Saturday, May 12, 2012

Day 365: A Valiant Effort

Lake Hopatcong at sunset.
When: Friday, May 11th, from 12:30pm to 8:30pm
Where: Lake Hopatcong
What: Musky fishing
Weather: Partly cloudy, 62 degrees, VERY windy with NW winds to 14mph and gusting to 23mph
Barometric Pressure: 29.99in and rising
Relative Humidity: 28%
Moon: Third quarter
Water Conditions: Partly stained, water temp 57 degrees

First off, a very special thank-you to Aaron for letting me use his boat for my 365th day of fishing. I think that young man deserves a raise, Bob.

Second, plans for Friday were still kind of in limbo as of 10:30am. I had decided to go to Hopatcong some time ago, but what I hadn't planned on was being so exhausted after coming home from Monksville at 11pm the night before. I could have gone for something a little less challenging on my final day and maybe put a few fish in the bag, but that's really not my style. I want to catch musky, and often that means not catching anything at all.

In any event, my alarm clock went off at 5am on Friday, I ignored it and slept until 10am. After getting out of bed and checking the weather reports, I saw that it was going to be mighty windy on Hopatcong. I did not know what to do. I called Lindsay for some help and she asked me a simple question, "it's your last day, what do you want to do."

The answer was simple, I wanted to catch a musky.

I was on Hopatcong by 12:30 and indeed, it was windy, but I focused my efforts on protected coves and had no trouble fishing. About two hours into the trip, I had a musky pop from the weeds, take a shot at my bucktail and miss. It wasn't big and I couldn't get him to bite again, but the sign of life had me energized. A short while later, a large musky showed up behind my bucktail as I was doing a Figure 8 and he proceeded to turn 4 or 5 times on it before losing interest. Again, nothing in the net, but I felt a huge surge of confidence knowing that I moved a couple fish. I visited the spot a couple more times and even caught that same big guy sunning once, but I could not get him to eat.

I have to say, that even without a fish, this was one of the, if not THE best day of the whole adventure. For the first time I had my foot on the trolling motor for the whole day, I spent 8 hours wielding a custom rod that Dr. Fred built for me and even with the wind, it was a gorgeous day on the lake. I felt like a real deal musky man and I even had two of them show-up to tell me I was doing the right thing.

A perfect ending...or is it?

I'd probably find a way to close-out this adventure with some thank-yous and a summary right here, but this being a leap year and all, I guess there's still one thing left to do....

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