Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy the company of family and friends – especially those we might not get to see that often. And, of course, it’s time to indulge in some delicious food while giving thanks for what we have in our lives. For professional anglers, the holiday is even more special because it lands during that small portion of the year when they’re not on the road and can spend a little extra time relaxing at home.
With that in mind, we caught up with a handful of anglers to see just how they plan on spending their Thanksgiving holiday, along with some of the food they can’t wait to eat.
I’m ready for a day or two of relaxing because work has been so crazy (Webster is an insulation contractor). But we’re fortunate to have a lot of grandparents still alive, so we move around a lot on Thanksgiving. As far as what I have to do on Thanksgiving, the only thing I really do is put the turkey on the Traeger, and then I’m just a “gofer” to go to the store to get this or that. My favorite thing to eat is turkey and dressing; nothing fancy, but I also like the desserts, of course.
We’ve always watched football on Thanksgiving. I enjoy eating and watching football. For food, I’m a big fan of stuffing – actual stuffing from a turkey made with giblets. I also like honey baked ham, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie. I want to eat so much that I feel like I’m in a coma, but not to the point where I sleep, but I just lie around and watch football.
Our tradition is, and I’m holding the crown now, all guys go in the backyard with a football, and we lay a garbage can on the ground, like it was tipped over. The goal is to throw the ball inside the can without it bouncing on the ground first. We throw from probably 20 yards away, and it’s harder to do than you think. After we watch some football is when we go out there and play. I don’t know how it started, but knowing me it was probably because we were bored and figured we should get some exercise. So I set up a trash can to see who could throw the ball in it. Eight years later and we’re still doing it. It’s all about bragging rights. I’ve held the title three or four times, and my cousin has got it a couple times. It’s always me, my brothers and cousin playing, but it’s basically five against one, because they don’t care who wins as long as it’s not me.
For me, it’s all about football, family and food. My wife, Bri, and I have family in Minnesota and Colorado, so we travel a bit from year to year, but this year we’ll be out in Colorado. One of my favorite things to eat are these beef roll-up things my mom makes. They’re more of an hors d’oeuvre, but they’re awesome. Other than that, I’m a big stuffing guy.
You know, I’m not a huge Thanksgiving food fan. Turkey isn’t a huge thing for me, but I like side dishes way more than turkey. We usually spend our Thanksgiving with my wife’s side of the family, and my mother-in-law makes really good stuffing, but it has raisins in it, which I don’t like. Though, now she makes a batch of stuffing without raisins just for me. The other thing we usually do is get some pretty serious euchre games going. We drink some good whiskey, watch football and play euchre. That’d be our tradition. Another big thing we do anytime we get the family together is we play hammerschlagen (a German game where you drive nails into a piece of wood or stump). I’ve got my stump in my driveway right now ready to go.
Terry “Blade” Bolton
Me and my friends usually get together the weekend right after Thanksgiving and do some sort of duck hunt or fishing trip, depending on what’s better at the time. The last few years it has been a fishing trip, and it’ll probably be a fishing trip this year, but the duck hunting could be OK, so we’ll see. On Thanksgiving, we just get together with a bunch of family and put a few pounds on. I like all the usual stuff like ham and turkey. But I don’t like pumpkin pie. I’m a pecan pie guy. There are usually two pecan pies at dinner – one for me that nobody can be a part of and one for everyone else.