- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ever have one of those rare days when everything happens just as you hoped it would? Last week, I had one of those.

My frequent fishing partner, Andy Andrzejewski, landed 45 - or was it 50? - bass. We started fishing just after daybreak and found absolutely stunning numbers of largemouth that were willing to strike his surface lure, lipless rattle bait or plastic worms, while I zipped the little 2-inch plastic minnow that I enjoy so much into openings of weed-filled creek and river coves. At last count, 21 bass inhaled the tiny lure. It was time for a break.

Andy looked up and down the tidal Potomac, pointed to two cackling bald eagles that swooped down on a pair of ospreys that had invaded their territory, proving once again that the winged fish hunters just don’t care for one another. We observed them awhile, then Andy turned the boat toward the shore and said, “It’s time for lunch.”

That it was only 10:45 a.m. should come as no surprise; fishermen rise early, and the “midday” meal often is taken long before normal folks eat.

Warning bells should have gone off in my head when Andrzejewski mentioned lunch and how he would supply it. The Fishing Pole is a bachelor. Rest assured that his picture won’t accompany the words gourmand or gourmet when you check out either one in the latest collegiate dictionary.

He opened a hatch on his 22-foot-long bass boat, removed two cans of well-aged vienna sausages and several packets of the kind of crackers you see in vending machines of highway rest stops, then checked out the boat’s built-in cooler, where miniature cans of cola sat on ice. He threw one at me, ignoring my derisive remarks about his penny-pinching - purchasing the cheap stuff rather than man-sized cans of soda.

However, Andrzejewski, who was enjoying a day off from his professional guide service and having a little fun, actually answered the call of true bass anglers to whom a vienna sausage is an epicure’s delight.

“By the way, what is in a vienny?” asked the fishing guide, using the pronunciation preferred by Southern bass anglers.

“You don’t want to know,” I answered, “but those little sausages, the crackers and the soda provide all the basic food groups a fisherman needs to survive: animal fats with plenty of cholesterol, cheap carbohydrates to increase the waistline, and sugar to raise blood glucose levels.”

We lunched in style, which is saying something what with another friend and I many years ago having written a little book that dealt at least in part with proper nourishment for outdoorsmen. It was titled “Never Let a Skinny Guy Make Sandwiches,” and it is no longer in print. I am not trying to sell books here.

However, since I brought up the subject of food for people who would rather be on the water fishing or sitting in a tree waiting for a deer, here is my idea - roughly remembered from the pages of the book - of the perfect sandwich for hungry outdoorsmen:

Start with two large slices of Italian bread or German rye cut from a round loaf, which is available in good bakeries. A large kaiser roll covered with poppy seeds or onions also will do.

Slather the bread with mayo or drizzle it with quality olive oil. Now add one crisp lettuce leaf and spread a layer of sliced pepperoncini rings over the lettuce.

Next, distribute at least 4 ounces of shaved deli ham and cover that with sweet pickle chips. Add another lettuce leaf and a layer of thin tomato slices, then add a quarter-pound of shaved deli turkey or seasoned shaved roast beef. The meat must be ultrathin to allow the various flavors to circulate freely.

Finish your creation by covering the last layer of cold cuts with thin slices of Genoa salami.

(If you do it right the meat and lettuce will keep pickle and tomato juices from saturating the bread.)

Look for Gene Mueller’s Outdoors column Sunday and Wednesday and his Fishing Report on Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: gmueller@washingtontimes.com. Also check out Mueller’s weekend fishing report and his Inside Outside blog at washingtontimes.com/sports.

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