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  • Kermit M. Brown

THE FISH CAMP


Digital Art by Emilio Vergara Skyshadow Photograpy

This is a write-up and review of one of West Florida’s finest full-service fish camps and one of my favorites. It’s the U-SNAG-EM Fish Camp and Wedding Chapel – complete with restaurant and cabins.


It’s family friendly. Whether you’re just starting one, have a large family already, or you’re just looking for a place to take “the little woman”, or your bride-to-be.


The camp rents boats, fishing tackle, wedding gown


s, bouquets, clean sheets, BB guns and more. They can provide fishing guides, marriage counselling and fish cleaning.


Their weddings take place in the open-air chapel next to the boat ramp. Officiated by their own sober, on-staff notary (sober does not mean alcohol free).


The camp’s one-stop store has everything for him or her plus your camping supplies. Books, bait, gifts, and lots more.


Books. They carry two. They don’t get many avid readers but the best seller is: Stories from North Florida by Kermit M. Brown, a real Florida native. The other book is: The Care and Feeding of Freshwater Eels for Fun and Profit by another Florida native, Slim E. Anguilla.


Bait. All kinds.


Gifts. Real fishnet stockings for her, talking-eel wall plaques for him, and much much more.


Lots More. Beer, COLD. Bologna, thick and thin. Bread, sliced light. Bride bouquets. Rice. Ammo, 12 gauge of course. Camo toilet paper always on sale.


There is a playground for the kids offering two tire swings, yard darts, and a BB gun shooting range with plenty of beer bottles to shoot. This is a first-class playground. Both the tire swings are white walled steel belted radials with very little of the steel sticking out.


BBs for sale at the camp’s store. Bring your own gun or rent one at the store. Extra beer bottles can be found behind the restaurant and most of the cabins.


The fenced playground doubles as a dog walking area. So, watch your step, kids. Playground is located next to the alligator feeding pen across the road from the snake viewing area.


For the newlyweds, honeymoon cabins are available by the hour, nightly or the whole weekend. Most cabins have spot-free sheets (clean sheets can be rented at the store).

5% discount if you bring your own towels and bug spray.

10% discount if it’s your third honeymoon stay at the camp.

15% discount if it’s your cousin you’re marrying

Bonus discount if it’s your underage cousin (discount based on age)


This would not be complete if I failed to highlight the culinary delights to be had at the on-site restaurant. “The Eel Café.” Their specialty is local caught eel. This is without doubt the place to go when you have a craving for fresh eel or want to take the wife and kids somewhere they’ll love and won’t forget. Remember they are open six nights a week. Closed Monday and Tuesday. And please remember, kids under five always eat half-price. Photo ID required.


Here’s a place where you can get eel steamed, boiled, baked, fried, stewed, or in a soup – my favorite on a cold day. They offer a special every night. No coupons allowed.

Specials are:

Wednesdays; eels with sauerkraut.

Thursdays; eel and pickled egg ka-bobs.

Fridays; (all you can eat night). You-skin boiled eel cubes.

Saturdays; eel fondu with a fountain of genuine Velveeta cheese.

Sunday Brunch; buttermilk biscuit with creamy eel gravy.

Sunday Supper; a four-course meal

Hors d’oeuvres; eel sushi

Soup; creamed eel

Main Course; baked eel on a bed of cheese grits

Dessert; Cool Whip and eel parfait (cook’s favorite)

And, as always, available at every meal for the kids; eel dogs with chili.


The restaurant has a drive-thru window. They offer a great lunchtime special. Boiled okra and pureed eel served in a 12 oz. to-go cup. This is great when you’re in a hurry to get some food in you. Nothin’ goes down as fast as boiled okra; the pureed eel adds a lot of flavor and doesn’t slow down the okra. This special is popular with truckers, people on the lam, and career gals on their lunch break wanting to shop a little or get their hair curled. This gulp and go special is just the thing.


The restaurant recommends that you don’t eat more than two of these at one lunch. They have discovered that more than two have the tendency to find “a hole in your hide”. That’s why a plastic bag is included with every order of two or more. They know it’s hard to stop slurping at just one cup but they do recommend you limit it to two or you may need that bag. With every order of six or more they include a free roll of their popular single-ply camo toilet paper. Always on sale at the store.


These Florida panhandle hide-a-ways are disappearing so enjoy them while you can.


Oh, I almost forgot…one last thing.

There is day-care available nearby. Just a mile or so down the road, look on the left for the double-wide with daycare on the mailbox, a chain link fence, and a beware of dog sign. It’s across the road from the pawn shop/bar…which is easy to spot. Just keep an eye out for the neon sign that flashes “Nude Dancing” and “Karaoke”. It’ll be on your right. If there’s no one at the day-care, you can leave the kids at the pawn shop, with a note and your phone number. Day-care will pick them up there and call you. What a great service.

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