Yes, this is a camp grill on a wooden boat. Is that dangerous? Probably.
Sailing and paddling is a fully engaging activity. Negotiate the wind and current.Immerse yourself in nature. Get a good workout. Or take a nap.
Add fishing to the mix, and you’re outright busy. When I get out on a lake, sail rope in one hand, fishing rod in the other, time swims away.
If that multi-tasking isn’t engaging enough … you can use your boat building hobby to improve your cooking skills.
Recently, for only the second time ever, I caught, filleted, cooked and ate a fish without leaving my boat. I’d intended to do this for a while; lack of opportunity, lack of luck and lack of skill held me back. Like any activity, fishing requires a mix of research and practice. I was weak on research. Why read about fishing? It’s not for book-ish people. The guys on “Grumpy Old Men” seemed like they can barely read. Plus, for every legitimate bit of advice, there are a hundred ‘tips’ from companies trying to sell you a fancy lure or expensive tackle.
Don’t let that stop you. Good information is out there. From a local DNR site, I learned that Half Moon Lake in Eau Claire, Wisconsin has smallmouth bass that feed after sunset near shoreline cliffs. I learned how to catch bass (the right way) from a book on general fishing techniques.
The information paid off. I caught a 12″ bass.
And enjoyed a snack without leaving the boat.
Yes, this is a camp grill on a wooden boat. Is that dangerous? Probably. There is no way in Hell I’d do it on a large lake with jet skis nearby. But Half Moon Lake had me covered. The wind was calm and there were no waves. Half Moon is a no wake zone.
The fish tasted alright. I need a better system for removing guts. Cleaning the boat afterwards took a half hour. I look forward to improving these skills to the point where I can take the boys out and show them that food isn’t just something we buy at a grocery store or order at a restaurant. Chances are the lake has edible fruits and vegetables, too.
Build your own boat. Catch your own fish. Feed yourself on the fish you catch. It’s satisfying. It’s … primal. It’s something you have the ability to do.