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musky hunter

Saturday's action on the St. Louis

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musky hunter

Saturday morning came and the wife and I were having breakfast. Maureen had to work, leaving me with a free pass for the day. I loaded up the boat and headed out to the river in search of some smallmouth action. The early morning cloud cover was holding, a good thing because I didn’t get out until 10:00 am. There wasn’t much traffic on the river and I was all alone. On the fourth cast, there was a big slurpee sound and the buzz bait disappeared. A few runs, a surface splash or two, and four big turns all around the boat and she was ready for the net. I slipped the net under the ski and lifted, but the all too small netting tore away at the rim but the fish was still there and I was able to capture her with a two handed grab around the mesh. She measured out at 41”, not a bad start for the day and I’m pumped. But not getting any action after the musky, I move to a different spot and switch to an 1/8 ounce jig and minnow.

I meet another basser and we swap stories and tips. He too has had a little musky action in search of the bronzebacks. He leaves, and I begin to pick up some action on the minnows. It’s getting close to high noon and the nice cloud cover is burning off. I make a pitch upstream and get a solid hit, but the fish immediately heads right at me. Then I see a flash and I’m thinking another big bass is in there with the one I’ve got on. Then another flash out of the corner of my eye, did I see a forked tail? Suddenly, my bass seems to be hung up on a rock or submerged stick. I set my rod down and am directly above it, pulling vertically. I can feel a fish bumping the line but no way can I move it and surely can’t see what it’s stuck on. Then everything breaks loose.

My spinning rod starts singing and I know I’ve got another musky on. 10# power pro and a 20# fluorocarbon leader on a spinning rod is hardly adequate musky hardware but that’s what I’ve got to work with. After a few runs around the boat it decides to head south. It’s actually pulling the boat, so I vector the trolling motor to maintain position in the middle of the channel. Only patience will land this fish. I don’t know long this fight has been going on, but we are getting to be about 100 yards from where I initially hooked up with the fish. Finally, some signs of tiring appear and I can get the big girl up to the surface. Two things strike me. I cannot see my jig at all, and it seems to be substantially bigger than the one I took earlier. The only way I can possibly land the fish, being that the netting is no longer an option, is to beach the boat, jump in and try to walk the fish up a shallow bank. I’m just about to do this when the fish makes another run, and then, in an instant, the line goes slack and she’s off. My heart sinks, but there is still something on the end of the line.

I reel in one still alive but very woozy 15” bass! I never saw anything sticking out of the big girl’s mouth when I had her up. She must have had the bass head first, deep in the gullet with the line coming out the side of the mouth. Incredible as it seems, there wasn’t a knick on my leader. I guess you could say the big one got away but did it? After all, I landed every fish I put a hook into. It’s now about 12:30 pm, and I’m ready to head in for lunch.

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Northlander

Sounds like fun man. We are starting to see a lot of Muskies now that its the "golden" hour of the season.

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outdoor ran

Steve, maybe I should grab my muskie box and 2 rods and jump in the lund and we can spend a day looking for some skies. You could always tell yourself your looking for really big walleyes grin.gif

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Muskie-searcher

We catch a couple 30 plus inch walleyes every year chasing muskies and many more in the 26-30 range. The biggest we have pulled out of the river thus far was a fat 33 1/2 incher.

When it comes to river systems, it seems as though all the really big fish want the same things reguardless of what specie they are.

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Northlander

Musky Searcher you got a 33 plus inch walleye out of the River? blush.gif Thats a PIG! I hope thats on the wall. I have never seen anything bigger than 32 out of the River or Lake for that matter.

If you have pics I would love to see them. Thats my new bench mark, 33" to go with the 32" and 31.5" I got out of the River.

By the way I hit the upper river today. TONS of smallies and only 1 eye. confused.gif A few small pike and a lot of Rockies. Crappies are still avoiding me. Anyone getting any Crappies yet? Water still seems a bit warm for them to be in the usual fall spots.

