June 21, 2011 - Lower Manitou Lake, Adams Bay
before dinner my brother and I decided to venture into a small
bay and fish for northern pike on Lower Manitou Lake. I was
casting a Mepps
#5 Aglia over submerged cabbage bed when a big fish hit my spinner
so hard the water boiled around it. I set the hook and connected.
As the line moved left I could feel my heart pulse racing as I was anticipating what this fish might be. The fish swam and stayed
deep for a good couple minutes. I thought to myself that the fish I was battling was too big to be a bass, and no chance it could be a walleye. Thinking ahead, I glanced over to see how big a net we had in the boat. I thought "Oh my gosh" we only have a small
bass net! No way we could land
this beast. After about a three minute battle and some big runs
underneath that had me circling the boat the fish slowly came
to boatside. It was a Big Musky!! An said "screw it with the net." He then got over to the side of the boat, reached over and with his arms
cradled the monster into the boat. We laughed in joy and I was
almost crying in tears. The fish measured 50-1/4"! We released the
fish after a few quick photos. It was a memorable day!
Love at First Bite
2015 - Rush Lake
My son JT fell in "Love at First Bite..." A couple years ago I took my then 1 year old son out fishing for his first time on Rush Lake. Rigged with a 3-foot Mickey Mouse fishing pole, bobber, and a long shank hook with a big juicy nightcrawler, I was so excited to see the anxious anticipation on his face as the bobber ever so slightly twitching as a fish nibbled away. Then the bobber halfway submerged and glided away at a fast pace and I said to him "you got him son." I helped him reel it in and he landed his first fish, a sunfish. He fished a little bit longer and caught about 3 more sunfish and a perch. And then he was done for the day and wanted to go play on the beach. I remember my first days of fishing with my dad. Now I get to enjoy watching my son catch fish and spend quality father-son time on the water.
Big Muskies - One Weekend
2006 - Rowan Lake, Miner's Bay
Upon venturing into a small bay
that connected to the main lake through a narrow channel, the
sun that day was high and the weather was hot and humid. A slight
wind coming from the west we focused on the shoreline that was
furthest to the east. The wind was blowing into the shoreline
and the pike bite was awesome! After some pike action, we moved
the boat to an inside turn that was between shallow and deep
water surrounded by emerging cabbage beds. My brother was throwing his favorite red #3
Mepps Aglia spinner. As he reeled his spinner in a huge
musky slowly followed his spinner out from the shallows.
The fish wasn't active but after my brother casted his spinner
in the direction of where she had gone the fish followed the
spinner again back to boatside. At the time I was twitching
a 4" pearl-colored Banjo
Minnow about half way back to the boat. The musky was in
proximity of the lure. I twitched it once and she turned. I
let the Banjo Minnow deadfall when all of a sudden
the musky opened her mouth and inhaled the minnow. The water
was so clear and I could see the entire episode unfolding before
my very own eyes. She slowly turned away and swam with it...
Moment of truth. I reeled in the slack line all the
while I could hear my heart beat louder and louder... I set
the hook and the fight was on! The fish ran from one side of
the boat to the other and at one point had wrapped the line
around a tree stump. Maneuvering the boat and keeping a tight
line the fish unwrapped herself and after a brief battle my
brother netted the fish. I will never forget the look on his
face as he saw the fish thrashing in the net! He said it looked
like an alligator! After a quick measurement and a couple photos
the fish was released unharmed.
The crazy thing about this musky
tale was the fact that I was using only 8 lb. test Stren and a short 4" leader!
This second monster I encountered
was literally a couple days later in the same bay as the one
above. My brother and I ventured into the same bay only out
in slighter deeper water along a patch of reeds that extended
between two points. I grabbed my rod already rigged with a 5"
Minnow and made my first cast into the reeds. I twitched
it twice, and without warning the water blew up as the lure
broke the surface! Just like a torpedo the musky came out of
the water and exploded on the lure! Heart pulse thumping and my knees knocking... I
set the hook and connected. The fish took off and went deep.
For a minute the fish didn't seem to want to come to the surface.
My legs kept trembling and after about 3 minutes I got the fish
to the boat and my brother again netted a beautiful fish! A quick
photo and we put her back to grow bigger. A week I will
Musky at Boatside
2001 - French Lake
The sun had just went down and the dusk started to settle in...
It was a cool evening and my friend Jim and I were out for a
little musky fishing. We hadn't see any fish all afternoon.
And then it happened... Around 8:30 p.m. I casted out
a black topwater lure called the Hi-Fin
Twin Teasertail over cabbage weeds in 7 feet of water. As
I cranked a couple of turns on my baitcast reel, a large wake
appeared behind my lure that seem to follow with each turn of
my reel handle... It followed and followed for about 7 turns
of my reel handle. The wake suddenly disappeared. Did it
leave? I made a couple more cranks and as the lure approached
the boat I made a quick L-turn with my rod changing the direction
of the Teasertail and out of nowhere a giant musky did a big
arc out of the water and slammed the lure missing it by a couple
inches! KABOOOSH! Gone! Like an atomic bomb
just went off. In a split second... My body was shaking
and my heart pulse racing. Although it's hard to say I really
believe the musky I missed at boatside that evening would probably
have been my biggest musky to date. It's tales like this that makes one get an illness known as "Musky Fever."
2000 - French Lake
Saturday morning of August 2000, my friend Jim and I got to
the lake about 6 a.m. I spotted several surface disturbances
immediately. The fish seemed to roll over on the surface, sun-bathing
or something. Some of those fish had to be in the upper-30s
to mid-40 inch class range. We casted around the structure where
we saw the disturbances hoping the topwater lures would at least
trigger one to strike. Nothing happened until 7:30 a.m. My partner
cranked a bucktail over submerged weedbed and had a follow by
a 40+ inch fish. He tried a figure-eight at the boat, but no
luck. About 8 a.m., I also had a follow by a nice fish only
to turn away at the last minute at the boat. About 8:40 a.m.,
I threw a hot orange-black Mepps
Magnum Musky Killer bucktail again right over top of the
submerged weedbed and hooked what could be the largest fish
in my life... I yelled out to my fishing partner Jim "It's
a big fish!" I don't yell that very often, so I knew what
I had at the end of my line was very special. Seconds went by...
And the fish seemed to get stronger. All I wanted from this
fight was to see how big this fish was. Each time I brought
the fish up to the surface she would dive back down to the depths.
The fish seemed to nose dive from one side of the boat to the
other. After four minutes or so, I got her up to the surface
and a quick flash of her wide back and Jim gasped "Oh man..."
I followed the fish and kept the pressure until the fish got
somewhat tired. Jim was excited about the fish as much as I
was. He finally put his net down into the water and netted a...48.5-inch
trophy musky! It was a dream of a lifetime for me! Thanks to
Jim and the Mepps spinner!
here to view our Musky photos.