As is the case most years during this time period, we are experiencing some spectacular muskie fishing yet again. Is it the full moon, or the weather??? Whatever the case may be, it has been nothing short of great. My escapades started up this past Saturday, and they have continued hot and heavy. I like to take it from the top with most of my stories, so strap in and hang on for the ride!
Saturday morning I summoned up a great buddy of mine that I don't often get to fish with. Jeremy has been out muskie fishing with me zero times since I have known him. While we get to share many laughs at the expense of his fishing blunders in the ice house, I was very excited to teach him my ways with the toothy fellas. We were also joined by my lovely lady which excites me every time she jumps in the boat. My morning started out on the wrong foot as I forgot about unstrapping the boat, and as I backed into the water, the darn thing drifted away. With the wind blowing the wrong direction, all I could do was laugh and watch it drift into the middle of the lake. Luckily there was another fisherman that came about 15 minutes later and gave me a lift. Thank you to whoever you were. That was aweful nice of ya! Once we got the boat back, we were on our way, and after a quick tutorial for Jeremy, we were flinging baits. It only took about 4 or 5 casts, and I had a big girl screaming for my bait. This was certainly a surprise to Jeremy, and I got to look like a stud for my sweetie! We saw a few more before we headed in, however no more in da boat.
That afternoon I was killing time before heading to the bow stand for an evening hunt. Wags called me up, and we headed to the lake for a quick hour or so on the water. Wags had caught two muskies with me on Mille Lacs the last time we were out, but hasn't boated one since. This makes it all the more sweet as I was able to net his new personal best. This beauty measured in at 50.5 inches and now I am proud to introduce Jason Wagener to the 50 inch club. Ada Boy!
Sunday morning I was back on the water again with Ray for our Livin' the Dream trip as he likes to call it. We had absolutely amazing fog rolling in for the morning, which made things very cool, and one of those mornings that you are really excited to get out of the bed for. We had some action, and another great trip. There is something to be said about waking up on a Sunday morning when everybody else is recovering from a hangover. They are truly missing out, well at least that's my opinion. The morning wasn't complete until we got a 48, and a 42 incher in the boat. The camera battery didn't agree with the 48 incher, as it was dead, but somehow it worked on the 42. Hmmm...whatever I guess. As a side note to this story, Ray, I'm sorry you had to get out of the boat, I just knew that was going to happen.
Monday morning I was joined by Tim and his workmate Jess. Jess has fished in Wisconsin for most of his life, and hadn't boated a Minnesota Ski before. Tim has had one while bass fishing a few years back, however he claimed it to be about 4 pounds. So what do we do??? Try to get some ski's in the boat I guess. Tim started out the adrenaline action as a brief low front was moving in. I say brief, because it was only a handful of clouds in the clear blue sky. I guess that was all we needed, because Tim will now have the memory of a giant going ballistic on his bait. I would figure it to be about 52 - 53 inches. He hooked it long enough to have it charge the boat and go airborn directly at him. Sometimes you just cannot tame a wild beast like that, and this was no different. Either way, our vibes were running high, and you could just feel it in the air. A few minutes later, Jess was the proud recipient of his first Minnesota Muskie, and a beautiful 46 incher. Not quite like the smaller Wisconsin muskies (sorry about the shot cheeseheads!!!!)
Today was just one of those days that shouldn't happen. Our theory on why it did was simple. Dean and Doc (also Cheeseheads) came over the border to see if last year was a fluke. If you recall, Doc had never boated a muskie until he hopped in the boat last year. In his two days, he landed his first at 50 inches, followed by a 49 and then a 48 incher. He took his lucky lure back home with him, and wouldn't ya know, HE BROUGHT IT BACK TODAY!!! Well, I don't know how else to put it other than...Mr. Lucky is still LUCKY! On our first spot of the morning he was throwing it thinking that it wasn't running correctly, so I put it on my line. Hmmm....That was a mistake, cuz it worked just fine for me, and we were soon taking pictures of a very nice 49 incher. Needless to say, I put Mr. Lucky back on Doc's line. We shuffled over to a new location, and good ol' Mr. Lucky had his charm working strong. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it, but that lucky guy and his lucky bait landed yet another 50 incher. Absolutely incredible! As we were joking about his fish and his luck, we headed to spot number 3. I hadn't casted on the second spot, and I picked my rod up while the boys were casting at the usual location. I tossed to the side of the boat and out of nowhere came another huge fish. I almost got pulled out of the boat when not paying attention, and the battle was one that should not have ended up with pictures. I managed to get wrapped around the trolling motor 3 times and made a rookie mistake. Somehow...Some way, we got her in the net, but it was with my free hand pulling the line over to the net, and not the rod. When things are going good, there isn't much else to say other than to laugh and shrug your shoulders. She took off before I could measure her, but it was surely just under the 50 inch mark. Spot number 4 gave Doc yet another chance, however we failed to take pictures of that fish. What a morning! All I have to say is that I feel bad for Dean having to watch 3 big ones last year, and 3 more giants again today. Doc, if you read this, you are one lucky lucky man. Don't ever take that lucky hat off, and never leave home without Mr. Lucky! Until next time...Keep on Livin' the Dream!
Travis Frank -Livin the Dream