MUSKIE Magazine



MUSKIE Magazine
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(800) 826-7042
MUSKIE is published monthly and is the Official
Publication of Muskies, Inc. International Office: Ron
Groeschl, International Sec., 14257 Waters Edge
Trail, New Berlin, WI 53151. Ph: 888-710-8286.
© Copyright 2007 by Muskies, Inc. All rights reserved.
MUSKIE • VOL. 41, NO. 6
2 President’s Message,
David Cates
3 Magazine Notes, Staff
4 Figure 8, Kevin Richards NEW
7 Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia Virus (VHSV),
Bill Barbee
5 International News, Staff
11 Lake Saint Clair–Frequently Asked Questions,
9 Lunge Log, Jim Bunch
14 Just Big Fish, Jim Murphy
Mike Zainea
8 FCIS Boat Safety
10 Letters to the Editor
16 Chapters Tell of Their Activities At Spring Board,
21 Photo Contest,
Gordon Campbell
19 Meet the Kings of the Muskie World, Joe Bednar
24 As I See It, Jim Smith
20 Kids Remember, Juris Ozols
24 Index of Advertisers
22 They Did It Again! Youth Muskie Weekend,
25 Chapter News and Views
Patricia Strutz
31 Muskie Tales, Bob Jennings
29 MUSKIE, Eric Engbretson
32 Member Photos,
Gordon Campbell
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June 2007.....MUSKIE 1
President, David Cates
Phone: 574-457-3222
Email: [email protected]
Vice President / Finances, Jim Beaty
Phone: 618-235-6370
Email: [email protected]
Vice President / Research, Ken Karbon
Phone: 303-688-4954
Email: [email protected]
Vice President / Internal Affairs, Dick McPike
Phone: 816-436-4909
Email: [email protected]
Vice President / Membership, Bob Timme
Phone: 715-462-3053
Email: [email protected]
Vice President/Communications, Jack Moga
Phone: 440-886-3926
Email: [email protected]
Treasurer, Pete Barber
Phone: 847-726-7267
Email: [email protected]
Members Only Fishing Contest, Jim Bunch
Phone: 715-723-8343 • Fax: 715-723-8354
Email: [email protected]
Web Master, Ron Groeschl
Phone: 262-271-1002
Email: [email protected]
Int. Administrative Secretary, Ron Groeschl
14257 Waters Edge Trail, New Berlin, WI 53151
Phone: 888-710-8286 or 262-271-1002
Email: [email protected]
At Large Directors
Term Expires
David Rautmann . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2008
Don Jahnke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2008
David Cates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2008
Patricia Strutz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2008
Karl Scherer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2008
Dick McPike . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2009
Dan Narsete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2009
WOW! The Spring 2007 International Board Meeting was full of activity. The tone was
set the evening before the meeting when your Executive Committee conducted a lively
discussion regarding our failure to blow our own horn adequately. The entire board
addressed the issue as the first item of business. The most common response from attendees
was “Wow, I’ve been blown away”. No one had a full grasp of what each of the chapters were
doing for youth, fisheries and research. Juris Ozols has put together a great two-page
summary of all this information in this month’s magazine. Check out pages 16 & 17;
you’ll be amazed.
The Strategic Planning Committee’s recommendation for altering our structure
received a generally favorable response, although attendees wanted more “meat on the
bones”. As you may be aware, the Strategic Planning Committee has been at work for
month’s seeking to revamp our organizational structure to make us more efficient. While
their general ideas met with overwhelming favor, board members in attendance asked the
Strategic Planning Committee to come forward with specific recommendations for an alteration of our structure. I expect a proposal for governance by district with a much smaller
International Board to be on the table at the Fall 2007 Meeting scheduled for Morrison,
Ontario. I fully expect Muskies, Inc. to be a lean, efficient, youth conservation in fisheries
organization. New (and old) chair of the Strategic Planning Committee Steve Budnick and
the rest of the SPC have their work cut out for them. I am sure they are up to the task.
No mention of the meeting would be complete without a thanks to the Central Ohio
Chapter for their marvelous job in hosting the meeting. Thanks to Ross Wagner and Dan
VanGorder for their tireless assistance. Special thanks also go to outgoing Vice-Presidents
Jim Beaty, Ken Karbon, Bob Timme, and Dick McPike. If you don’t know, Jim Beaty was
responsible for shepherding us through some difficult financial times recently and putting
us on a solid financial basis. Ken Karbon was responsible for creating relationships with
corporate partners as well as instigating the Best of the Best tournament, each of which
improved our cash flow and assisted Jim B. in his roll. Bob Timme was a tireless worker on
behalf of Muskies, Inc. and is always among the first to volunteer his services when things
need to get done. Dick McPike was responsible for a reduction in insurance costs to MI, saving us significant dollars that can now be used for YFR. My thanks and the appreciation of
all of Muskies, Inc. goes to each of these individuals. Congratulations are also due to our
newly elected Vice-Presidents: Jim Shannon for fundraising, Vince Weirick for internal
affairs, Dan Narsete for membership and marketing, Brad Waldera for fisheries and research,
and last but not least, Jack Moga for communications.
