A simple life on the Choctawhatchee River

February 10, 2014

Randy Burns just in from his daily fishing trip. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
Randy Burns just in from his daily fishing trip. His houseboat in background. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Who wouldn’t take joy in living in a waterfront home along the banks of the Choctawhatchee River? With the spectacular scenery, it would be a dream come true for many a water lover.

One local riverfront resident, Randy Burns has the idea pared down to the most simple of pleasures; with a tiny houseboat moored along the bank of the river.  After more than 34 years as an independent electrician, Burns retired with one thing in mind … fishing. With a little bit of ingenuity, he created his own slice of paradise custom fitted to his needs.

Burns resides full time in the small but functional accommodations at Cedar Tree Landing in Ebro. The houseboat is equipped with a wood burning stove, a screen door and even a television he runs off a 12V battery. Burns charges the battery off of his van parked at the landing, and uses the battery to run the electric motor on his small jonboat as well.

“The hardest thing is collecting firewood when it’s cold,” Burns quipped with a smile.

Burns fishes every day. He likes it so much he offers up freshly caught catfish to area residents.

“I own some land over near West Bay, but got all I need right here,” he added.

Latest catfish catch. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
Latest catfish catch. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors