Monday, November 1, 2010

Minnesota Monster Musky - Lake Bemidji Guide

The phone rang and my buddy Kevin said, "I wanna catch a musky!"  "Well yeah don't we all!",  I replied. Well lets get rocking and go catch one!  So we were off to hunt down one of the toughest freshwater fish.  Easy task right?!  Kevin has been fishing his whole life but never for muskies so this was a new experience for him and the pressure was on.  As I prepare for our Musky Hunt my mind starts to dive into the lake, are the fish going to be deep, shallow, suspended, on the rocks, in the weeds, outside the weeds, inside the weed line or are they on the sand, in the bullrushes holy buckets I didn't know for sure but all I could do was try and put the pieces together.  Just a week prior we had warm weather and the fish moved into the cabbage, but that was a week ago, and we were hit with a nasty cold front with strong NorthWest winds.  

So the hooks were sharpened, all of the hooks I should say, as I was up till 10:30 getting baits ready.  Did the fish want small bucktails, large bucktails, spinnerbaits, or did they want top water baits, or maybe soft plastic baits, or crankbaits or jerk baits?  The book would say in the fall use soft plastics, crank baits or jerk baits, but there have been times when I have caught some of the biggest fish in the fall on topwaters.  That is what this game is all about!  Putting the pieces together and when you do it can pay off huge.

Northbound we headed with the Crestliner 202 and Mercury Verado ready to rock we were greeted with 26 degree morning.  It was picture perfect!  Not another truck and trailer at the access and we had the lake all to ourselves.  "What is everyone doing?" I thought to myself and Kevin was probably thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?"  We put the boat in the water and I bundled up with my IceArmor and off we went.

We started fishing a steep edge like I mentioned in the previous post and our presentation was focused on fishing with Crankbaits and Jerk baits.  Both of these lure have different triggering qualities but both have the ability to stall out in the water.  This means to work the bait either back and forth or twitch, twitch and then a long pause.  That long pause can be the difference in a bite or just a methodical follow.  Every lure you throw has a triggering quality so learn what they are.  We had moved three nice fish on this steep edge but no bitters.  I thought to myself, as it was early in the morning, "Let's try a small little cabbage pile that is adjacent to deep water as an active fish could have moved up."

We started to work down and as we were casting the money spot I saw a huge boil behind the bait appeared.  Twitch, Twitch, Twitch Pause.........Fish on!  Kevin did battle!  As I was grabbing the net Kevin exclaimed, "It's a big one, it's a big one, it's a big one!"  Well this was Kevin's first time musky fishing and the first couple of hours into it for that matter so I was thinking it was just a nice one, until I looked up and saw the Blue St. Croix bent over and was starring down at a giant!  The fish was doing several hard head shakes just out of nets reach.  "Kevin just take it easy and bring her head around!" I said in attempt to stay calm but the fish said, "I'm the boss!" and made several runs back and forth with violent head shakes by the boat.  After a short period Kevin was able to bring her head around and into the net she went.  "It's a giant!  Kevin you just caught your first musky and you just caught your first 50 incher!" I yelped!  There was no doubt this thing was over 50 and I was pumped and Kevin, I think, was a little shell shocked.

So number one thing on my mind is the fish's safety.  Kevin handed me the release tools as it didn't take much to get her unhooked.  We grabbed the camera, bump board (measuring board) and I told Kevin how we were going to take the picture, measure her and let her go.  It's always a good plan to have a good systems as this fish or any fish for that matters is a precious gem so we don't want to hurt her.

Ok so Kevin, previously semi pro basketball player at 6'5", looked down and asked, "Do you see the size of that thing?"  I showed him how to grab her and with a grunt she came out of the net.  This fish was a giant!  Man I wanted to get the best photos possible but it's tough when it's this cold, we don't want the fish out of the water too long, and Kevin never holding a monster musky before I was little worried, but he nailed it.  The fish relaxed and posed for some quick shots, down to the bump board she went.  "54 1/4!" I said to Kevin and with a 26 inch girth!  Kevin's first musky, first 50 incher and first mid forty pounder.  That's a way to start things off!

Lures Selection


We were using a variety of jerk and crank baits like the new  Rapala Glidding Rap  




We caught this monster muskie on a 7 1/2 inch Phantom Softtail Lure



Congrats to my buddy Kevin who landed a true Minnesota Trophy Musky!

So here are couple of shots.  Like I said before Kevin at 6'5" wearing a ton of winter clothing and this fish still made him look small.

You can do a weight calculation here Musky Hunter Weight Calculator

"Make a Memory!"

Jeff "Breezer" Andersen

(click on photo for larger view)




I cropped the above photo just to give you an idea of the girth on this fish!

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