It's 2 days after the fact, and I'm still trying to settle down from what you are about to read and see. I don't really even know where to start with this whole mess of pictures and stories, so I guess I'll start from the top. I hope you have plenty of time to read this article and enjoy what myself and a handful of indivuals were able to do on the water. The action was fast, furious, intense and amazing, and I hope you enjoy viewing what we were able to accomplish. Along with me on this adventure were Adam, Corey, Loge, Kemke, Bails and Whorl, and it covers just two seperate times on the water. There is so much to cover, so I'll try my best to fill everything in. I thought about having an entry for each of the next 12 muskies that you are about to see, but instead I'm just going to have the largest article in Trophy Encounters history. Sit back and Enjoy!
It's not that we had 12 muskies, but the size of some of them are absolutely incredible. Here are the numbers. 54, 53 3/4, 53 1/2, 50, 46, 45 1/2, 45 1/2, 45 1/2, 43, 40, 38, 34!
Here we go with the story telling.
Friday morning I was able to take Adam and his roommate Corey out on the water in search of the elusive muskellunge. With the weather turning for the best the day before and the water temps falling from 86 back to the upper 70's, I figured the action was going to be there, it was just a matter of when and where. On our first spot we had an encounter with a fish in the upper 40 inch range and 2 smaller ones. All were aggressive, but failed to commit and take a picture with us. We fished several other spots seeing fish at most of them, and coming close with nothing to show for our efforts. About 8:30 everything changed and Adam's fishing career will never be the same because of it. I had a roughly 47 incher grab my bait and the battle was on, about as soon as we were admiring the size of the fish, it made a dash for my trolling motor and tangled itself up which resulted in me just chuckling a bunch of curse words in my head. About as fast as I could start to say something about it, Adam's rod bent in half and the largest muskie ever produced in my boat was on the other end of the rod. For Adam, he had previously landed about a 5 pounder years back, but this was definitely no 5 pounder. The absolute size of this fish made him shake for nearly an hour after it was released. She topped out at 54 inches and had a girth measuring in at 25 inches. I think this fish somehow made its way out of Mille Lacs and into Minnetonka. She was a fat fat fat monster of a beast. It is hard to say that he can go up from where he started here, but with the size of the fish that are growing out there now-a-days, who knows. I received several pictures of this beast, which is why I am putting it in with the rest of our catch. As you can see from the pictures, this fish was not an easy one for Adam to hold, and even though he is a rather tall man, it still looks like the giant that it is. I am honored to say that I was able to put a client of mine on such a giant, and hope that this streak can continue. Great job Adam and Great Fish!
With such a great fish in the boat on Friday, I was able to spend Saturday doing much of the same. After I finished with a trip for bass and pike in the morning, I was able to spend the rest of the day with Whorl and Bails trying to beat my all time record of 9 muskies in one day. I have never topped 10 fish in a day and have always wanted to be able to say that I have put 10 muskies in the boat in one day. I don't know, I think it is kinda like a milestone for us muskie men, but I want it, and I want it bad. Throughout the day on the water, we battled 14 different muskies. We had our chance at breaking the record, but unfortunately 6 of them won the battle, and we were only able to boat 8 of them. Not that those are bad numbers, but I really wanted to hit 10. We saw in the neighborhood of 40 fish total during this process, so you could say they were active.
I will skip telling the stories of the ones that got away, and concentrate on the ones we caught, so here is how it all went down. Bails started the day by landing the first fish at 46 inches. A great start to the day, and Whorl got to see first hand the look on his face and the intense grunts he puts out while battling his catch and not saying a word to us about what he is going through. Once again we chuckled at the look of a man with a whole bag of sour patch kids in his mouth. HI-LARIOUS! For bails, it was the first of the day, and the last. Although we put him in nearly all of the pictures as the arm flexing man. I think it was a good touch.
The next fish was boated by Whorl and it was a nice one at 45 1/2 inches. We were so close to having a double on this one, because Bails had an explosion that looked like a Water Buffalo falling out of a helicopter, and then the fish was throwing a massive wake behind his bait again when Whorl set the hook on his fish. Oh so close to a double, but Bails didn't connect with his fish, and we handled Whorl's like any other catch and we were off to our next areas to try.
Knowing that there was still more fish on the spot that we almost had the double on (the same spot as the 54 from the day before) we returned with high hopes. Well, we were not dissapointed and Whorl's muskie career will probably never be the same. Up to that point, the 45 1/2 that Whorl just boated was his personal best. Minutes later, he shattered that mark and landed a giant at 53 1/2. The two largest fish in my boat on Minnetonka, and they came back to back days on the same spot. What a deal! And no, they weren't the same fish, because the girth on Whorl's was just under 24 inches, and not the same magnitude of the fish from the day before. Still a giant and I still cannot say that I have one that large. We actually video taped this fish being landed, and the reaction from Mike after it was in the net is one that I still can't stop laughing at. It was an awesome fish and an awesome battle, and as soon as I can figure out how to put video's on this site, you can bet that you will be looking at it also. The fish looked like a submarine coming at his lure and I am super pumped to say that Whorl kept his cool the entire time it was following and watched it eat his lure only 5 feet from the boat. He wanted a boatside attack, and he got one that is out of this world. The look on his face when it at the bait and he realized that it was hooked was priceless. Not to mention that his eyes got so big when it attacked that I thought they were going to come right out of their sockets. It took Whorl about a half hour to calm down after that, and we were back at it yet again to try to up our day's total.
