I was lucky this weekend. Lucky to have been able to flee Chicago to head north for a couple of days. Lucky to get to see the northern lights after helping my girlfriends father land an 8 pound walleye. Lucky to see a black bear with three bear cubs. But most of all, lucky to put a hook in my first musky that pushed fifty inches.
It was a glass calm May 29th and friend Tyler and I had been casting, trolling, jigging, and doing just about everything we could to land a bass or walleye. I fired up the motor and decided to cut across the 2000 acre lake to a good backwater bass spot. On the way across the lake I remembered a sunken island that sits 12 feet under water, dropping off to sixty feet or so on all sides. I coasted up on the reef and watched the depth finder hit 35, jump to 20, then slide right up to 11 or 12 feet. I cut the motor and we silently drifted onto the center of the island. Rattle traps, and crank baits were casted to no avail, I suggested my accomplice take the musky rod he had sitting next to him and give the big daredevil a few throws. Within 5 minutes of him picking up the rod he gasped a big sigh and said "come on!". I turned and asked him what had happened. He said a "big one just came right to the boat and turned and swam off". The third musky he had raised that weekend. I flipped open my tackle box with haste. The last thing I had thrown in there before leaving the dock was a bigger, double bladed, hand twisted Sims Spinner. I did the photography of the entire product line for Dan Sims, who ties them with his business partner and sells them to local bait shops. I had told him I needed something big for aggressive northerns in Yellow/White and he had given me a spinner to test for him. I tested it alright.
Five casts in I set the hook quickly and hard. Musky.
After the fish took its first run and I had it under control I flipped open my bag and turned on my GoPro camera, tossed it to Tyler and asked if he would keep it on the fish.
After about 8 minutes of delicate fighting on 12 pound test braid, with no leader mind you, I had the fish in hand next to the boat. I grabbed pliers and popped the one hook out of the corner of his mouth. A 50" musky was in my hand, the fish of a lifetime.
I hefted it out of the water for 2 quick photographs and put it back down before it put up a fight. I let it rest boatside for 2 minutes before he kicked and I let him swim back to the reef he came from.
Take a look at the footage. You'll see the musky swim by with the Sims Spinner in it's mouth, you'll see some good runs and a beautiful release to the depths.