Muskies, Inc. has much to grow on and yet much to do. Please continue to give of your
time and efforts on behalf on the resource. See you on the water. ❖
Diana Mindar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2009
Jack Moga . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2009
Brad Waldera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2009
Ken Karbon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2010
Jim Shannon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2010
Bob Timme
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2010
Mark Johnson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2010
Vince Weirick . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2010
2 MUSKIE.....June 2007
Muskies, Inc. Past Presidents
Gil Hamm
Edward T. Peterka
Robert Hill
Robert Shoop
Frank Schneider
Peter Hadley
DuWayne Bakke
Lou Cook
Peter Hadley
Bob Schmidt
Larry Ramsell
Lou Cook
Keith Ogden
Bill Davis
Steve Statland
John Hotle
Jim Blaubach
Steve Budnik
Jim Smith
Paul Framsted
Perry Smith
Greg Wells
MUSKIE Magazine Staff
At the April Muskies Inc. Spring
Board Meeting we started the day
with introductions, as usual. But
this time President Cates had each
person talk about the things that
their chapter does that they were
proud of. The centerfold this
month captures those fascinating
Rod Ramsell, Editor Emeritus
Keith Ogden, Editor Emeritus
Here on the cover you see pictures
documenting a sampling of those
Muskies Inc. events: lake restoration, vet’s trout fishing pond,
wheelchair outings, lake cleanups.
And particularly, you see pictures of kids. Virtually all the chapters
talked about youth events. We do a lot of those. Muskies Inc. –
kids and fishing and much more. ❖
Jim Smith
15045 W. Double Tree Way
Surprise, AZ 85374-8568
Phone: (623) 388-3225
Email: [email protected]
Jim Smith
Phone: (623) 388-3225
Email: [email protected]
Juris Ozols
Phone: (952) 921-6311
Email: [email protected]
Gordon Campbell
Phone: (973) 208-8297
Email: [email protected]
Sunray Printing Solutions, Inc. - Brenda Kirchner
25123 22nd Ave. S. • St. Cloud, MN 56301-9189
Phone: 888-253-8808, ext. 133
Sunray Printing Solutions, Inc. - John Windschitl
Richard Gross
MUSKIE Magazine has ad space available each month for MI
members who have something to buy, sell or trade. Ads will
be placed in the Muskies, Inc. Resource Section (Classified
ads) of MUSKIE Magazine, and will also be included on our
website in a special section for no additional charge. Cost will
be $50.00 for a fifty-word ad, plus 10¢ per word over the
minimum. (2 column inches maximum) Photos will be included
for an additional $35.00.
For information contact James T. Smith at
[email protected]
Coming Next Month:
TTMT article by Dr. Gene Smith
Trolling in Tight Places by Justin Gauche
Summer on Vermilion by Adam Glickman
Nils Master Lures by Nils Master
Steve Budnik, Bob Chochola, James W. Colgan,
Elizabeth Cratty, Adam Glickman,
Robert Jennings, Mike Kanaval, Colby Simms,
Patricia Strutz, Vincent P. Trotta
Bill Barbee, Mike Zainea, Jim Murphy,
Joe Bednar, Juris Ozols, Patricia Strutz,
Eric Engbretson
MUSKIE is published exclusively for the membership of Muskies, Inc. and subscriptions
come with a paid membership. Muskies, Inc. is
a non-profit organization. Membership classes
and associated annual dues are listed on the
form at the bottom of page one. Single copies
of MUSKIE magazine are available at $3.00
each from the Muskies, Inc. International
Contributors grant rights for M.I. to publish
once in MUSKIE Magazine, both the print and
on-line versions, including archives and on the
M.I. Web site.
Submissions to
MUSKIE Magazine
Persons interested in submitting articles for
publication are directed to our website There they will find a
link to MUSKIE Magazine. From there you
will find links on the left side of the page providing information necessary for submissions
to MUSKIE Magazine. Further questions will
be answered by Jim Smith, Managing Editor.
Submissions may be sent to: 15045 W.
Double Tree Way • Surprise, AZ 85374-8568.
Phone: (623) 388-3225 or you may
Email: [email protected]
June 2007.....MUSKIE 3
Figure 8
by Kevin Richards ♦ [email protected]
Anything is possible (almost)!
Catching a 30-pounder this year? Certainly! How about a 40-pounder? It
could happen! Me writing a monthly column for Muskie? Why not!
mentioned last month that I was going to take a stab at this monthly column and that my
objective for the “Figure 8” is to stimulate at least some of you into striking my bait –
through action and feedback.
This column is one of the ways I hope to stay in touch with more muskie anglers and
some of the muskie biologists who I may not run into quite as often as in the past. I am retiring as Assistant Chief of Fisheries in Missouri as of July 1st. I’ve pondered quite a few possibilities and priorities for the years ahead.
One of my top priorities is certainly to catch and successfully release more muskies! To
get me started on this mission I’m planning a solo trip to Lac Seul in July. Although I’ve fished
that awesome body of water in the fall I’ve never been there in the summer. I am so excited
about the trip and I honestly believe anything is possible when it comes to big muskies on Lac
Seul. It continues to have a good population of big, old muskies and seems to have benefited greatly from catch and release.
Another priority is to help foster even better communication between us muskie fanatics
and the fisheries biologists and conservation agencies who manage the fisheries we love so
dearly. As anglers dedicated to improving the sport of muskie fishing we must continue to
work on this!
Maintaining effective communication sounds like it should be so simple and straight forward, right? Well, it is possible, if we are willing to really work at it.
But heck you say, this is our sport, this is something we love. Communication about
muskie fishing and muskie management should be as easy as communication with your spouse
or your teenager! OK, OK, maybe there is a little more to this!
Now let’s make the discussion a bit more abstract – how about communication and reaching consensus on the best way to manage a non-profit organization made up of numerous
chapters and passionate volunteers? I think we can be sure that the further we get from talking about muskie fishing, the more challenging our communications become. As we wander
down the paths of discussing organizational structure, muskie fishing regulations, or record
keeping, the more diligent we must be to ensure our communication is effective and productive. But you know what? It’s possible!
