And the Quest begins...The Quest for the new State Record Muskie that is! Last year's season ended with some unbelievable fish coming in the boat. Needless to say, I have been jacked up all year waiting for these few weeks to return. The cold, the intense conditions, and the absolutely massive fish have been played over and over in my head for the past 11 months. Yep, it's time to get the giant fall muskie bite started. Joining me for the first of many upcoming trips to the big pond, was my uncle Loge. If you have followed my tales for the last couple of seasons, you are aware that we always catch fish when we are together. I'm not sure what it is, but it just always happens. I had these thoughts running through my head as we loaded up the gear and headed northbound. The forecast looked pretty good, and our hopes were high, even though I felt it was a little early in the season. Last year my best fishing occured around mid November, but nevertheless, we were pumped just to be giving it a shot. Dressed to the max, we were prepared for the worst when we hit the water. To our surprise, the conditions were better than we anticipated, and it was actually pleasant to be on the water. One of the few times I have been up there and had great conditions. So with the reports from every fisherman I have spoken with saying "they aren't biting, stay home," we were off for the full day of kicking our butts throwing huge baits. About20 minutes into our excursion my heart almost exploded as Loge's rod locked up. "Got one," he said, and I almost couldn't believe my eyes. Could it be the one? That was our only thought as he started the battle. As the fish appeared, our hearts sank slightly to see that it was a pike, but then we realized how huge it was, and the high fives began. This was a huge Northern at over 41 inches, and very fat. A great start no doubt!
We continued our morning mixing things up, and as we approached the location of last years giant, I started to get really excited. I informed Loge that I boated a 50 pounder here last year and he didn't look to give a hoot (as usual). Nevertheless, I was pumped. About 5 casts into it, and 25 yards from last years monster, came Margarette from the depths. Yep, that's right! We have a new giant, and a new nickname as we caught sighting of what will take over my thoughts for the next several weeks. Was it a new state record??? We're not sure yet, but you can bet I am going to give Margarette another chance to eat my lure. Well, that instantly sparked our spirits again, and even though she followed Loge's bait down deep, we could tell that she is something special. Exactly the reason I wanted to head up there.
A few hours had passed between our sighting of the big girl, and the next chance. Coming into this with the mindset that I don't plan on having a lot of action helped big time, because I knew I was waiting for just one bite. At about 2:15 I got that very bite. I switched baits, and two casts later I had a fish screaming in. "Here we go" I said, and started the figure 8 process. This fish, (nicknamed scoliosis) was dialed in, and she followed my bait for 8 or 9 full turns, and the entire time, she was no more than 3 inches behind the bait. It was awesome to watch her work the bait as I screamed left and out, down and right, and over and over again. Finally she ate, and our first ski of the day was recorded. A lot of work? yep, but very worth it. She wasn't huge, probably 40 or 41 inches, but this fish definitely had scoliosis or something. I felt bad for this fish, and hope she recovers, but something traumatic happened to this poor girl, and it makes a muskie guy sad to see.
About 2 hours later we were on our next large fish, only to have it follow and turn. We were fairly pleased to be moving fish considering the reports we were hearing, but it made me very excited to see fish using the same teenie tiny spots as last year. I think the next few trips will treat me very nicely! As darkness came upon us, we had very high hopes of seeing our newfound giant. At about cast number 7 on her I spotted a fish, instantly I thought it was the one, but as it turned off my bait I was quick to see that it was a new fish, and a bit smaller. That was the last glimpse we had for the night, and just like that, the fish were totally lock-jawed again. No worries though, we did what we came to do, and any time you can see a fish of that size, it makes it all the more sweet. I will be back again, and it won't be long! Until next time, keep on livin the dream!