Shore Lunch

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.



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