To wrap this up I’ll share a true story about taking and communicating accurate muskie
I had the great fortune to assist one of the Missouri muskie sampling crews in late March
and I got to see a number of really heavy pre-spawn muskies. The biggest females ranged from
44 to 49 inches. One of those muskies was the fattest one I’ve ever handled (not the heaviest). It was just 44.5 inches long and was weighed at 33.25 pounds. Talk about getting your
heart pumping and your muskie enthusiasm kicked into high gear! Even the famously fat fall
muskies at Lac Seul aren’t that fat.
The weight really was almost unbelievable and another one of the muskie biologists questioned the weight and asked if the scale had been checked prior to the sampling season. The
biologist in charge admitted the scale used in the boat had not been double checked this
spring, so it was recalibrated against a certified scale. The scale had been off a bit; it was actually ‘under-weighing’ objects by 0.7 lbs. Therefore the fat 44.5-inch female actually weighed
just a hair under 34 pounds! Not just possible, but reality!!!
Remember, if you have a biology or fisheries management question you want me to try
to tackle let me know. My only limitation is that I live out in the sticks and I’m on dial-up
internet, so if you write to me please keep the email under 200kb which means no large
attachments (sorry).
Let’s continue to work together to do all we can to build and maintain great muskie fisheries! ❖
4 MUSKIE.....June 2007
(Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan):
Emergency Rule Controlling the spread of VHS
The Natural Resources Board [State of Wisconsin] on April 4,
2007, adopted an amended emergency Administrative rule [PDF
240KB] that will aid the Department in controlling the spread of
VHS to inland waters. This emergency rule goes into effect on
Sunday, April 8, 2007.
What does the rule mean for anglers?
In November of 2006 the New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation announced emergency regulations
prohibiting the commercial collection of bait fish from waters of
the state where VHS has been detected, limiting the use of bait
fish to the specific water from which they were collected, and
prohibiting the placement of live fish into the waters of the
State (including possessing, importing, and transporting live
fish for purposes of placing them into the waters of the State)
unless accompanied by a fish health inspection report issued
within the previous 12 months.
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218-444-BAIT (2248)
June 2007.....MUSKIE 5
international news
Purposes of Muskies, Inc.
• To promote a high quality muskellunge
sport fishery;
• To support selected conservation practices
based on scientific merit and carried out
by authorized federal and state agencies;
• To promote muskellunge research;
• To establish hatcheries and rearing ponds
and introduce the species into suitable
• To support the abatement of water pollution;
• To maintain records of habits, growth, and
range of species;
• To disseminate muskellunge information;
• To promote good fellowship and
sportsmanship among men, women and
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
(APHIS) [exit DNR]
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute [exit
Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia in New York [exit
VHS Briefing Paper [exit DNR] - Michigan Dept. of
Natural Resources
VHS Fact Sheet [PDF 994KB]
international news
In January the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
placed a temporary ban on the transportation of live fish from
Lake Erie and its tributaries to inland waters, and permanent
rule changes are expected. Michigan and other jurisdictions are
also considering regulations to address this issue. ❖
Leeches, worms, and insects are OK. The use of leaches, worms,
and insects for bait is not affected by the new rules. In these rules the
term bait means all or part of any frog, crayfish, fish, or fish egg.
Be careful with live bait. If you want to use live bait (crayfish,
frogs, fish, or fish egg), the bait must be a) purchased from a licensed
bait dealer, b) captured legally in the water to be fished, or c) captured in an inland lake or stream and retained for use in another
inland lake or stream.
Be careful with dead bait. If you want to use dead bait (all or
part of any fish, fish egg, crayfish, or frog), the bait must be a) used
on Lake Michigan (including Green Bay and tributaries up to the
first dam), b) used on the lake or stream where it was captured, or c)
preserved by means other than refrigeration or freezing.
Kill your fish after fishing the Great Lakes or Mississippi River.
You may not transport live fish or fish eggs (including both bait and
game fish) away from waters of the Great Lakes or Mississippi River
drainages (including tributaries up to the first dam), except under
certain unusual circumstances (contact DNR office for information).
Drain your boat and live well. After fishing or boating on the
waters of the Great Lakes or Mississippi River (including tributaries
up to the first dam), you must immediately drain all water from the
boat and boat trailer, including any bilge, ballast tank, bait bucket,
and live well. ❖
The four adjacent states have not yet adopted regulations
addressing the VHS problem, but steps have been taken elsewhere, particularly in the lower Great Lakes where the Great
Lakes form of the VHS virus was first discovered.
international news
international news
Illinois Muskies
Tournament Trail
Corey Judson
John Fyan, M.D.
Jeffrey Gros
Chris Callaway
Mark Montanari
Neal Tamms
William Brunstad
Amy Cannon
John Woehler
Michael Place
Don Funderud
Jason Aleshire
Michael Walsh
Adam Johnson
Donald Fundrud St.
On behalf of Muskies, Inc., thank you for adding a bit extra when you
renewed your membership.
– Pete Barber, Treasurer
Editor MUSKIE Magazine
Muskies, Inc. is currently searching for qualified candidates to fill the Editors position. Those members expressing
an interest are asked to submit their resume to Jack Moga, at
[email protected] Please refer to Editor
search on the subject line.
Submission deadline is July 15th 2007
All submissions will be considered. Those found to be
most qualified will be presented to the Executive
Committee for final decision. Conference call interviews
may be scheduled. Questions regarding this position may
be directed to Jim Smith, Managing Editor, at [email protected] or by phone at (623) 388-3225.
Successful applicants will have a working knowledge of
modern publishing/editorial practices, versatile and practical
job specific computer skills, a college degree and/or related
applicable work history. Applicant must have their own
computer (particular minimum specifications may be
required) valid Email address, high-speed Internet connection and experienced with MS Word, Adobe Reader or other
similar software programs.
Duties will include, but are not limited to, choosing articles and photos for publication, edit, proofread, and design
MUSKIE magazine, producing camera-ready copy submitted to the printer n a timely and professional manner.
