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guideman (US)

This is me with 2 Tiger Bass caught in my private lake in S.C. I have fished Lake of the Woods, Ont., 51yrs. I lived in Ill. my whole life and moved to S.C. June, 2011. I had a home at Lake of the Ozarks for 17+ years, where I caught all species of fish.

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guideman (US)'s Profile > Stories > First Cast of the Trip

First Cast of the Trip

Posted Jun 19, 2011 by guideman (US)
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 My son, Mike, and I went out after dinner to look for some nice small mouth bass. We went to an area we had fished around in previous years and had some success. It was a shelf coming off a bar near deep water. I was in front on the trolling motor and Mike was in the back. We were both using Berkley black 3 inch Power Grubs on 1/8 oz. jigs. I flipped my first cast to the edge of the shelf and started cranking my UL Shimano reel on my 5 foot UL Lightning Rod loaded with fresh 6 pound Berkley Solar line. After a few turns of the reel, I felt a solid thump and set the hook. I was expecting a smallie to come shooting to the surface but to my and my son's surprise, a Musky came up and broke the surface which was followed by a strong dive. My UL reel drag started to wail as I fumbled to flip the anti reverse and get ready to back reel. Before I was set to start the back reeling process, the Musky stopped it's run and I then started to reel it in slowly while I tried to move the boat toward the deeper water. I simply kept my rod doubled over and kept pressure on the fish trying to lead it in any direction other than the one it wanted to head. It took off again as I was able to back reel under control and I worked to avoid it diving into the rocks of the reef. While I was fighting the fish, Mike was trying to move things around the boat to make room for his fish cradle and a place to put the fish in the boat, if we ever got it to that point. Slowly, I started gaining on the fish and as she surfaced, we could see she was nicely hooked in the front of the mouth and that this was a fairly decent Musky. I tried to lead the fish toward the boat and Mike lowered the cradle to the water. The Musky wanted no part of that game plan and again took off. This run wasn't quite as far or as strong as the last one so I knew she was starting to tire out. My arm was starting to tire also. I slowly brought her to the cradle and as soon as about 1/3 of her head went in, she turned her head to the right and pulled herself out of the cradle. We repeated this same action about seven times and I wondered if the line could keep holding together much longer with this pressure. Mike offered to try to hand land her but I thought the cradle would be less stressful, in the end. On the eighth try she went in and Mike gently lifted her into the boat and placed her on the floor. He removed the hook easily, we measured her and I held her up for some quick pictures. I lowered her back into the water and Mike spent a good 15 minutes reviving her and we made sure she swam off under her own power. We even followed her with the trolling motor until she finally dove into the depths of the reef and was gone. She was a gorgeous Tiger Musky that went 44 inches long. We didn't check her girth but she wasn't an overly thick fish. This might actually have been a male since I did not notice any eggs in it so I probably shouldn't refer to it as a her. It was still a very pleasant surprise since we were really looking for small mouth bass. I had to say this was a great way to start the trip out and was just a foreboding of things yet to come on this trip to LOTW.
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