The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

October 17, 2013

Madison company brings science to fishing

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A technology-focused start-up company in Madison traces its roots to a really bad fishing trip.

Strategic Fishing Systems LLC was formed in 2007 by three guys who describe themselves as "avid outdoorsmen who are passionate about technology." Strategic Fishing Systems won the 2012 Governor's Business Plan Contest in the information technology category.

The lousy fishing ended up being a great motivator for company founders Brian Haymart, Dan Reed and Ryan Rist.

"We're good friends and we were out fishing on a lake that we had never been to, Lake Leelanau in Michigan," Rist said. "The wind was a little bit tricky. We fished the whole weekend and it was miserable. Maybe we caught a couple. It was just terrible.

"After that trip, we said there's got to be a better way to find where the fish are."

The answer they settled on: Algorithms.

"Our goal is to help recreational anglers catch more fish by providing them with cutting-edge technologies normally reserved for the government and scientific communities," the company says on its website.

Rist said he considers Haymart an expert fisherman.

"We call him the fish whisperer," Rist said. "He basically took on the task of building an algorithm that predicts where the fish are going to be."

Algorithms are often-complex computations that derive from a fairly simple concept, said Jordan Ellenberg, mathematics professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"An algorithm is a set of instructions for doing something. It's instructions for carrying out a task," Ellenberg said. "It has a fancy name, but that's what it is.

"Even in 2013, computers are much, much stupider than people," Ellenberg added. "So, the instructions that computers require have to be spelled out in a very formal way. That's what an algorithm is. It's instructions that are so clearly specified that even a stupid computer can understand them."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Black box found at Air Algerie wreckage site PARIS (AP) — French soldiers recovered a black box from the Air Algerie wreckage site in a desolate region of restive northern Mali on Friday, officials said. Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the most likely reason f

    July 25, 2014

  • Ukraine reports overnight rebel attacks on border MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east. Ukrainian forces are trying to close in

    July 25, 2014

  • Deal still elusive for Gaza cease-fire CAIRO (AP) — Turbulent negotiations to broker a temporary truce in the Gaza Strip are continuing against the backdrop of fresh Israeli attacks on Palestinian militants. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met twice Friday in Cairo with U.N. chief Ban

    July 25, 2014

  • Transcript shows concerns during Arizona execution FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent — and unusual — request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't seem to be workin

    July 25, 2014

  • Sniper-Author-Ventura [Duplicate] Day 3 of deliberations ends in Ventura lawsuit Jury has deliberated 19 hours

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man accused of stealing from group HASTINGS (AP) — An Apple Valley man is charged with five counts of theft for allegedly stealing more than $113,000 from a Rosemount youth athletics group. Sixty-two-year-old Robert Steven Reischauer was the former finance manager of the Rosemount Ar

    July 24, 2014

  • Sanders offers lower-cost bill to reform VA Bill would allow vets to go to private doctors

    July 24, 2014

  • Wetland Loss [Duplicate] Report says Prairie Pothole region losing wetlands BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal officials and conservationists say a recent report detailing wetland losses in the five-state Prairie Pothole Region over the past decade highlights the need for increased protection for the region that provides breeding

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, the plane's owner and a French government official said. Air navigation services lost

    July 24, 2014

  • Migrant children face test in Dallas immigration court DALLAS — In a packed Dallas immigration courtroom, Elsy Garcia sits next to her 16-year-old brother, Jose. She last saw him when he was 9, when she fled their home in Usulutan in southern El Salvador. Now Jose is facing deportation. His case is conf

    July 24, 2014