This is considered a part-time position. Salary will be
commensurate with experience and qualifications and currently pays pre-approved out-of-pocket expenses.
Advertising Manager MUSKIE Magazine
Muskies, Inc. is currently searching for qualified candidates
to fill the Advertising Manager position. Those members
expressing an interest are asked to submit their resume to
Jack Moga, at [email protected] Please
refer to Advertising Manager search on the subject line.
Submission deadline is July 15th 2007
All submissions will be considered. Those found to be
most qualified will be presented to the Executive
Committee for a final decision. Conference call interviews
may be scheduled. Questions regarding this position may
be directed to Jim Smith, Managing Editor, at [email protected] or by phone at (623) 388-3225, or Pete
Barber, Treasurer at (847) 726-7267 regarding the Quick
Books accounting system.
Successful applicants will have a working knowledge of
sales/marketing modern publishing/editorial practices, versatile and practical job specific computer skills, a college
degree and/or related applicable work history. Applicant
must have their own computer (particular minimum specifications may be required) valid Email address and experienced with MS Word, Microsoft Excel, Quicken and/or a
similar accounting format.
This is considered a part-time position, and compensation is a commission structure based upon collected revenues, plus pre-approved out-of-pocket expenses. ❖
international news
international news
6 MUSKIE.....June 2007
by Bill Barbee
deadly fish virus has infected not only Muskellunges, but also
some 40-odd species of both cold-and warm-water fish.
”With state officials almost certain that a deadly fish virus in
now lurking in the waters of Lake Michigan, a state agency is expected to approve emergency regulations Wednesday to control the spread
of the disease.” This warning, from Lee Berquists’ article in,
“JSOnline”, April 1 underlines the importance of this rod-shaped,
DNA based pathogen. The total economic impact on the 4.5 billion
dollar Great Lakes commercial and sport fishing industry could be
Birds can transmit the disease mechanically. However, VHV is
inactivated in their digestive tracts. Fish transmit the disease mechanically, through viral particles in their urine, by fish eating infected fish,
and by (Cohabitation) sexual fluids. Viral microscopic particles are
sucked in through the gills with respiration, invade blood vessels and
internal organs, causing the fish to bleed and die.
There are five known varieties of the virus and probably more
subspecies. In 1988, the Pacific Northwest Viral Genotype first
detected in herring, cod, and salmon, is now endemic. According to
the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, “At times, dead
fish, including muskies, 3-feet high and 10-feet deep line the shores”,
of some of the Great Lakes.
While viruses vary in virulence, unlike most exotic species, the
Great Lakes species are extremely virulent. Muskies and other fish that
survive develop immunity but can become lifetime carriers, causing
periodic outbreaks of the disease. This viral pathogen is not only capable of mutating but has done so. The literature is replete with assurances the virus is not, at present, harmful to humans. It may never
happen, but other viral agents have mutated into the human variant.
There is no cure. However, experimentally, rainbow trout have been
successfully immunized with recombinant DNA.
Control of the disease in wild
fish is a near impossibility. A number of factors contribute, including boats and humans transporting fish from one waterway to
another, plus worldwide commercial sale and transport of baitfish.
Stopping the spread of VHS is not
likely due to confusing regulations
and a lack of regulations from differing states, plus conflicting Federal Government rules. Additionally,
enforcement, due to the lack of personnel related to states budgetary
problems, becomes problematic. Globalization and importation of
exotic species has become the norm.
Hatchery outbreaks are almost impossible to clean up and most
hatcheries have to be shut down when diseased fish are found, or
when testing reveals the virus. Certification of hatcheries or cultured
fish is based on testing at $1000 to $1500 per test and this requires
two tests and 28 days. New York State has only one pathologist to
supervise the scientific side of control. Boat bilge tanks are thought to
be prime factors in the spread of invasive organisms. Chlorine solutions are recommended but there are no agreed upon methods of
insuring that ballast tanks are free of contamination and some tanks
do not have a drain. The United States has mandatory regulations for
ballast control measures enforced by the Coast Guard. Other countries may not have rules. Canada is proposing mandatory controls.
New York State is suing the EPA over ballast regulations, “as we
believe the current ballast exchange is insufficient to protect our
waters from invasive species, not just VHS”. The Duluth News
reported last year that, “No cost effective solution that will kill exotics
as small as a virus hasn’t yet been found”. Interestingly, weak iodine
solutions will recover contaminated salmon and steelhead eggs but
aren’t effective on sticky eggs including those of muskies and pike.
According to marine biologists, stressing fish increases mortality.
Hot weather, angling pressure, handling fish, weed control, urbanization, loss of farmland, paving over streets with resulting storm water
runoff, emissions from increased traffic, fluctuating water levels and
pollution, in combination or alone, are potential stressors. There is no
question The Great Lakes and surrounding waters are polluted. Some
of the more potent pollutants are
flame retardant chemicals such as
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers
(PBDEs). Several alphabets are
needed to list these widely used
globally persistent pollutants,
now being found as far away as
the Artic. There are no defined
acceptable levels for many of
these chemicals either in the air
or water. Pollution affects water in many ways, decreasing oxygen,
diminishing the food chain, altering acid base balance and causing the
organism to expend more energy to survive. To what degree this kind
of stress is implicated is up for grabs but all these seemingly inconsequential details can add up to a significant impact.
(Continued on page 8)
June 2007.....MUSKIE 7
◆ F C I s B OAT SA F E T Y
◆ F C I s B OAT SA F E T Y
◆ F C I s B OAT SA F E T Y
Boat Safety Program
Produced by
Farm and City Insurance Services
The Angler’s Choice Insurance
The Language of Vehicle Weight –
Putting It All Together
In the past few issues we’ve covered the language of weights and
how it applies to boat safety. In this issue, we will cover how to
properly determine the weight of your boat and trailer with all
equipment, tackle, and fluids.
