With my buddy Jason Wagener's wedding fast approaching, we decided to get him away from the house for a couple of days of fishing on a lake he's always wanted to try. We launched out of Waconia at about 6pm on Saturday night to fish the last hour or so of daylight on the red hot Lake Mille Lacs. With my recent results and the stable weather this past week, I felt very confident that we could get Jason his first muskie on a lake that he's always wanted to tackle.
It didn't take long before we had our first encounter, and let me say it was quite an encounter. It was roughly a 51-52" fish and I thought Jason was going to pee his pants. The reaction to this monster was awesome and something that never gets old when the true giants come out to play. Shortly after that, while explaining how to run the topwater bait that we were using at the time, Jason was not paying attention when Mike in the back of the boat yelled "Wags you got one." The fish came out of the water, missing his lure completely the first time, and then coming back and smacking it 10 feet from the boat. It was not a giant, at about 36-37 inches, but the battle and explosiveness at boatside left Jason shaking.
With the water turning to glass the last 1/2 hour, all that was running through my head was thoughts of the big one coming up with a giant wake behind my topwater, then exploding on it half way to the boat. So as you could imagine, this was pretty much all I kept on talking about to Jason and Mike, and needless to say, our intensity was at an all time high. With Darkness approaching and yet to have that massive wake, I decided to work back over a few of the fish we had seen earlier. We'll just say it paid off. In the last seconds of daylight, Mike and I both watched as what appeared to be a submarine, rose up behind Jason's topwater, following closer and closer for what seemed like a mile and a half, when it finally unleashed its fury on Jason's bait. It may go down as one of the top 10 battles that i've witnessed. This fat 44" just wouldn't give up, and Jayson was loving every second of it. What a great way to end an intense hour of Muskie fishing. Jason's first two muskies (while fishing for them), and he only spent an hour trying (some people are so lucky sometimes).
With the fish going, and the weather staying the same, it was a no brainer that we would stay and fish the morning bite. 4:30 comes around pretty quick when you don't go to bed until 2, but that didn't make a difference to us. Our confidence was so high that we didn't wonder IF we would get bit, but WHEN we would get a bite, and WHO would get it. Well, we would have boated one within the first 5 minutes if I didn't make the biggest "rookie" mistake ever, and pull it away from a hungry, wide open mouth (sorry guys). I guess I made up for it a little later by watching a 47" come out of the water and completely miss the bait right in front of my eyes, only to keep the same retrieve and watch the fish whip a 360 and smash it. We ended the morning by seeing in the range of 10 -12 fish, and having a quite a few close calls, but only the 47" in the boat. Still a good morning of muskie fishing, and I cannot wait to get back up on this great bite.
Mike, sorry buddy, but like you said, if you keep trying eventually you'll be catching instead of always watching, but hey you are a great net man, and your picture taking skills are awesome :)