"Marsh Monster" aka "Golden Years"

The goal of this humble craft is to create stable hunting and fishing platform for a diehard octogenarian duck hunter, fisherman, and lifelong Mississippi River Rat.
Just after the O.D. paint job


The craft began its life as a stock 15' GillGetter 712, from Apex Marine, which specializes in manufacturing smaller pontoon deckboats. The pontoons are oversize 22" for added stability and reduced draft for shallow Mississippi River backwaters (19" pontoons are standard). The deck was ordered bare (except console), so flexible/movable hunting/fishing seating could be arranged. The short 15' length is for maneuvering in tight backwater areas, and ease of camoflaging.


Stock Gillgetter 712

As delivered, April 22, 2004


Welded aluminum platforms were added by the manufacturer to the after end of each pontoon for storage, ground tackle gear, and to provide access to clean weeds from the propeller/water intake or other work on the outboard's lower unit. The first task after delivery was the custom olive drab paint job, by Mike's Auto Body, of Onalaska, WI.  

Applying camo paint for the latest attachment
A removable grassed-in duck blind is planned, along with a good complement of hunting and fishing accoutrements, all to be done in olive drab. Power will be a 25hp two-stroke Mercury outboard, with aftermarket power tilt.
Testing out the shore- side boarding ladder
Another application will be servicing wood duck houses. Bankside houses can be serviced directly from the elevated deck of the pontoon. Wood duck houses must have clean nesting materials each season; houses are also checked several times during breeding season to monitor nesting success.

Backup painters are sometimes pressed into service....
Underway at last!. The 25 Merc pushes it right along. July, 2004.
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On the River...Time to celebrate! July, 2004.
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Underway, port side, showing pushpole and landing net mounts.
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Heading out in the marsh for the first day of hunting. Most camoflage is stowed for travel.

Heading down Gibbs Chute, first day of hunting.

Blind setup at Marge's Beaver Dam, October 6, 2004.

Blind setup at Marge's Beaver Dam, October 6, 2004. First bird too - brand new carpeting christened with duck blood!

Bizzie tests out the carpeted dog ramp which slopes down off the bow, to allow her access to the high pontoon deck.