HENDERSON HARBOR — A year after he released his book “Hunting, Fishing & Family” which explored his lifetime of being in the outdoors, Ronald J. Ditch isn’t done telling stories.
Mr. Ditch has written and self-published a sequel of sorts, “Bass, Bucks & Birds: Hunting and Fishing Stories.”
“This one is little short chapters — two-or-three-or-four page stories,” Mr. Ditch said. “When you’ve had as long as a career as I’ve had, there are a great many things that stand out in your mind; funny incidents and that sort of thing.”
Mr. Ditch turned 86 this month and is believed to be the longest serving charter captain on Lake Ontario, if not the entire Great Lakes.
He has been a licensed charter captain on Lake Ontario since the age of 19, passing the Coast Guard test on his first try. His is a life of a love of the outdoors, especially of Lake Ontario and the waters off of Henderson Harbor. His adventurous spirit has taken him hunting and fishing across the globe, from New Zealand and Australia to Alaska and several U.S. states in between. He is also an expert decoy carver. But his first love is Henderson and Lake Ontario. He still enjoys taking customers out on his Ron Ditch and Son Fishing Charter business, 8405 Cornell Road, Henderson Harbor, which has been a family operation since 1934.
Many of those charter trips provided material for “Bass, Bucks & Birds.”
“There are some stories about some of the parties that I’ve had out and some crazy things that happened, most of them funny,” Mr. Ditch said.
His first book was “a chronicle” of his life. The forward in his new book explains that it’s about certain incidents that have happened to him.
“It was kind of a fun thing to write,” he said. “It brings back a lot of memories of people I’ve had out fishing and things that happened during trips.”
He wrote the book over the winter, providing a pandemic diversion.
“We had some down time without anything going on, and I said, ‘People keep telling me to write another book.’ I had the time and energy to do it and I thought, ‘Why not?’ They are little chapters. So, for example, if a guy’s riding out in the boat going some place fishing, he’s got time to read a story before he gets to where he’s going.”
Mr. Ditch’s captain’s license expires later this year. The licenses are good for five years. He was asked if he plans to renew it, allowing him to continue his charters, and likely gaining more stories.
“I have now until then to decide whether I want to renew it,” he said. “I probably will, just so I can be the old fossil on the charter squad.”