The bigger one got away.
When: Sunday, October 20th, from 7:30am to 4:30pm
What: Fishing a Musky Tournament With Joe L....kind of
Weather: Mostly sunny. 38 to 60 degrees. Winds calm to variable to SW at 6 to W at 10 and gusting to 18
Barometric Pressure: 29.91in to 29.96
Relative Humidity: 38% at mid-daySunrise: 7:15am
Moon: Waning, a day after full. Minor 8:51am (Moonset). Major 2:06pm (underfoot)
Water Conditions: Partly stained, 63 degrees.
It was a tough week at the office. Joe and I had been stuck behind our desks, and the fish were biting. We got numerous texts and pics from our buddies who were having a blast moving and catching muskies, and by the time the weekend rolled around, the clouds were gone and a front had passed.
Still, we had our Chapter 22 "tournament" on Sunday, which wound up being just a bunch of guys from the club out fishing.
Fine by me.
We launched just after 7:30pm and got right to work. I was still lagging a little from waking up at 3:30am the day before to go striper fishing, but I kept at it. After a couple hours, about 40 minutes after the moonset, I tied on a 9-inch crankbait to work some shallow weeds we were fishing in 8 feet of water. I was giving the bait a couple twitches and keeping it just below the surface, and after 5 casts a fish came out and took a shot. He missed, but a few cranks later he was on it again.
This time he got stuck.
I was able to see that the fish had just nipped the back hook and was hanging by a thread. I knew it wasn't going to end well, and after a couple head shakes I got to watch him swim away before Joe even had time to get his hands on the net.
There are few things that are more disappointing than losing a good musky.
But, we kept at it. A couple hours later Joe had a good fish come out from shallow weeds and I was sure it was going to smack his crankbait. However, after a couple turns on the 8, the fish was gone. We went back a couple more times, but we never saw the fish again.
At the major we decided to visit the site of the first fish. After working the area and not seeing anything, we began to drift back towards the main lake. I made another cast with the same bait, and after finishing my retrieve I did not see anything following. Still being half-asleep, my mind wandered for a minute and I turned my head to look in the boat with the bait still sitting in the water.
That's when I heard a splash.
Very shortly thereafter, this 34 was in the net.
That was all the action we would have for the day. We stuck it out for a few more hours, but I had reached my fishing capacity for the weekend. It didn't feel great to lose a good fish, but putting one in the net is always better than nothing.