For our example, we will use the specifications provided by
Ranger and the 621vs model boat. According to the brochure, the
trailer has a GVWR of 5,000 lbs, the boat weighs 2,295 lbs with a
dual console, and it has approximately 1880 lbs designated for persons, motor, and gear. These weight figures cover standard features,
options and dealer/owner installed items must also be added.
Here are some figures to consider;
Fuel Capacity – 55 gallons @ 6.0 lbs/gal.
330 lbs
Livewell Capacity – 23, 5.5 @ 8.3 lbs/gal. 236.55 lbs
Mercury 250 hp Verado ® engine –
635 lbs
175 lbs
Mercury 30 hp efi
These figures add up to 1376.55 pounds without people or
gear included and we only have 1880 pounds designated for
persons, motor, and gear. Plus, we have not included the weight of
the trailer in our overall weight analysis. Keep in mind that the
weight of the trailer is only a factor during travel, which would not
have the weight of people at the time.
Therefore, it is extremely important to do the math, and weigh
your vehicle and trailer by individual axle positions. This can be
done at most truck stops with certified scales that have individual
pads to weigh each axle.
An important shortfall of GVWR and designated weight
capacity for persons, motor, and gear is it does not tell you where
the weight can be added without exceeding a rating. It is important that once the vehicle is loaded for travel, it be weighed by individual wheel position as well. Too much weight on the starboard
side could mean tire failure or reduced braking capacity.
Keep It Safe
This article is provided as a public service to our membership. Not
intended as an advertisement.
8 MUSKIE.....June 2007
(Continued from page 7)
Recently, Dr. David Evans, a Chemist at the John
Innes Centre in Europe, reported they have been able
to attach “ferrocene” molecules to amino acids on viral
surfaces, creating, in effect, molecular capacitors.
Capacitors store an electrical charge then release it in a
pulse. They envision using these units in biosensors.
Biosensors monitor biological processes by detecting
high and low concentrations.
Current biosensors are large scale contrasted to a
virus. One projected use of these viral units is in monitoring brain chemistry by introducing the sensor
through brain capillaries. Used in test birds as the
“canary in the mine shaft”, sensors could be programmed to detect bird flu before symptoms occur.
Although not mentioned by the Evans Group, conceivably, these viral biosensors could be attached to muskies
to detect early on invasion of VHS or other invasive
aquatic life. This scenario may seem far-fetched, but
not long ago so was a walk on the moon.
An accompanying article details what we as
individuals can do to mitigate VHS. In addition we
need to think of measures to prevent spread of all
invasive aquatic species, Boots, waders, and clothing
can shed particles as well as larger organisms such as
zebra mussels. For private use, chlorine solutions work
well and are inexpensive. Awareness of the problem and
alerting anyone who will listen will spread the word.
Most of us don’t have the time to deal with our
Government Representatives but we do have associations, clubs and now with computers and blogs we can,
with little effort, create a climate for change. We have
come a long way from treating our waterways as sewers
but as we control one problem it seems more show up,
as is the case with fire retardants. Awareness should
help in recognition and prevention. Our complex,
connected global community is becoming more
complicated and confrontational with time.
Realistically these problems will get worse unless each
of us does what we can to help.
One of the reasons I fish is because it takes me to
such beautiful places. If we, as individuals, and as a
whole, get our act together our kids and their kids may
still be able to find healthy fish in beautiful places.
References available on request,
[email protected]
About the Author: Bill Barbee is a retired anesthesiologist,
retired cattleman, avid fly fisher, hunter and member of
OWAA. Bill has fished beautiful places in Alaska, British
Columbia, Argentina, New Zealand, most of our western
states and, as a kid in Missouri, a few ponds. ❖
Ji m B u n c h
General Members–
How to Enter Muskie Reports
On a computer that has internet access, log into Log in as a member. If you have not done
this before, instructions will be provided. On the left side of the screen
will be 20 plus icons that you could click on. About the 14th one down
will be one that says “Lunge Log.” Use your mouse and click on that.
Now a new screen will come up. Way on the right side will be some
links that you may click on; the very first one will say “Fish
Submission.” Yeah team, you are now ready to record your recent
muskie catch.
Member Name – When you open “Fish Submission” there will be
some basic instructions, then just scroll down a bit and you will see the
entry form. It will have your name and address already in there as you
logged in as a member. Tip: To change it to one of your family members or a friend just type in their membership number instead of yours.
Just use their membership number, do not include the chapter number. Their name and address will appear. To the right of their name it
will ask for gender. Select male or female from the pull down menu.
This used to say Men’s or Ladies, but now should say Male or Female.
State / Province – The next line is “State/Province”. Click on the
pull down menu. This will allow you to select the state or province by
clicking on the appropriate one. Tip: When you click on this you can
simply type the first two letters of the state or province and it will automatically go to that state or province, then, simply hit enter.
Lure Type – It now wants the lure type. Simply click on the pull
down menu, scroll up or down, or Tip: type in the first few letters and
it will go directly to the lure type, simply hit enter. Now click on the
pull down menu for Name. It will now show you only the names for
the lure type you selected. You may scroll up or down to find the name
or Tip: simply type in the first few letters of what you are looking for
and it will automatically go to it. Then, simply hit enter. In some case
there will be hundreds of lure names so typing in a few letters will be
more efficient. Do a little searching here as Jones Jerk, Jones Crank,
Jones Bait and Lure Jones maybe all the same. Your mission is to not
leave any of this as Not Specified.
