It's been a while. A while since I have tried my luck in the muskie tournament scene that is. Several things have caused me to take a break for a bit, but this year I was easily persuaded by my good fishing friend Mike Tengwall. We decided to enter the Mille Lacs Muskie Tournament. This tournament will take place in two weeks on the big pond. Mike and I have been muskie fishing together for quite some time, but in the past we have typically competed against each other in the tournies. Both of us have had some good success in the Mille Lacs tournaments in the past, so it is exciting to combine our skills in hopes of taking home the gold. Mike is one of the best muskie fisherman I have ever been in a boat with, so it is just exciting to partner together. Our history of fishing together has brought nothing but great things, and we have a batting average of around .950 when we team up. Exciting!
In preparation for any sporting event, it is always imperative to practice. Mike and I will be doing much of this in the days leading up to the events, but we also jumped in the boat this past Friday for our first outing of the year. I will say, it is great to be back on that big body of water. The sheer size of the lake just gets me excited, and the anticipation of the giants that lurk below just does me in. Our day was to be spent gaining confidence in each other. We would fish some of my spots and some of Mike's. We typically try not to hook too many fish off of our low key/hidden spots before a tourney, but first we have to boat some fish to feel good about our situation and get the "Mojo" rolling. This is our typical tourney approach. As we approach the tourney date, we hope to have everything already set in place and feel good about our spots and the fish we hope to boat.
Our morning started out with a bang, and our first muskie encounter was that of a hog. She slipped through the cracks so to speak, but left our knees trembling, and some marks in Mike's brand new lure. As it turns out, this was to be the story of our day. A few spots and a few fish later we were starting to get a better feel for how things were playing out on the big body of water. The morning wasn't incredible by muskie standards, but we had chances and learned a lot. Not to mention that all we could talk about was the fish that got away. As evening appoached we found much of the same. Still on a quest for our first fish of the day, we returned to a few fish we found earlier. Miss, miss, bam! The third one connected and went airborn several times. Finally we boated a fish, but that was just a prelude to what we would experience. The next spot and the second cast gave me one of the most intense encounters of this young season. A 50 inch caliber fish ate boatside and whooped my butt. Yep, another one that got away. A short while later Mike played around with a fish that made his knees shake. A true Mille Lacs monster showed itself, but wouldn't eat. I followed that up with another one that escaped near the boat. If you are still following me, then you'll see that we got our butts kicked out there. Yes we found some fish, but they reminded us that they are still the kings of the water. Still, one in the boat is always a good day of muskie fishing, but we got schooled by the big girls. Lets just hope that we got all of that missing out of our systems. The tourney is fast approaching, and I will keep you up to speed on the happenings as they unfold.
On another note, the 4th of July passed without a lure thrown from my boat. A welcomed day off that meant no muskies to talk about - but that's okay. Mike and I went to church last night, and the full moon had us howling about the fish. We hit the water a little bit late, but got some good casts in. Mike made sure that my streak of successful days on the water would continue. It wasn't a monster, but a muskie slamming your bait boatside in the moonlight will get anybody jazzed. A few more close calls means that there are some for the next lucky anglers that come out. We shall see.... From the brightness of the full moon waters, keep on livin' the dream!