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Muskie-searcher

Yeah we caught the big walleye about 3 years ago casting for muskies in the Spirit Lake general area. We have caught several more walleye in this same spot chasing muskies, but that was the biggest. It seems that the big walleyes are a lot shallower than the small ones. Or maybe that is just because the small ones aren't interested in the baits I am throwing. That fish could be 35" or 36" by now if she is still healthy and growing. And no it is not on the wall. The first fish going on my wall will be a replica of the 55 plus inch muskie I catch. Now I just need to find and catch that fish.

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fishermn

Dang, Northlander sounds like you need to switch up to muskie hunting if ya wanna tie into one of them 32" + walleyes!! grin.gifgrin.gif

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biff

You could fish walleyes (or muskies)on the river the rest of your life and not catch a 33"...or anywhere else for that matter. That is a very old fish esp. for superior. I think that is pushing the limit. I don't see a 35-36" coming from the river. Just too slow growing out there. Northlander youve likely caught your biggest (or at least longest) eye from the river...32" is a hawg...tough to beat. What time of year was that?

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Northlander

The 32" was May 19th of 02 I believe and the 31.5" was June 6th of 03. I have a bunch more 30" and over but those were the 2 biggest.

Like I say a 33" walleye is almost unbelievable but could happen. I know of a few that size above the 23 before season. A 33" out of the river would be on my wall no doubt. It would still be swimming but I would have a replica done.

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Northlander

Hit the river tonight with my jigs and shiners in hand. Hit my usual up river spots but all I could locate was a channel cat and a bunch of really nice smallies. Smallies were off rock piles in about 8-10' of water. They were just smacking the shiners on a 1/8th oz. angle eye jig. After using up most of my shiners I went to a pearl power shiner and kept on bangin them smallies. Biggest was 18.5" and smallest was in the 10" range. It was a blast on my 6'6" light action Midwest rod! Ill be back out tomorrow afternoon hitting it again this time with more shiners. wink.gif

Also Sam if ya read this it was a blast trying to get ya on some Skis. Next time you will get that Hawg ya had on for a bit. I hope to get ya up here again and we can make a day of it and hit more of the river we didnt get to tonight.

Thanks for those awesome looking bucktails! They sure look like the ticket should I ever learn how to toss a baitcaster. wink.gif Who knows maybe then Ill bang my 33" eye for the wall. Artistic Anglers Graphite Mount of course. I will CPR anything big to live another day and have someones kid(s) catch down the road.

Oh man I love fall fishin!!!

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • eyeguy 54
      Sure glad you had some help moose and all turned out well ! 
    • Rick
      Impressive, both Tom and Jeremy
    • eyeguy 54
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      Well monstermoose78 is done ice fishing around here for the year. Why you ask I fell through yes there was 28-30 inches of ice on the lake, but the shoreline nope. Went fishing with @Cret Jigs and we had fun fishing. I cut lots of holes and we got some good ones for the knife. Cret jigs brought a plank for the way out but on the way in I did not make it to the plank. Cret jigs helped me get my stuff the shore and out. I worry about the guy on the wheeler and they guy who used the plank to get out too. Thanks Cret jigs for a fun day. 
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      To all you guys who’ve been keeping us posted, thank you. I’m an islander so I don’t have much hope for the opener, but I’ve been reading all the posts (read them year around), including entertaining posts on new gear, and, again, thanks for letting a lot of guys know what’s going on there. The current weather, forecast and web cams, give me hope! I’m thinking I may get back home in three weeks, maybe four. Keep the sun shining, Dick
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    • Cliff Wagenbach
      Thank for the update and photo Dave and Diane! Cliff
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    • dgdg
        Well the Pike River Dam is finally running at full throttle.  For those of you who aren't up here to see it for yourself, you can see it here: https://www.everettbaylodge.com/lake-vermilion-ice-out-2018-the-dam-is-running/