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Musky Escorts

I can't wait to see what kind of search terms lead to this post.....

On Friday afternoon, I jumped in the truck to head east for some musky on the fly action. I rented a cabin for the night and got an early start on Saturday. Fishing with me was a long time coworker and Randy from Predator Pursuit Indiana Musky Guide Service. I haven't been out with Randy all year - well not for musky at least. We have done a few salmon trips this year but I was really jonesing for some esox action and this was my last opportunity of the year to get over there.

The morning was gorgeous. Nice and cool with an extremely light breeze. I was three casts into the morning when the rod was loading on my backcast and I heard/felt a snap. Son of a mother!

Luckily, Randy had a spare 10wt in the boat so I quickly swapped the reel onto that rod and got back at it. I gave it a few hours without so much as even a sniff.

During that same time, Scott had one small musky snap at his double 8 spinner as he was lifting it out of the water. Dammit, Scott!! FIGURE 8 FIGURE 8 FIGURE 8 FIGURE 8!!!!!!! LOL

Also, Randy had a follow on some small rubber jerk bait that looked like an oversized sluggo.

Since my flies were getting absolutely no attention, I grabbed the conventional stuff and found a bigger version of whatever that thing Randy was using. That got me one follow but no bites. Finally, Randy got hit in his sluggo looking bait. I grabbed the net as Randy brought the fish to the boat. Woohoo! A fish!!! It was only 36.5" but at least we were on to something!!!

 That "something" had us digging deep into the box looking for the unconventional stuff.

At this point, it was lunch time and we were scratching our heads a bit. In total, including my one follow, the boat had six total follows, one miss, and one fish in the boat.

We grabbed a quick shore lunch which gave us a chance to talk to some other anglers who were coming off the water as well. They were all just as perplexed as we were. Follows, follows, and a ton more follows. Nobody seemed to be able to get a musky do anything other than escort the lures back to the boat.

After lunch, I varied between fly and conventional gear while Randy and Scott stuck with the casting stuff. Eventually, I grabbed a small bulldog that was gold in color with a bright orange tail. That netted me a couple more follows but no commits. Scott had another follow on a black tube that was covered in weeds. That fish looked like it was about to hit but, once again, he pulled it right out of the water. Oy Vey!

Aside from that, it was the same story as earlier in the day. Follows, follows, and more follows.

The real story of the day were the bees. There were a TON of bees out there and they sure seemed to be rather attracted to me for whatever reason. With no wind to speak of, they were out in full force. I managed to get about six of the ones who wanted to buzz my face. So, to sum it all up, Randy caught a fish, Scott played take away, and I killed bees.

The final tally was 11 follows, 2 boat side attacks, and 1 fish landed. Apparently, we missed the memo about the musky escort day.

Since all you musky only wanted to show me your back, I'll show you mine. Take that!


Time to go chase some musky with the fly rod

No kayak. No casting reels, rods or giant lures. 

Just 10 inches of feathers, fur, and some flash

Should be fun :)


Biggest King Salmon of the Year

Last Friday night was gloomy, cold, and rainy. I felt pretty much the same as the weather. I was still tired from Thursday night's concert with the wife, worked later than I hoped to on Friday, and I wasn't even on the road until nearly 6pm. 

To make matters worse, the traffic was horrendous for almost the entire drive. A drive that normally takes a few minutes less than two hours, ended up taking three and a half hours. The weather was supposed to be right around 50 degrees and the rain was supposed to stop around 8 that night. Well, shockingly, the weathermen were wrong and it was teetering right around 40 - plus still raining. I just flat out wasn't into it and would have been OK if I had just stayed home but since I sat in traffic for so long, I went for it anyways. 

My friend Tom H was already out there along with a couple of other friends. Everyone was catching fish but Tom was killing it! When I got out there, he already had landed five or six. It didn't take long until I had my first fish on. I didn't really set the hooks so he was gone as quickly as he came. 

0 for 1

Not too much longer and I had another one. I got the hooks set, rod out of the rod holder, and started to reel as fast I could. This fish was coming straight at the kayak and I just couldn't reel fast enough. 

0 for 2

By this point, I was already starting to feel cold to the core - especially my feet and hands - but the action is keeping me mentally warm enough to keep at it. 

I get another hit, set the hooks, get the rod out of the rod holder, and start the fight. The fight is good and all but not that impressive compared to most of the other kings I have had on this year. It took all of four or five minutes to get it in the boat and I was surprised at the size. It looked to be at least 36 inches which is a 17 to 18lb fish on average. After heading to the dock at the end of the night, it ended up at 38" and 20lbs on the scale at the cleaning station. I had bled the fish when I first landed it so I'm sure it lost a few tenths in weight. 

After that fish, I had two more good hits that I just couldn't stay connected with. I was cold, tired, and ready to leave so I did just that. 

Ended up 1 for 5 with a 38" tuna. Tom caught his personal best ever that night. That fish came in at 40" and weighed a staggering 26+lbs! Friggin awesome!! 

On a semi-related note - I sold the 2013 Outback on Sunday. All the new parts for the 2014 are on the way so I can get it rigged up for a Sunday daytime outing. Can't wait to get some fish slime on the new outback!!


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