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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 10:56am - Jan 19,04
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Location: Northern IL / So. Wisconsin

Post Posted: 02:10pm - May 14,05 
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After a particularly "unusual" and stressful week chock full 'o crud weather and testy problems, I find myself with a free day on Saturday and having not seen my beautiful bride nearly all week, she comes home from the "not unusual" 60-hour work week on Friday night to inform me that "Spaulding- Get Dresssed- we're going Musky Fishing" tomorrow... Okee-dokee.

I roll outta the warmth at 4:30, make the obligatory pot of Kona and roust her at 5-bells. We dress, drink coffee, hook up the Alumacraft and head for the Chain. She was very excited for my success out there with a client last Saturday but envious too. We hit the water on Catherine at 06:30 and start burnin' bucktails- her with the black/white that did so well for me last weekend, me with a perch color. Air temp 53, water 54, a bit murkier than last week due to the rain but not bad, and winds WNW at 5-10. Barometer dropping at 29.80. Spot #1- nada. Spot #2... I tell her "This is where we got the 35.5" fish last Saturday" and after 3-4 casts in that spot she grunts "GOT 'EM" from the back of the boat through gritted teeth. I look up to see her tied to a good musky about 25 yards out. I reel in fast- run for the net. She does a good job- gets the fish to the boat- it runs again- gives an awesome swirl- runs to the motor (they will find ANY obstruction they can)- she clears her- says "She's not hooked very well" and as soon as she says it-from her lips to God's ears- the fish gives a good head-shake, and she's gone. Had her on about 45-60 seconds. Good fish- 37" or so and Mrs. is happy- knee shaking happy. We high-five- she says "That felt almost as good as..... " (you finish the rest) and we carry on. All we see at spot #2. On to Spot #3. I had high hopes here. Nobody on the spot (in fact- not many boats out at all today) and we fish it thoroughly, slowly, methodically- and I see only one fish (smaller- maybe 30-32") come up to check out my bucktail but it's gone as fast as it came in. On to spot #3. This spot we've worked so many times... we've raised so many fish here- and have never caught one of 'em. But we know it's a good spot- it holds fish. We work it slowly and according to plan.. shallow to deep-around the bend like we always do. Off the tip of the best possible ambush point- a spot we've cast to maybe a hundred times over the past 3-4 years... today- the fish is there. My bucktail hits the water- two- maybe three turns of the of the blades- WHACK and I'm hooked up- a hard strike at that. I work 'em in, Mrs. does a great job with the net- and the bucktail pops free just as we get him safely in the net - a decent 35". Not huge, but respectable and good looking and gives his all! Image
We're loving life, living large, drinking coffee from the thermos and havin' a grand ol' time. We leave spot #3, head to #4, #5 and #6 without further incident. Then is when fate took hold I guess. It's now 11:15 or so, we're both a bit weary and I suggest we bag the musky fishing and chase some crappies. Veronica readily agrees and we head to CJ Smith's- hook up with Honest John (who is a great guy for those of you who don't know him... stop by- get some bait, see an excellent shop and meet a wonderful man). We get some minnows and some spikes, stow the musky rods and pull out the panfish gear. We're in Spring lake anyway- so I suggest we work the spring lake channel along the newly growing lilly pads. It's quiet in there- peaceful and the sun's poking through- warming us up a bit. 3# line, 1/100 oz. Mormyshkas and wave buster slip floats. I tip mine with a couple spikes and V puts on a wedgie on hers. We're probing the pads in 4' of water and I start catching perch. Some decent ones at that. The size that if you felt like doing some cleaning- you could get a filet off of 'em. I'm tossin' em back, V's not gettin bit, so she relents, takes off the wedgie and tips a couple spikes on her perch colored Mormyshka. I'm haulin' in one perch after another and finally get this little dinky guy- maybe (and I mean "maybe") 3 inches- and she wants a picture of me with that perch. (It's a thing with her- take pics of Todd with the smallest fish of the season every year and put 'em around the house next to pics of her with big fish... :lol: ). I'm holding the fish and I turn to look her way and we both watch her float go down- she sets- and she's got a perch- about a 5-6" fish. She proceeds to bring it towards the boat- it's struggling- and yep- you guessed it- outta nowhere- like a rocket- a musky just HAMMERS that perch :roll: . It was like a slow-motion "wide world of sports" replay. Quiet clear water- perch coming up-enter musky from the left- gills flare- mouth opens and CHOMP... such an awesome sight. V is so flabbergasted- she steps off the back pedestal- lands in the splash well and darn near does a header into the drink. Only the big outboard saves her.. Meanwhile- the fish(es) are heading off the other way. She hits the back-reel, starts giving line- and says- as she's pulling herself back into the boat... "I GOT 'EM"... I'm laughing like a hyena- wondering aloud who's got who here... and I'm waiting for the guitar string "PING" that parts fish(es) and fisherman(woman). V says "Chase HIM" :argue ..... and I oblige by getting on the trolling motor (while thinking to myself that she's lost her marbles). I'm telling her that musky doesn't even know what's happening- he's just trying to get a perch from you and she says "I GOT HIM"... and meanwhile I'm just hoping no one gets hurt and no gear gets destroyed and nobody gets an eye poked out. Boats are literally going around us in the channel as we do circles around this fish and it around us. 5 minutes passes and I'm thinking this fish is persistent. Almost 10 minutes passes and I'm thinking the perch is stuck in said musky's mouth. Remember- the water's only 4' deep and we see the fish almost the entire time other than when he's peeling line off the reel- and finally we're over it again and V says "Get the Net"... I'm trying hard not to laugh. She manages- ever so slowly to raise this fish to the surface. Once, twice, three times. On the fourth try (and now I'm starting to believe)- she gets the head turning toward me- the fish sees the net and peels off again (I'm thinkin' this is it- it's over) and she manages to turn said fish one more time. Now I've got to get serious- she's been into this fish for more than 15 minutes by my watch and after all that- if I screw this up- I'm a dead man :shock: . I put the big Stowmaster deep into the water- handle extended all the way- and wait. She slowly leads her to the bow- walking up the gunnel towards me- and beyond belief- fish slides into said net and I lift up and pen her in- we got her. I'm simply amazed. I've seen this one other time in my life- with my dad and a 10# rockfish and a 45# ling cod on the west coast when I was just a young boy- but that's another story for another time... we're both just amazed. The ice jig is embedded firmly in the corner of the musky's jaw- no perch in sight. We don't know if the fish threw the perch- swallowed it and then the hook popped free and caught in her mouth or what- but it's the first (and undoubtedly the last) time I've ever seen a 36" musky caught on 3# line and a 1/100 oz. Mormyshka ice jig. We get a quick tape on her (she's beat up from spawning), we take a couple quick pics Image and back she goes- and she's off like a rocket...