Not Specified – In some cases there maybe a new lake/river or a new
lure name. There is a provision to type those in if you hit Not
Specified. However please help me out here as in most cases it is a
spelling thing, or a lure category thing for lures or a county thing for
lakes/rivers. Thanks for your assistance.
Muskie Details – These are pretty self explanatory. These are the
length, girth (if submitted) date caught, depth in water, lake depth,
hour caught (round off ) and water temp. The length should be the one
determined in the boat. For points the system will round off to the
nearest inch, so type in what you determined at the time of catch.
Conditions – There are six here, sky, presentation, bottom, structure, wind speed and wind direction. We wish they responded to all of
these but many don’t. Fill this in the best you can. In each case when
you click the pull down menu, you may type in the first few letters and
it will go to what you want, then hit enter.
Division – This one is very important. Our system when accounting
for points knows who is an International Men’s or Women’s Masters.
(250 for men and 100 for women’s.) However in many cases that will
be different for your chapter. You should then select what your chapter classifies you as. There is a report that comes off of the system that
will show how you want them classified as. The Junior division is for
anyone age 17 of less on January 1 of this year. When you select that,
it will ask for a birthdate of the junior, please fill that in if you have it.
Released? – It now wants to know if it was released or kept and a
true or a hybrid. You need to respond to these or a pop up will come
up to remind you to do so. If it was kept it will then ask for more
County – It now has all the counties in the state you selected. You Patches and Certificates. – At the bottom it will ask you to check
may scroll up or down to find the county or: Tip; simply type in the
first few letters of the county and the system will automatically go to
the county you want. Simply hit enter. Tip: If it is a province of
Canada, we do not use the counties. So if you hit Ontario for the
province, then also hit Ontario for the county. This seems a bit weird
but we have been doing that since 1970.
Lake/River – It now wants the Lake or River this entry was caught
from. Click on the pull down menu. Because you selected a state or
province and a county, the system will only now show you the lakes or
rivers within that state or province. You may now scroll up or down to
find the lake/river or: Tip: simply type in the first few letters of the
lake/river and it will automatically go to it. Simply hit enter. In some
cases there will be hundreds of names so typing in a few letters of the
lake/river will save you a lot of time. With common names the more
letters you type in the more accurate you will get. Do a little searching
here as Mud, Mud Lake and Lake Mud may all be the same. Great, we
are now on a roll. Your mission is to not leave any of this as Not
if you want a release patch, an individual certificate or an annual certificate. Please select those and we will find this very handy at the end
of the year.
Submit Fish – When done, hit Submit Fish. A fish I.D. number in
red will appear at the top and the bottom of this page. This means it
has been sent to me. Sometimes members or chairpersons think nothing has happened and hit it again. So now I have a duplicate and in
one case last year a member submitted his fish eight times. Tip: Now
if one of your muskies was on a trip and you caught 6 muskies the
same day, on the same bait and all conditions were the same this is
very neat. You can simply go back and change the length or the hour
and hit submit again and you are done with your next entry. A new
fish I.D. will appear for this next entry. Then back up and do the
same for the third, etc. Slam bang; you can enter six fish in a minute.
Pretty neat hey.
Thanks a bunch
June 2007.....MUSKIE 9
Lu n g e L o g ◆ Lu n g e L o g ◆ Lu n g e L o g ◆ Lu n g e L o g ◆ Lu n g e L o g ◆ Lu n g e L o g ◆ Lu n g e L o g
nge L
Dear Mr. Pribyl-Shay;
Thank you for your well thought out and researched letter. In
general, I agree with your conclusions. However, I feel I should
clarify a couple of your points.
Today we are catching more muskies that in all previous years.
Due to the possession limits and the Catch & Release program
espoused by Muskies Inc. there is not the opportunity for a group of
muskie fishermen to show off a multitude of recently caught fish.
Most, if not all, of those muskies have been returned to the water.
Statewide size limits are generally a very political issue. In a
number of cases Muskies, Inc. local chapters have been successful in
providing accurate data and timely support to encourage a state
agency to increase their size limits.
10 MUSKIE.....June 2007
Regarding the smaller muskies. Part of this is certainly size limits as you have pointed out. However, if you have the opportunity
to fish outside the state of Illinois (where I lived and grew up) you’ll
find some extremely large fish. In fact, I read recently that in the last
couple of years some groups, guides, and individuals have caught, on
the average, larger fish than in each of the preceding years.
Finally, I would like to say I hope you are a member of this organization and involved with a chapter. If not, please do become a
member. We, Muskies, Inc. can use folks with your interest,
especially since we are all trying to work in the same direction.
Thanks for your letter. I appreciate your comments. Respectfully,
Jim Smith, Managing Editor
MUSKIE Magazine
grew up on Lake St. Clair, and have been fishing on the lake for
as long as I can remember. Since the first muskie I caught when
I was 14, I’ve had a fascination with the species, and I couldn’t
wait until the next time I had a chance to catch another. Now, I run
a muskie charter on the lake, and it’s my goal to help others learn to
experience the thrill of muskie fishing. It would be almost impossible to expect to be able to learn everything about muskie fishing in
one article, or even in one book! However, over the years there are a
few questions that always come up. In this article I will cover the
most frequently asked questions, and attempt to explain the answers,
in the hopes that you will finish with a better understanding of how
to catch your own monster muskie.
The first thing that people always ask me is: When is the best
time to go muskie fishing? June and July usually offers the best
potential to catch the highest numbers of muskie. On Lake St. Clair,
the muskie season begins the first
Saturday in June, which follows the
spawning in May. During this time,
the females wear themselves down
and need to eat to regenerate the
energy expended during the spawn.
Furthermore, in the early parts of the
summer, the water temperature goes
up. Water temperatures around 70
degrees makes the muskie become
more active, and they begin to feed.
