The Ditchboat Gets a Name and Onto The Water.

The internet is a glorious thing. Besides cat videos, one thing you can locate there are various boat naming ceremonies. Well, we took one, and we named her. Meet Fiskeørn, the Osprey.

champagne naming



We’ve had her on the two biggest lakes in Madison, with great success, and the weekend before the wedding, Matt took her on Lake Michigan for a trial salmon fishing run, and a trip to the canal bars in Milwaukee. As the video says, with just the two of us in the boat, we clock about 37mph according to the GPS. When Matt took out my dad, brother-in-law, and one of his Marine buddies, they only hit about 32. She floats and she runs. We have a salmon boat.

Improvements for next year include a new carburetor (we can’t go quite slow enough to really troll- the carburetor’s jets are worn, and it won’t idle that low),  better planer boards, and a stenciled nameplate. Also, a kit so that we can reverse with the big engine, a small kicker motor, and a new interrupter switch. Possibly a new alternator.


Elephants, Sharks, and Assorted Antelope

Last Saturday (the 12th) was our wedding. Getting past that and into this week (and finally being able to actually do homework for my classes like I’d hoped) was like coming up for air. The last 11-12 weeks have been a whirlwind, to say nothing of the month or so before that.  So I thought I’d spend my morning writing some catch-up material.

So we spent 10 days in South Africa. After a grueling 18 hour flight, plus 6 hours in layovers each way.  We were shuttled around by our PH, Sirk. He drove us all over the place and generally was a babysitter/guide, and he was awesome. He put us onto pretty much all of the animals in our package, and big ones, at that. He set up a day of shark fishing for us with a friend of his, and got us a day of video safari at a beautiful reserve. The only animal out of our original package that we failed to get was a warthog. From what I was told, the weather thwarted us there- it was cool (ranging from low 50s F for a high to a few days in the 60s, almost 70s), and often rainy. Warthogs apparently aren’t out and about in that weather, so I swapped for a different animal, a duiker.

The people were all wonderful, the scenery was stunning, and it was quite an experience to be in a country on a continent I never thought I’d visit. So let there be pictures.

As mentioned, we got all of our animals, and with time to spare.

My blesbok, shot at 235 yds

My blesbok, shot at 235 yds

Duiker, shot at about 150

Duiker, shot at about 150

Matt's impala was quite close, inside 100yds

Matt’s impala was quite close, inside 100yds

The kudu was impressive, ad shot at 450.

The kudu was impressive, and shot at 450.

These rhinos were on the farm where we shot the kudu. We were inside the fence.

These rhinos were on the farm where we shot the kudu. We were inside the fence.

Springbok, shot just under 100yds

Springbok, shot just under 100yds

Me following Sirk after some blesbok. He made a good place to hide behind. He was basically a mountain.

Me following Sirk after some blesbok. He made a good place to hide behind. He was basically a mountain.

Matt's big Blue Wildebeest.

Matt’s big Blue Wildebeest.

Unfortunately, I’m still searching for the external hard drive we loaded all of our pictures onto. Once it turns up, I’ll get some more pictures of the scenery and other things we saw up.

Battle on Bago 2015

This week, I’m relegated to my tablet, since the pup chewed through my laptop cable. The pictures will come at the end, bear with me.

We returned to Lake Winnebago last weekend to participate in the two day Battle on Bago tournament. We arrived later than expected on Friday, and were set up just as it got dark. We stuck it out in a hastily-chosen spot on the south end of the lake near North Fond du Lac until about 8:30 when the lack of fish and the cold drove us off. Continue reading

Soft Water Fishing on Winnebago, Pounding the Drums

Last weekend, Matt had a family to-do up near Appleton. Since we’ve barely made it out to do anything this summer, we decided to pack up the fishing gear and take the boat for some fishing on Winnebago while we were up there. The last time we were there was for sturgeon spearing back in February. 

Anyway, that was how we hoped it would work. We towed the boat up to his brother’s place and stayed the night, planning to rise fairly early and get out for the last half of the morning bite. Figuring that ‘Bago is the the single largest lake in the state, we assumed we could just head to a launch and snag some bait on the way. My friends, it did not work this way in practice.

Our route took us from a little ways west of Greenville in the upper left corner of that map southeast to Neenah. Apparently, not one person in that corridor thought to open a bait shop. The first bait store our GPS took us to had been closed for what looked like several years. Our next try was ten miles away in Appleton, and the GPS location of it was off by a solid two miles. Once we stopped and got real directions to find it, it didn’t open until 9am on a Sunday (seriously, what bait shop in this state doesn’t open at dawn or close to it?) All the next closest shops were a good 15 miles away in Oshkosh or Winneconne, or even further away down in Fond du Lac. We were driving around for a good 45 minutes to an hour, trying to find anything we could throw on our hooks. Eventually, we found a gas station selling worms, and grumbling, settled for that.

Once we finally launched from the very, very nice launch at Doty park (next to a Coast Guard auxillary post), we headed out to open water and got to fishing.

By the time we got out there, it was well past 8am, and well past the morning bite. Our only luck came in the form of 6 small sheepshead, caught in quick succession the first 30 minutes we were out. I’ve eaten them before, and they taste fine- just very bony. But these were small. We threw them back. I had one small rock bass on towards the end, but they don’t get much over 6 inches.

The only other positive of this trip, besides the family to-do, was a trip to Scheel’s, a place I find to be better than both Gander Mountain and Cabela’s combined. We both got new bow sights out of the deal. I plan to zero mine in this weekend.

Naming sights and other hunting accessories seems to follow the same conventions as naming action movie sequels.

Naming sights and other hunting accessories seems to follow the same conventions as naming action movie sequels.