Last night was one of the most incredible experiences that I have ever had as a muskie guide chasing the big toothy fish. I've certainly been blessed with a lot of them over the years, but as I sit down to write this journal update, I'm still slightly speechless. I will do my best to explain what happened last night, and why it was so incredible. I hope that you can enjoy!
It all started around 5 pm. Cody Meyers of Norwood, MN and his workmate Chris met me at the boat launch. Cody has fished muskies a couple of times in his life, and wanted nothing more than to top his person best, which was a 44 incher. Chris on the other hand resides in Michigan, and although they have some famed waters up there, he has never targeted them before and only heard about the mystique. Without us knowing what was in store for the night, we set sail with high hopes and a good attitude. You see, there was a certain glowing ball that was soon to rise in the eastern sky, and this typically means that "big things" can happen.
To be honest, our evening was quite uneventful. I got them all jacked up with the presence of the rising moon, and as I watched it come over the horizon, nothing happened. Actually a few hours passed without much of anything. In shock, I just kept encouraging the eager fisherman, and they remained about as positive as anyone ever could be. I kept reminding them that just one cast will change the entire outlook of this evening, and maybe your life. The moon rose higher and higher, and the brightness of the sun finally faded to darkness. At that point we had only two miserable and lackluster attempts from the muskellunge. What was going on?
As we talked about the lack of action, we switched locations and drove to the other end of the lake. I was not about to let these enthusiastic anglers leave with nothing, and we went to some of my favorite old haunts. That apparently was a good decision, and finally we found some active fish. The only problem was that they were just following the lure in the bright moonlight, and they wouldn't eat. It was a morale booster for the three of us to see some fish, and probably a good prelude to what was about to take place. As we drove up to a small little honey hole, I joked to Cody and Chris that this is only a big fish spot. I explained that I have only caught about a 10 fish on it in the last several years, but that 7 of them were over 50 inches.
At that point, we would have taken anything, but the fish that destroyed Cody's bait out of the moonlit waters was so large that it will forever be labeled as "The Legend." A battle ensued that was out of this world. Short, but sweet, I quickly put the fish in the net, and screams could have been heard from across the entire lake. Cody had just landed the trophy of a lifetime! Not only that, but it just happened to be the largest fish I have landed in that lake. She was a giant, and came up just short of hitting that elusive 55 inch mark.
This is where the story gets even better. Not only was the fish incredibly huge and girthy, but as I held her tail for the release, I also noticed a significant mark on her fin. As it turns out, I successfully released that fish in 2004 and again in 2006. The first time she, "The Legend," was 51 inches, and the second time she was 52.5. All three times this fish was caught within inches of the same spot, and all three times she fell victim to the same lure. Talk about irony. I had no idea that this fish was still alive, but boy am I glad that she is. This fish of a lifetime now quoted as "The Legend," will forever remain as one of my greatest accomplishments for me as a muskie guide. Boy will it be exciting if she decides to show up for one more battle!
Congratulations goes out to Cody Meyers for landing the trophy of many lifetimes! Thank you for the unbelievable night on the water. Until the the next time the legend strikes, keep on livin' the dream!
Catch more at www.trophyencounters.com