Because the warmer water speeds up
their metabolism, and because they
are consuming larger quantities of
food to replenish lost energy, you are
more likely to catch one, or several,
during this time. .
October and November are usually the best months to go if you want
to catch a heavier fish. At this time,
the water is beginning to cool down, and the muskie need to build
up a fat layer to get them through the winter. For this reason, they
are consuming a larger quantity of fish in an attempt to put on the
extra weight needed for the winter. This buildup of extra weight is
why you are likely to catch a heavier muskie during the fall, but the
quantity of muskie you are likely to catch might decrease because
they are becoming more lethargic and less active as their weight
Some other factors to consider when trying to find the “best”
time to go muskie fishing is: weather patterns, lunar tables, and time
of day. The best time for catching muskie is right before a storm
front, during large pressure changes. Storms have an affect on the
barometric pressure. During pressure changes the feeding patterns of
fish increase significantly. The larger the change, the greater the
(Continued on page 12)
June 2007.....MUSKIE 11
(Continued from page 11)
increase in feeding, thus making the time right before a storm
one of the best times to fish for muskie. The lunar cycle of
the moon also plays a big part in the behavior of animals, and
muskie are no exception. The rotation of the moon around
the Earth creates gravitational pull. Each day there are major
and minor times when the moon’s gravitational pull is greatest. The major time is a two hour time frame that occurs during a different time each day, and varies by location. The
minor lasts about an hour, and affect the behavior of animals
as well, but not as significantly as the majors. During the
majors, muskie become more active and feed, making this a
more likely time to catch one. Another good time to catch
muskie is right before dark, at sunset. During this time, the
bait fish are on the move, traveling from the off-color, safer
water to the clearer water where they can feed; but this is
prime feeding time for muskie who feed on these bait fish,
and a great time for you to catch a muskie that is in search of
a meal.
Ok, so now that you know when to fish, the second question
that I get asked is: Where do you fish for muskie on Lake St. Clair?
The fishing goes along with the water temperatures and the color and
clarity of the water. During the daytime in June, the baitfish stay in
the off-color water, which is usually expelled from the rivers that lead
into Lake St. Clair. The Thames River is the largest contributor to
the off color of Lake St. Clair, which can create a very distinctive
mudline from the Thames to the Detroit River. In turn, that makes
the whole south shore a very productive place to fish for muskie. In
July, when the water heats up in the middle of the lake, the weedbeds
offer cover to the baitfish and is a very popular spot for the larger
fish. During late-July and into
August, the lake goes through a
transformation. At this time, the
underwater growth is starting to be
churned up by storms, and certain
areas of the lake have a lot of floating weeds. This makes the areas
that are normally very productive,
unfishable. In September and
October, the muskie start their fall
feeding, and move more towards
the edges of the lake to find the
larger bait fish. Good fall locations
are the Thames River, Stoney
Point, and the mouth of the
Detroit River. During this time,
you can even fish up into the shallows.
Another frequently asked
question is: So, which lure is the
best for catching muskie? While
some lures like a Loke will be
effective just about any time on
Lake St. Clair, lure selection
depends a lot on when you are
fishing, the weather, and water
color. We start off the season with
smaller, tighter action lures such as
a Wiley. We can run the smaller
12 MUSKIE.....June 2007
lures a bit deeper and faster because the weeds aren’t high yet. You
can troll these over 4 miles per hour, but we usually stick to 3.9. As
the summer goes on, the lure size increases. July is a good time to
run 7-8” lures such as the larger Wileys, Z-Baits, Ziggies, 20 cm Nils,
and other types of lures that have a wider wobble. At this point, we
slow the boat down to about 3.8, because some of these types of lures
won’t run as fast. By the end of August, we’re running larger baits
like the 25 cm Nils Invincible and other jumbos. With these larger
baits, the speed we troll is slowed down to about 3.4-3.6 mph.
The weather and water color are something else to consider
when choosing the right muskie lure. As mentioned earlier, the best
time to fish for muskie is when
there is a storm front coming in. At
these times, the lures that have a lot
of yellow and gold such as perches,
Helin, or Lawton are good choices.
On right sunny days, you’ll want to
stick with lures that have white bellies, and lots of blue like Blue Frog
and Blue Back Perch. Alternately,
on cloudier days, yellow belly baits
and frog patterns are usually better
choices. For fishing just before
dark, we switch over to darker colors such as Black Perch, Walleye, or
Dark Frog. As far as water clarity,
in most cases, the clearer the water,
the more natural the color of bait
you should choose. Examples are
perch, carp, bass, or sucker. The
water color we target is the edges of
the off-color water because there’s
no bait fish in the clear water, and
because the off-color water is
warmer, which muskie tend to prefer. The more off-color the water,
the brighter your lure selection
should be. Examples for cloudier
water are Fire Tiger, glows, or frog
Having made your lure selection, there are a few things you need
to know about making them run true. A lot of our customers have
asked us, “How do I get this bait to run?” There are lots of different types of lures on the market, and lots of things you can do to
make adjustments to them. However, I can tell you how to make
three of the most commonly asked-for adjustments (1) screw-eye bait
tuning (2) wire-tied bait tuning and (3) hook tuning. For a screweye bait like Lappers, Wileys, or ZBaits, the most important thing to
do is never bend the screw eye because you can break it right off.
Instead, turn the screw eye in the opposite direction the bait runs
out. To test which way your bait is running, pull it alongside the
boat and watch to see if the bait will pull to one side or the other.
