Fifteen years ago, a pair of anglers hatched an idea that could only be called genius. Bill Davis, a Bismarck, North Dakota, financial consultant, and his friend Paul Hansen had been scheming to open a walleye booth at the Minnesota State Fair-since the walleye, for which the two men had been fishing for years on any number of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes, was the official state fish and tasted like a dream, to boot. "We tried everything," he says. "For a long time we played with beer batters, but they're a bit of a mess. You need to have really flat beer or that fizz will explode once it hits the oil. We worked on recipes until the day before the fair started."