Whether casting a fly to rising trout, tossing jerkbaits to muskies, or taking advantage of other great fishing opportunities, June arguably is the best month for fishing in our neck of the woods.
On Friday evening, I found myself on a trout stream in western Wisconsin, the evening too perfect not to be on the river. As I entered the stream, many flies, including Caddis and Sulphurs, were emerging from the water's surface. Cautiously, I walked alongside the river to a slow run I had fished before. As the sun started to fade behind the trees, the hatch intensified. Using a sulphur dun, I started to catch nice browns that were rising with regularity.
Before I knew it, there was little light left, and the only indication of when to set my hook was the sound of a fish breaking the surface. Finished for the night, I headed backed to the car and drove home to prepare for the Metro Muskie Tournament the next day.
The Metro Muskie Tournament is a muskie tournament held on 16 metro lakes in early June. At stake are $11,000 in cash and prizes, including multiple trips to different resorts. Close to 400 people annually enter in the tournament.
I met a friend of mine who was fishing with me for the day at the landing of a popular metro lake early Saturday morning. We were joined by a dozen other rigs fishing the tournament. The weather was fairly cold, windy and cloudy — not ideal, considering we were on the back end of a cold front. But it could have been worse. We made our first cast at 6, when the tournament began, at a spot we had seen fish earlier in the week. Our plan was to cast the first hour or so, then to troll open water looking for baitfish.
After coming up empty casting, we switched over to trolling. There were plenty of other boats in the lake basin with our same mindset. After a couple of hours trolling in the open water, I adjusted and started to position the boat off deep weed lines in 25-30 feet of water. Not soon after, my reel clicker buzzed and my rod doubled over.
In the panic of the situation, I went straight for the rod, and forgot to put the motor in neutral. Not realizing I was dragging the fish at 4.5 mph, the battle was soon over, and we were left thinking bout what might have been. We fished until the end of the tournament in mid-afternoon without contacting any more fish before leaving for the awards ceremony.
Unofficially, close to 40 muskies were caught by the tournament field, and many took home lures and equipment packages with or without catching a muskie. If you want to check out the tournament next year, the website is www.metromuskietournament.com.
Either way, get out fishing now, in June, one of the best for multi-species fishing.