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have them, or get them on-line from Amazon.com.

The idea is simple. Lay the fish on the plank instead of just on the grill rack. Then lay the plank on the grill rack, shut the lid on the grill and let it cook.

There are some preparatory chores before the final cooking. First, soak the plank in water. Cedar (the most popular plank) is a soft wood and will ignite easily. You do want the plank to burn eventually, but not instantly. Submerge the plank in a shallow pan of water for several hours.

I like to keep my grilled salmon simple so all I use is a bit of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt as a rub. If you have a favorite such as lemon pepper or other seasoning, have at it.  Once I have the filets trimmed, skinned and all the pin bones removed, I give it a light dusting of Lawry’s, top and bottom, pat the salt onto the meat and put in the refrigerator for an hour.

Don't expect leftovers!
Take the soaked plank from the water, rub a bit of cooking oil on one side then arrange the fish on the plank. I add a bit of fresh or dried dill to pep it up a bit. Then put the plank over the hottest part of the grill.

The plank will deflect most of the heat, preventing the fish from cooking too quickly. The wet wood resists burning because it’s wet. In essence, this initial cooking phase steams the fish.

Ideally, about halfway through the cooking process, the plank will dry to the point it starts to smolder and produce smoke. This is the smoke flavoring part of the cooking process.

Once the plank starts to smolder, turn down the heat and let the fish finish cooking slowly. Total cooking time is roughly 15 minutes. Don’t overcook. Remove the fish to a serving platter, douse the plank to put it out and dinner is served.