"Let 'em go, let 'em grow."
When: Thursday, May 1st
What: Musky fishing with Brian
Weather: Warm, overcast to partly cloudy and breezy at times. High in the mid 70's. Wind S to SW from 5 to 15mph.
Barometric Pressure: 29.79in fell to 29.65
Relative Humidity: 39% to 64%Sunrise: 6:04am
Moon: Waxing, 2 days after new. Moonrise 7:58am. Overhead 3:05pm.
Water Conditions: Partly to moderately stained. Main lakes temps 54-55 and 56-57 in the shallows.
It wasn't too many years ago when I used to wonder, "will I catch my first musky this year?"
Nowadays, it's a matter of "when will I catch my first musky of the year?"
In past years, I've been able to catch musky in January, February and March. But I haven't been out that many times this year because there was still ice on most of the lakes until I got back from Costa Rica a month ago. I've said it before that April is a tough month to catch muskies, but could May 1st be all that much different?
There had been a monsoon the previous night. Rivers and roads were flooded, the lake was high, and I was sitting in bumper to bumper traffic trying to go fishing, I started wondering if this was such a hot idea. Even a couple of my buddies who are as die-hard as I am were questioning my sanity.
That being said, when I left my house Thursday morning and saw on the weather map that a front would be passing us all day, the thought stuck in the back of my mind that something good could happen.
Brian and I started casting lures not long after 10am. About two hours in, I had a follow on a glider by a beat-up looking, post-spawn musky that didn't want to commit. I looked at the sonar and saw that we were in 6 feet of water.
We didn't see jack for awhile and had spent a couple of hours plying another part of the lake. We were just about to pick-up and move, and someone had the brilliant idea to stick it out a bit longer. I honestly don't recall if that was mine or Brian's decision, but it turned the day.
We moved maybe 50 yards and continued to drift into a shallow cove that was getting pounded with wind. As I was daydreaming about what I had to do that weekend, I heard a shout.
"No, he's still there, he's swimming towards the boat.
Moments later, I scooped-up Brian's 35-inch musky. Awesome. The skunk was off and we now had some life back in us. We took note that the fish was in shallow water, and we also now had a pattern.
By this time it was after 5 o'clock, so we had some daylight left to target similar areas. I switched lures, and 30 minutes after Brian caught his fish, I felt a thump.
Within seconds, I had a good-sized musky to the boat and watched intently as it thrashed its head beneath me. Unfortunately, it didn't give Brian very much time to get the net, and as I sat there saying a Novena, I watched my bait pop free and the 40+ inch musky swim to freedom.
I was crushed....to say the least. And I let anyone within earshot on the lake know it.
Still, even with a loss like that, I now had a bait I knew they'd bite and we knew where the fish were. I told my lovely wife I might be a bit late, shook off the bad vibes and started casting with even more purpose.
Probably not 30 minutes later, in the same area on the same bait, another one struck. And this one wasn't going anywhere. The fish gave its best, even pulling a couple feet of line from my dialed-down drag, but I was able to steer it into the net after what seemed like an eternity.
The boat erupted, and I had my first musky of 2014. It measured 40 inches on the dot.
Now feeling pretty good, Brian and I stayed in the same area, and I, of course, had on the same bait. The bait wasn't even running right, but it seemed like a high percentage of the casts that I could get it working, I got bit. So I stuck with it.
At 7:20pm, Brian and I made a decision to give it another half an hour. We figured that with the action the way it was, every minute counted.
Less than 15 minutes later, I put another one in the net. For a second we thought it was the same fish, but after seeing that it had some spawning scars and a thicker belly, we knew it wasn't. The fish was a little longer too, measuring just over 40 inches.
What a day.
We stuck it out for a few more minutes, but both of us needed to get home. We had hooked 4 fish, landed 3 of them and moved a couple others. One of the best days I've had on the water.
And May has only just begun...........