V was so excited she sat on the gunnel and shed tears for a minute- it was cute as all get-out. I look at her- turn my hat sideways- we giggle like little kids and I tell her "Can't top that- let's get outta here and I'll buy ya lunch" and she agrees with a grin and a kiss. I don't know what's liable to happen next... but will report it here when it does.

Tight lines- thanks for the patience through long-winded stories. Best to all-

Todd & Veronica / Into The Outdoors
"The All-Finesse Team".... :lol:

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 06:17pm - Jan 22,05
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Post Posted: 02:37pm - May 14,05 
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holy cow, what a trip. Congrats veronica, and congrats on the netting job, I would have thrown you in if you blew it too :lol: But man, what an awesome story, I have heard of muskies doing this, but never getting em in the boat too! Congrats again on the trip, and it sounds lik ea blast. BTW did you guys check the record for the light tackle? It may be worth it. Just for kicks.

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Post Posted: 03:56pm - May 14,05 
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What a great story Todd! Congrats V.

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Post Posted: 05:05pm - May 14,05 
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No one is gonna top that one this weekend... Congrats to the both of you, Great Story Todd! :D

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Post Posted: 05:32pm - May 14,05 
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Thanks for the great story.

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Post Posted: 05:53pm - May 14,05 
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Sweet!
That's just about the best darn fish tale I ever did read. Better send a copy to the Mormishka folks Todd and say congrats to the Master!
Now what happened to that photo of your perch. :rotflmao

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Post Posted: 08:01pm - May 14,05 
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great story!

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Post Posted: 03:30pm - May 15,05 
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Truly enjoyed that one!

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Post Posted: 07:41pm - May 15,05 
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Great read T and V.

Thank you.

Tom

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Post Posted: 08:42pm - May 15,05 
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Awesome job by both of you.

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Joined: 06:49pm - Feb 11,03
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Location: NW Suburbs boat: '93 Sea Nymph

Post Posted: 12:23pm - May 16,05 
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:shock:


:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D




8)

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Post Posted: 07:00pm - May 16,05 
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Fantastic :D

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Post Posted: 07:50am - May 17,05 
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You all are the coolest! Just havin' a ball let me tell ya. Averages work out- over time, the Gods smile. I was starting to lose some faith before the past couple weeks. Will keep after 'em for a bit yet and let ya know how it goes (may even sneak in a couple hours late today).

-Todd (& the crying musky woman!!)
Into The Outdoors

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Post Posted: 04:14pm - May 17,05 
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Todd,

I actually had that happen to me a couple years back when fishing for crappie with my 8 year old daughter. I wrote a story about it as a way for my kiddo to remember it and Bob Maciulis was nice enough to print it in the Outdoor Notebook. A friend of mine who also posts on this site, Bill A., host a website, catchphotorelease.com, and he has the article up there with a picture of the muskie we landed together.

Great story. Congrats on an amazing catch.

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