Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Musky Bug......

I don't know when it really began for me, but I would have to think that it probably started on Snowbank Lake near Ely MN in the early 1970's. My parents had taken us out for the afternoon to do a little fishing on a overcast and very humid day. As I recall ( I couldn't have been more than 6 years old at the time ) we had headed toward the back of a calm bay so my Dad could take a few casts for a bigger fish. We had been out since lunch and hadn't had too much success with the pan fish. I remember that only my Father was casting, and we were all just watching him for a few minutes before returning to the dock. He had put on a orange and black Evans Shyster with a silver blade in a 1 ounce size and hurled his lure toward the thick weeds that outlined the back of the bay. I can't remember how many casts he had taken, when he yelled "I got one". I can still hear his voice as his excitement grew, knowing that he had hooked into a good fish. We were fishing out of a 16ft row boat with a 10 horse motor and once Mom had seen the size of the fish she shouted for us to get into the bottom of the boat. The fish made a good jump clear out of the water and also made a few deeper runs while Mom got into position to net the fish. The fish did not tire easily and I listened to Mom yell to Dad that the next time it swam by she was going to try and net it. The fish came back around the boat again and Mom stuck her arms way down in the water to reach, and eventually net the fish. I looked at this huge fish, that now seemed to take up all the space in the bottom of our boat. It looked like nothing I had ever seen before. The fish was long and looked like a pike, though I had never seen one that big. The coloring was different also, it was almost all silver on the sides with an underside that looked white, but with a remarkable pink hue to it. The fish was the most unique fish that I had ever seen. We brought it back to the dock as we did with almost all our fish back then and had showed it to the people around the resort. They called the local Game Warden and he drove out to look at the fish. They determined that it was a Blue Pike. Now at the time there was not to have been any Musky in Snowbank lake and I think that is what led them to that conclusion. Since then I have seen many pictures and also live natural muskies that have that green/silver look to them with no markings. We took the Musky home to have it mounted and it still is hanging on the basement wall in the house where we grew up.From that day forward the thought of hooking into a large Pike or Musky has always driven my brothers and I to fish countless hours for a chance to experience those amazing creatures. The three of us love to fish for Muskies and have been fishing both recreational and in tournaments for as long as I can remember. Late Last summer on a trip to St. Germain WI, my son Bryan caught the bug too! While fishing from the dock at my brothers cabin, Bryan had a large Musky engulf his new Mepps lure that he had purchased for himself that weekend. It was the first lure that he had ever bought with his own money, and I will never forget the look on his face when he came up to the cabin with his line waving in the air. He was angry that he had lost his new lure, but the sight of that Musky, mouth open, eating his lure, gave him a new excitement that will last with him a lifetime. My son caught the Musky bug! Now, like his Grandfather, Father, and Uncles, he too has found a passion for Musky fishing. Tomorrow we are going to the annual Musky Show in Palatine, IL and I can't wait to see the smile on his face while he tells his story. It will probably be almost as big as the one on mine!

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