Muskie Frustrations... I think we all can relate to this title. If you chase the big fish for any amount of time you are going to run into days when you can't do anything wrong, and days when you can't do anything right. Unfortunately it's been the latter of those two for me lately. I haven't been on the water quite as much lately due to personal commitments, but the passion is still there. My trips as of late have been with some pretty lucky fisherman that have boated some nice fish over the years with me, but that didn't gaurantee our success last week. Here's how most of the week went...
Mid week I spent some time on the water just looking over some new, old and in-between locations. My goal was to find fish that haven't been bothered too much lately. I've had some fun experimenting with some new baits while on my free time, and found it to be quite exciting to get responses out of fish that literally make them miss the bait with excitement. That was ok, because my goal was to find new fish, and not to catch the fish. After all, I feel a good guide isn't suppose to catch the fish his customers are after. With my homework all done and fish sitting where I wanted them, we hit the water on Wednesday evening with high hopes. Steve and Don have danced this muskie dance with me many times in the past and scored well. They brought the mojo with them, unfortunately the muskies were going to be the victors on their trip. During our evening we managed to entice 4 seperate muskies into striking, but managed to take pictures of zero in the boat. Ahhh, that love hate relationship! Oh well, we saw a few others and had an extremely exciting evening of muskie hunting anyway.
Thursday morning was more of the same. We tried mixing a few different things up for Bret and his buddy Elling. Bret has had a streak of at least one muskie every time we have fished together for the last 3 seasons. Again, this streak came to an end when all the muskies we saw managed to leave us without a picture. A few gliches in the system caused a couple of hopefuls to slip through the cracks, but hey that's how it can go some days. A fun morning on the water was capped off by an intense half hour of fishing when these guys managed to bring a half dozen muskies to their feet before the fish outsmarted them. Intense and exciting, but no dice.
Friday I just couldn't handle the lack of fish in the boat. I had a wedding to attend in the afternoon, but had a short window of time to hit the water before I needed to put the dress pants and tie on. Mike and I jumped in the boat for what will likely be one of the shortest outings of the year, but hey, I had a few fish located, and I wanted desperately to land one before I left to hear the wedding bells ding. As we approached our first spot I was feeling the mojo as much as any guy could. I laughed when I told Mike to grab the net, but my prediction came true. About mid cast I was stopped dead in my tracks as a muskie went buck wild on the end of my line. I will just say that it felt very good. A few spots later and a couple of insanely close calls and our time was up. Short and sweet, just the way I like it. It's unfortunate that so many of the fish last week came unhooked. It stinks, but that's the reality of chasing big fish. It adds to the excitement when it all comes together, and stresses the importance of every detail to the game. If it was easy every time it just wouldn't be any fun.
As a side note to the muskie business, I want to make a brief but important comment about our local lakes. The cormorant conditions have been escalating out of control the past couple of years. Now is your chance to do something about it. The In Towne Marina as well as several local west metro businesses have a petition available to sign. The goal is to create awareness and voice our opinions as concerned anglers and lake enthusiasts. This petition will make it to our government officials, and everyone is encouraged to help with this cause before it is too late. Here are a couple of quick facts to ponder. There are currently at least 1,500 to 2,000 cormorants using Waconia Island on Lake Waconia as their nesting and roosting territories. They fly to local lakes by the hundreds and eat about 1 pound of fish a day. If you think about this, that several thousand pounds of fish leaving our lakes every day. Not good. Also, they destroy habitat because their crap is so acidic that it kills all vegetation it touches. It's a disgusting sight to see, and even worse to smell. Their effects are already visible on the fish, vegetation and surrounding lakes. It will only get worse if we don't do something about it. They have no natural predators and this is happening all across the country. I encourage you to sign the petition if you see it and help make a difference before it is too late. Also, please help spread the word about this issue. It is literally out of control.
On a positive side, I want to give a great big shout out to Stanton who came into town last week. Soon he will be marrying my sister and I cannot be more excited for either of them. I'm sure you will all see photo's of him and his first fish very soon. Until then, keep on Livin' the Dream!