To Love, Honor, and Fish … or Not

Kicking back and brunching lakeside

Vicki Baker

Every room in the house has its own little library of reading material dedicated to fishing. Clutter and stacks abound! Each issue is as precious as the next; none can be thrown away. We trip over them, dust under them, and stuff them in drawers when guests arrive. Flashy covers sporting brilliantly colored fish with smiling anglers, telling stories of freshwater and saltwater fishing, the top 10 rods, the most effective plug color.

Know what never graces the covers? Articles entitled, “Thanks to My Super Cool and Supportive Wife for Allowing Me the Freedom to Fish,” or “Ten Functions My Wife Attended Alone Because the Bite Was On.” Well, time to remedy that situation. A vacation including the real MVPs and silent supporters of crazed fishermen—a couples fishing (or not) trip.

So, 22 members of the Fishing Club hit the road for a weeklong stay on Table Rock Lake located in the Missouri Ozarks. Home base—Edgewater Villa Resort. Located on a no-wake cove on a quiet arm of the lake, it served the perfect balance between the hustle and bustle of Branson and the tranquil waters of one of the clearest lakes in the country. Plus, it offered a whole host of activities (both land- and water-based) to keep us busy.

Keeping a relaxed pace, we still filled the week with a whole lot of fun stuff. We were drawn to Table Rock Lake for its deep, clear-water fishing. Out on the water before sunrise each morning, the guys (and some gals) cast their lines. Nuh-uh, this trip wasn’t just about fishing.

Stocking party boats, we cruised along the lake’s shoreline while sipping wine and nibbling on snacks. Another evening was spent on the Branson Strip glowing with neon lights and lined with dozens of theaters. Of course, we couldn’t pass up a chance to attend a live musical production or two.

And what’s a vacation without food, food, and more food! Gals road tripped to Big Cedar Lodge and brunched at quaint Truman Café and Custard seated on the lakefront outdoor patio. Another afternoon, we lunched at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner where the servers, hosts, cooks, and cashiers are professional singers, songwriters, and musicians. Like a true Branson dinner show—a great dining experience seasoned with a song!

Under the outdoor pavilion, grills were set up for a cookout of hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks, and chicken. We dined at Ma’s Place on home cooked comfort food and enjoyed an evening at Charlie’s, famous for its in-house wood-smoked BBQ and daily hand-cut steaks. At week’s end, we celebrated our good times with a fish fry, using the fish caught, served along with the must-have sides: coleslaw, potato salad, and French fries.

What a week! To take a break from everyday routines and recharge our batteries; to kick back, relax, and unwind in the great outdoors. To gather and laugh with friends. Life can’t get much better than that.