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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 > My Personal Best Musky

My Personal Best Musky

Posted Feb 3, 2011 by guideman (US)
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 This took place at Lake of the Woods. My son and I were staying at our favorite place, Youngs Wilderness Lodge, located on Stevens Bay. We had brought a group of about eight guys and had fished around the camp area for a few days in the early spring. We decided to try a slightly different area and figured we would get together for a shore lunch around 1PM. We picked a good spot to meet and all of us went out in the morning, in different directions. My son, Mike and I, headed in the direction of the scheduled meeting place, a rocky natural point on Turtle Lake, perfect for a shore lunch. In order to get into Turtle Lake, you had to maneuver the boat through a very narrow rocky flow of water dropping down from Turtle Lake on to the main body of Stevens Bay. We would have to be literally driving uphill from one body of water to another. When we got to the outflow, we figured that this is a natural spot for bait fish to be washed out and therefore, a potential spot to catch some fish for lunch. We started casting toward the shoreline where the water created a natural eddy around the corner from the outflow. Along the shore there was rocky rubble and as the water got deeper, nice reeds an weeds were growing. We were throwing spinners and grub combos. We started catching some small northern pike and every once in a while, one was good enough to keep for lunch. After we had what we thought was good enough for the two of us to eat, we headed back to the entrance of the flow leading up to Turtle Lake. We worked our way through the heavy flow and into the rocky pass leading into Turtle. I said we might need a few more fish just in case the others hadn't had as much luck as us. I switched to a crawdad colored twin tail grub with a safety pin spinner attached to a 1/4 oz. head. We started casting along the rock wall heading to the opening of Turtle. I caught a small small mouth bass as we came to the main opening. I let it go and we rounded the rock corner going to the left. The water immediately changed from clear running water to a dark murky brown. There were shallow weeds immediately surrounding the boat. I threw my grub/spinner
combo to the edge of the weeds and reeled it back to the boat. Just as it came in sight, about six feet from the boat, I saw a huge shadow approach it from behind, slowly open it's mouth and my lure disappeared! The fish turned away and pretty much hooked itself. I was using a light Eagle Claw five foot rod with a Garcia U.L. reel and six pound test line. Needless to say, I was NOT musky fishing. I was just simply looking for another fish for lunch. The fish, at first, had no idea it was even hooked. It simply swam around with us following it. My son had been in the front and I had been running the motor in back. We switched and he took over the motor as I shouted directions for him to turn the boat as we tried to keep up with the fish. Whichever direction the fish swam, we tried to follow. I tried to keep some pressure on the fish but had to limit what I did because of the light line and soft rod. The fish kept swimming through the weeds and there were numerous times I expected the line to break. But, It held. This chasing down of this fish went on for much longer than I expected it to last. The fish finally came into view, slowly swimming away from the boat and I couldn't believe that I was still actually attached to this big of a fish. It was still not close to being landed yet. I kept pressuring and back reeling as best I could while telling my son which ways to turn the boat. There were a few times my son and I went the wrong ways to best keep the fish on the side or in front of the boat. This resulted in sticking the rod and line under the boat to avoid cutting the line on the bottom of the boat. In spite of all the screw ups, we were able to manage to stay hooked up and slowly wear down this fish. As we continued to fight the fish, some of the guys in our group started showing up and they were able to watch the last part of the fight. We did not have a big net in the boat but one of my buddies did. We then had to fight the fish on one side of the boat, as he was able to pull up along the other side, to give us his net and then zip away. Just another challenge overcome. It was now about 25 or 30 minutes after I hooked this fish. I know I was tired as Hell so I figured she had to be, also. I really tried to put as much pressure on as I could but absolutely didn't want to blow this at the last minute. She was gradually getting closer to the boat and my son was standing ready with the net. As we drifted, we came into another batch of weeds. My son was about to try to net her but she apparently saw it and made a huge lunge under the boat. Down went the rod tip under the boat and the slow pump and reel process was begun once again. The light rod strained against the weight of the fish as she slowly came back into view. Pump and reel, pump and reel. My son quickly dipped the net low into the water and she swam right into it, head first! Amazing!! Now my knees really began to shake. Against all the odds of a light spinning outfit and light line, we did it! We then measured the fish against an oar and marked off her length. We never thought to measure her girth. We lifted her up so some pictures could be taken by the guys in the other boat. When I lifted her up, she started to drop some eggs. I immediately put her back in the water and held her upright for a long time, until she was able to swim off on her own. She was very full of eggs and was obviously caught just as she was getting ready to spawn. She clearly had some serious additional weight in eggs. We had our shore lunch and you can imagine how I relived and repeated every moment of the fight. We checked the length of the fish against the oar and found her to be 52 and 1/2" in length. I really had no idea of her girth but I can say she was pretty fat because of her big load of fresh eggs. I was very happy that my best musky was going to spawn and continue contributing more musky to the system at LOTW.
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Comments (4 comments)
Aaron Wiebe
Aaron Wiebe (posted Feb 11, 2011)
"Now my knees really began to shake." - Those are the greatest moments!!!
bluebasser86 (posted Feb 7, 2011)
Awesome story! I hope to catch one close to 50 inches some day!
guideman (posted Feb 4, 2011)
Thanks, sKunkT. I am very glad you enjoyed the story.
sKunkT (posted Feb 4, 2011)
What a great story and an outstanding fish!
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