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by MCJ graduate
German Valley, Illinois
November 26, 2005
From journal Last Anglers Standing
We were couple of women who had muskies on our minds. No, we had never caught them before, but the thought of catching these giant fish with enormous teeth intrigued us. And yes, if you are asking if we are loony, the answer is absolutely. But unfortunately, we didn’t check our rods and reels to see if they were in top shape or suitable for these predator fish. Shame on us for that! Our small freshwater poles (only can hold an 8-pound fish) and our salt-water pole, unbeknownst to us, had a rusted-out reel. In addition, none of these rods had steal leaders or braided lines. And when you try to catch muskies, you need these; otherwise, you take the chance of these fish chewing off the line and/or breaking the line. Lastly, we only had regular hooks on the poles. And any muskie angler knows that when you fish with live bait (sucker fish), you need treble hooks. Luckily, when we bought our bait at the bait shop, we were told what tackle to use. Therefore, we did have this tackle called quick hit harness. This consisted of a bobber and two treble hooks. Other than that right rig, we fished with our rubbish fishing equipment.There is an adage about muskie fishing: a fish of 10,000 casts. Hmm, for the muskies we caught, we didn’t cast at all. Instead, we took our poles, dropped the lines not far from the boat and about 15 feet down into the water (water was about 25 feet deep), and waited for the giant. We used live sucker fish as bait (they were 12 to 13 inches long). And because the live bait is so large, you didn’t need a sinker for weight.Sharon caught her muskie fish after 3 hours of fishing on our first fishing day. This was when she realized that the salt-water pole’s reel had rusted out. She couldn’t reel her muskie in. Instead, she let the fish play itself out and pull the line straight up while I netted it. We couldn’t believe our eyes--it was huge to us. We measured the length, which was 31.5 inches long, but forgot to measure the girth of it. Since the legal size was 40 inches (after we took pictures), we had to release her back into the water. Although Sharon didn’t experience the whole thrill of catching a muskie (the muskie running the line), she did bring the fish up without losing it, an achievement in itself.
Sharon also caught a walleye, but it snapped the salt-water pole’s line. We did see him arch up and then break the line. He was huge for a walleye. I would guess he was 24 inches long, and he did go after the 12 to 13 sucker-fish bait. Also, Sharon had another muskie on her line, but with that darn salt-water pole and reel, she couldn’t reel him in, so he got off.