My friend and musky pro "Musky" Mike Phillips invited me out for a half day outing. Needless to say, I was more than thrilled, as I rarely have the opportunity to target muskies, let alone with an expert of Mike's caliber.
We headed out to the St Lawrence on his new 20 foot Lund, fully equipped with the latest electronics, kicker trolling motor, etc. Was hoping for at least one fish, the clear blue skies and warm front may have made for a nice day to troll, but not necessarily one for musky fishing in the fall. The clear water in that part of the St Lawrence River doesn't make things any easier for muskies that tend to get finicky when the weather pattern changes. Floating weeds and other debris kept us busy checking our lines quite often too.
Regardless of the tough conditions and short time frame we had on the water, Mike put us onto fish as I expected he would. We got our first hit within 20 minutes of launching. Fish put up quite a good fight. Wasn't a monster musky, but still a nice 40 incher, that I landed within a couple hard fought minutes.
Mike's been tagging muskies for the government this season, but he's caught so many muskies that he's already run out of tags for the season. He measured the musky, logged it into his book, and I released it in good condition after a couple quick pics.
Over the next 3 hours, we quick trolled many of his hot spots spread out over a good 25 kilometer range. Getting from spot to spot was a breeze, his 200 HP engine had us cruising over 90 KM/H. The muskies weren't too cooperative until the last minute. We were just about to call it a day, when another musky hits the line. Bringing it in, it felt heavy but didn't fight at all. Then, 10 feet from the boat, I saw the line coming up at high speed. The big musky jumped straight out of the water doing a twist while shaking it head, threw the lure, and swam off. It seemed to have been hooked funny, kind of on the outside of it's jaw. Best guess is that it hit the lure instead of taking it in as muskies and pike often do.
While I didn't get a picture or accurate measurement of the second musky, I was happy enough to have fought it to the boat, and even happier that I got to see it, otherwise I would have been losing sleep over the one that got away.
I highly recommend Musky Mike for anyone looking to tangle with our top freshwater predator.
You can view his profile on my guides page at: http://freshwaterphil.com/fishing-guides.cfm
Hope to chase some more musky this fall. Stay tuned...