Stuck at 3 for quite some time, we found #4 to be pretty hard to land. The next 5 fish that grabbed our baits made us jump for the net, only to put it back down in dissapointment due to the fish managing to find its way off. We weren't sure if we were ever going to land any more the way things were going, but soon after Whorl put his third in the boat measuring at 40 inches. Not the giants that we were use to battling previous to that, but a very nice fish any day of the week. That guy gave us our mojo back and put more life in the spirits of the 3 of us. It is pretty disheartening to lose so many fish in a row, especially when they were all mid 40 inchers or better.
After that, we took a break, went to Lord Fletchers and had a burger and got rejuvenated for the rest of the daylight hours. With the wind and the rain, we were all cold and wondering if we could actually hit the 10 mark. There was a few question marks in our day up to that point, but once we met up with Loge and Kemke which are my other fishing partners when they can make the trek to my area, we were back to putting fish in the boat. Loge is one of those fisherman that just simply puts them in the boat. He has fished in my boat many times while living at our house years back, and the only thing that I knew when we fished together, was that he wasn't going to miss any of the chances that were given to him. Knowing the pattern that I fish like the back of my hand, he had no troubles getting in on the action that we were having. When we came up to his boat, we were able to watch him land the biggest fish of his life at 53 3/4. ANOTHER GIANT! At this point I was starting to be really amazed at the size that I was seeing. It was no fluke, the giants were out to play.
We traded spots with him the rest of the evening calling each other every few minutes to report another catch. A few minutes after his giant, We were both battling 45 1/2 inchers at the same time, and laughed on the phone when we both said "I got a 45 1/2 at the same time." At that point, we were up to 5 and starting to talk about making 10 happen. When we approached each spot and I pointed to the guys at where to cast, it was constant chatter about who was going to land the next one, not if we were going to land another one. Our Mojo was insane, and we just brought an attitude to the fish that they were going to be taking pictures in our boat and we would not be taking no for an answer. It was about as great of a confidence boost as any muskie fisherman could ever get.
I kept telling the boys that I go in streaks, so once I catch one, look out because I like to put them in the boat in bunches. I quickly followed that up with a dink at 34 inches, but had to laugh when it rocketed out of the water at my feet and grabbed my bait. It went airborn a few times like the short ones always do, and then I hand grabbed him for a quick release.
My next one was no dink, and it certainly displayed its power for us all to see. It was such a text book bite that I was really proud of myself. We pulled up to the spot and I pointed saying they either sit right there or right there. I threw my bait at the second spot, and in seconds I had the giant coming at my lure. It missed the first time, and we all watched it come around 15 feet from the boat and overtake my bait. All 50 inches of this fish came airborn and pulled like I cannot even explain. I didn't think I was ever going to get the fish in the boat, but fortunately it happened and we were up to 7.
As we were running out of daylight, I said we can still do this if we get the right fish. We came close shortly after, but it failed to eat at my figure 8 and just missed the bait. The next spot Whorl was on the receiving end of another nice one and he landed our 8th fish of the day. It wasn't a giant, but a nice high flying 38 incher nonetheless.
After that another call came in and Kemke was finally on the board with a 43 incher that he fooled into thinking was an easy meal. Many times it is Loge getting his picture taken, but this time Kemke was on the receiving end. Nice fish Kemke!
Our excitement was at an all time high, and as we went to the next spot we realized that it would be our last and decided to end it right there. I had such a great time on the water that day that I never wanted it to end. It is not that often that we are able to spend that much time chasing my favorite fish around with the 4 of those guys, but I look back to this day and still get a smile over my face. Although 9 is my record for one day, I will never forget this time on the water. Our boat saw so many fish throughout the day that it seemed like we were only on the water for minutes. The fish we landed and the size of them is surely something that anyfisherman should be proud of for the rest of their life. It just isn't suppose to happen like that, or is it? Heck I fish for those beasts all the time, and I continue to be amazed. I guess that is why muskie fishing has taken off as such a respected sport over the last couple of years. The best part about it, is that not one single fish we battled that day was injured in any way, and they are all swimming out there for the rest of the world to catch, or just possibly I may see them on this website yet again.
If you, or anybody you know wants to get in on action that could potentially be like this, please feel free to let me know as there are still some openings available for this summer. I think you may have a good time on the water....just maybe!
Thanks again Adam, Corey, Whorl, Bails, Loge and Kemke. I will never forget these giant fish and great day on the water and I hope you never will either
Until next time Y'all, Keep on livin the Dream! It sure is a fun way to live!