Many consider Labor Day as the start of the fall season. In my world, this means we are a few days closer to my favorite time on the water. Giant fall muskies will soon be on the menu. Monday morning, was a good example to the madness forthcoming.
Meeting at the ramp in the morning darkness, I told my clients, Adam and Jesse, that I didn't like our weather conditions. The cold front had moved through, the wind laid down to zero and the temps were stuck at 45 degrees. Did I mention there wasn't a cloud in the sky? Not exactly ideal. Still, the boys were eager and we hit the water hoping for the best. This turned out to be a good move. Less than an hour into our trip, Jesse hooked his first top water muskie ever. This also happened to be his first over 50. At 51 inches, the muskie slurped his bait like a bluegill eating a bug on the surface. At first glance, we both said "bass." As the fish cruised lazily left to right, I ran to the back of the boat for a better look, and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. That was about the same time the fish went wild. Moments later we were hooting, howling and pumping fists.
Jesse's muskie marked the end to an 0 for 14 streak. During the previous 4 trips, my clients had generated 14 strikes. The conditions were prime and the muskies were chomping. Sadly, they all managed to get off in one way or another. I know that is why we fish them, but it was seriously getting out of hand. Big fish, little fish and everything in between. I watched them shake off boat side, fly across the surface like tarpon, and make good hook sets look poor. I watched a high 40's eat a fly, only to break the line before the net. I watched a young 12 year old battle her first muskie, only to break her heart. One miss after another and another. While the action was good, I was beginning to wonder when our luck would change. Thanks to Jesse, I didn't have to wonder for very long. Thankfully, he provided another spark and Labor day holiday to remember! Here's to you and a great start to the fall muskie season. I wish you all the best! Until the next muskie strikes, keep on living the dream!