Ah yes, it feels good to be back on the water. With the recent surge of extreme heat, I took a break from muskie fishing for about a month. Like many of you, I feel strongly that our resource is far more important than my addiction to catching muskies. Thus, the lack of journal entries. Last week the heat broke and the fishing resumed. Thank Goodness!
I managed 4 trips and 4 fish in the net. One each time. Not great, but not terrible either. Consistent is a good word for it. Along the way, a few things stood out. One is bad, the others are good. I'll start with the bad one first and end in a positive note.
Friday night I hooked up to the rig with plans to head north. A quick check of the trailer lights indicated a problem. 2 hours later, we found the glitch and re-wired the works. Upon reaching Mille Lacs, the storm and lightning proved too much and we lost out on an evening of fishing. Saturday was a slight success. We were able to locate some fish during the day, and entice one of them to eat after night fall. On that big lake, I consider all fish a success.
The downfall was the issue waiting for us on shore. When we dropped the boat in the water that afternoon, steam came from the water due to my extremely hot trailer. Uh oh. Turns out that a piece of my surge brakes had broken and left the brakes stuck in a slightly "on" position. This lead to heat, which lead to my bearing dust caps blowing off, which lead to oil loss, which lead to a hot everything, which lead to discovering a major problem when backing the boat in the water. Does that even make sense? The muskie made me feel better for only a short moment. Luckily, no permanent damage was done. Today I have a new brake system and all new bearings. Essentially it set me back 3 days on the water and several dollars. Sadly, it's all part of the game.
Now for a positive fish tale. Last week I met my pastor, Joel Johnson, aka: Pastor Joel, at the lake Minnetonka access slightly before sunrise. We had been trying to get together for several weeks to share a morning of fishing and fellowship. This man has been a huge part of my life and this was my opportunity to share my fishing passion with him. Muskies were the obvious choice. For Joel, this was something he had never fathomed. His quote when we pulled off the dock was "My biggest fish is only 4 pounds. I just want to see a muskie!" A short while later he had his first muskie encounter boat side. A few more casts and a large splash left his top water lure rocking back and forth. As the magical hour approached, I told him to be ready. We pulled up to a spot I told him "this is my favorite muskie haunt on the entire lake." Then as if it was scripted from above, my rod doubled over and I was in consumed in battle. I screamed, "Joel, this is a monster, get the net, the net, JOEL, GET THE NET!"
At the start of the day we went over how everything would go down. I showed him the net and how the handle extends as well as the process of putting it in the water. Since we were out for fun, I fished right alongside in hopes that either of us could land a lunker. Now engulfed in battle, everything we discussed went out the window. As the giant fish came boat side, Joel screamed "it's a monster!" I laughed in agreement, only to see that he still had the handle extended through the center of the net. Now in chaos mode, I hurried to help him make room for the large fish. In a last minute effort to boat the fish, Joel extended the handle and pulled it right out of the net. With a yoke handle in one hand and the net basket in the other he frantically yelled for help. I was laughing and prodding him to hurry up. It was perfect madness. Somehow he managed to get the net back together and scooped up the fish. At this time I was laughing out of control. Joel was covered in a deep sweat and had drool coming out of his mouth from yelling and rushing so frantically. It was the experience of a lifetime. Once the hooks were out, I gave the fish to Joel. He wanted to feel the power of this fish and when she was ready, she swam back to the depths. I don't think it gets any better than this. Certainly something the both of us will never forget
Another cool story. A few months ago I was contacted by Doug Stange, from In-Fisherman magazine and TV. We discussed a few things, and swapped some information. I recently open up the latest edition of In-Fisherman magazine and find that Trophy Encounters is a featured destination for August and September. How sweet is that? Growing up as a kid I always thought that some day I would like to make it in their magazine. Making this dream happen puts a big smile on my face:) I guess the power and allure of a big muskie can make dreams possible. Until the next one strikes, keep livin' the dream!