Friday, December 6, 2013

A Tiger For Our Efforts

A beautifully marked tiger musky caught on Thanksgiving weekend.

When: Saturday, November 30th, from 9:30am to 4:30pm
What: Musky fishing with Matt
Weather: Clear skies and cold with a few clouds in the afternoon. Did I mention it was really cold again?? Temps 21 to 32. Wind E turning to S up to 5mph.
Barometric Pressure:30.69 and noon then started falling gradually to 30.55 when we left.
Relative Humidity: 44% at mid day
Sunrise: 7:02am
Sunset: 4:29pm
Moon: Waning, a day and half before new. Moonset 2:53pm. Overhead 9:35am.
Water Conditions: Temps flirty with the 30's. Slightly stained.

I told one of my coworkers when I left the office the day before Thanksgiving that I was going to "fish my face off" over the weekend.

And fish my face off I did.

After a long-day of plying the ocean and Barnegat Bay for stripers with Jimmy and Joe on Friday, I came home to gather my musky gear and go fishing with Matt the next day. Once again, it was absolutely bitter
cold, but the rough weather makes for a lot of room on the water. When we arrived at the marina, there was a fair amount of skim ice in the small cove where it's located, but a few boats had already been out and chopped through it. There's something that just feels pretty cool about navigating through ice to go catch a musky. It makes you feel like you're really fishing.

I've never been a huge fan of trolling for muskies, mostly for no better reason than the fact that I can't sit still for that long. There's absolutely no denying that it is a proven method for catching fish though. Trollers will often, and maybe even under most conditions, outfish musky anglers who are casting. I could probably catch more muskies if I stuck the rods in the holder more often, but it's just not my style.

Regardless of that, I'm down to try it from time to time. Especially when a bunch of my buddies have been doing well trolling and I'm a little tired from fishing the day before. This was the perfect scenario.

Matt and I trolled for 4 hours without a touch. Actually, the line did rip out once, but it was mostly likely from a snag.

As it neared 2pm and the moonset, we decided to do some casting. Within an hour, I had the pretty tiger you see above nail my 8-inch Hughes River Shaker about 15 feet from the boat. The fight was short and the fish was quickly unhooked, photographed and released. I normally don't disclose the lures I use, but I don't envision too many people going out and spending $70 on a Hughes River Bait, if you can even find them. Fall is the time to work big gliders like the Shaker, and it's one of my favorite ways to fish for skis.

Winter is definitely approaching and soon there will be ice. I have one more trip to report for 2013, but it may be my last for a few and I have probably caught my last musky this year. The water is cold and any ice you find is probably not safe yet, so be careful out there.

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