Then, gently turn the screw eye in the opposite direction. Begin by
making very small turns, and then retest the bait to see if it needs
more adjusting. Continue this process until the lure runs true. For
a wire tied bait like Loke or Nils, you can test it the same way as mentioned earlier; however, the difference with wire tied baits is you can
bend the tow eye. Once you determine the way the bait is pulling,
you can use your pliers to gently bend the tow eye in the opposite
direction. Again, begin by making small adjustments until it runs
true. On baits with treble hooks, the hooks need to be bent in a way
so that they don’t scratch the body of the lure or tangle with the other
hooks. First, lay the lure flat, belly up. The two hook points that we
bend are the ones closest to the lure body. Slowly bend them
upwards, away from the lure, and toward the center point of the treble. Then slightly bend the tip of each of those two tines upward at
about a 30% angle as well. This type of adjustment will help keep the
sharp points of the hooks from scratching the surface of your lure,
but it also helps you to get a better hook-set.
Muskie fishing on Lake St. Clair can be rewarding and a lot of
fun, but it can feel a little overwhelming, too. While you can’t learn
everything about muskie fishing at one time, the topics I covered
here might help answer some of your questions. Your best bet is to
book a charter on the lake, and experience muskie fishing from an
expert. There are several excellent muskie charter services that run
on Lake St. Clair, and any of them can give you a great time fishing.
However, if you’re looking to learn to fish for muskie on your own,
be sure to ask lots of questions before you book a charter. Verify that
the charter service you’re considering is willing to teach you what you
want to learn, and is willing to help you along the way. Then, while
you’re out on your charter, ask lots of questions and take notes, but
remember to have fun while you’re doing it – because that’s the whole
point, isn’t it? ❖
For more information or to book your own charter, call Capt. Mike at
June 2007.....MUSKIE 13
by Jim Murphy
any of you have seen the advertisements for the DVD’s
“Just Big Muskies”. I have viewed the films and they are
just what they say, several large fish caught by a couple of
regular guys. Most of all they had the presence of mind to film the
catches. I interviewed Brian and Erick for a project I was doing and
both agreed that Muskies Inc. members had a lot to do with their
ultimate success as muskie anglers.
I remember those early days; I was a rookie and joined the Twin
Cities Chapter of Muskies Inc. to learn all I could about our favorite
fish. I went to all the meetings and seminars and not only gained a
wealth of knowledge, more importantly I made life long friends.
Erick and Brian joined a few years later; both stated the eagerness of
the members to help educate new anglers was refreshing and unique
to Muskies Inc. We are well aware of the veil of secrecy that shrouds
the muskie community. Many folks are very tight lipped. Not so
with these guys.
Some of the names that all of us talked about were Rick Hartz,
Dave Stanoch, Dan Klien, Mike Cookas, Jim Hammarstedt, George
Wahl, Al Martinson, Marv Kiley, Jack Burns and many more too
numerous to mention. Brian and Erick said Wayne Klemz, “The old
goat in the blue boat”, was probably the biggest influence on building their knowledge and confidence base. Wayne from Blaine, as his
friends commonly call him, is a statewide guide in Minnesota.
Wayne has fished on some of the best waters in North America.
Wayne, like many other very good muskie anglers, stays under the
radar. Wayne is one of the most knowledgeable muskie guys I know.
He is very eager to help and when he guides he stresses the educational aspect of the game.
Some of my best memories of those days were the Muskies Inc.
outings. The Twin Cities Chapter had outings on some of the best
muskie waters in North America. Lake of the Woods, Winnipeg
River, and Rowan Lake to name a few. I learned a lot at the outings
and the discussions by the campfire with a few adult beverages was
priceless. Everyone shared his or her experiences on the water that
day. Hot presentations, baits, colors, and even locations were discussed. Many times hot fish follows were given up, but we had a
deal, the guy who raised the fish had the 1st shot at it and he had a
couple of days to catch the fish. Erick and his dad Dave came to
many of the outings. They always had their camera with them and
showed the day’s action in the cabin when they got off the water.
Brian and Erick decided a few years back to share their films and
“Just Big Muskies” was born.
I recently watched their 3rd DVD fish from the Canadian
Shield. It was very entertaining and it had segments on baits they use
during specific times of the year. We are always looking for some
muskie action DVD’s I think you will really like the 3 films they have
produced. I know I am going to have a camera in my boat this year.
I couldn’t help but think of the great memories these films will bring
back while watching in the future. ❖
At the April Spring Board Meeting in Columbus we had a
fascinating twist on the introductions at the start of the day.
President Dave Cates directed that each person give a short
statement of the one thing that their home chapter does that
they are proud of.
Frank Walters spoke first, and he didn’t stop with one thing.
He spoke at length, describing a number of things that the
SOB’ers do. And the other Muskie folks followed Frank’s
lead. For over an hour the board was treated to an absolutely awesome litany of projects and activities carried out by our
Muskie Inc. chapters.
We heard about stocking and rearing projects, lake cleanups,
vet’s fishing events, wheelchair outings, donations to scholarships. And lake restoration and habitat improvement. And
promotional activities at sports shows and magazine and calendar donations to schools. And fundraisers. And cooperation with state DNR’s on a variety of fisheries and research
projects. And most of all, we heard about many, many youth
outings and events.
It was amazing to hear all that the MI chapters are involved
in and what they do, really something. If you think Muskies
14 MUSKIE.....June 2007
Inc. is a dead organization, well, forget it. We are alive and
What happened that morning needed to be captured. I asked
the people present there to give me a short writeup of what
they said, and I collected a couple of dozen of those. The centerfold summarizes their statements. There was actually more
than what I reproduce here – I had to cut some back due to
space limitations.
I think this is a real eye-opener on what Muskies Inc. is about,
a remarkable testament to the things our organization makes
If you read just one thing in this issue, please go through
those statements by the chapters. They describe what your
sister chapters do, and should give you ideas on what other
things you might start up.
And by the way, the background picture of the collage – that’s
from the Colorado chapter, taken at one of their annual kids
outings. It’s representative of similar events by so many of our
chapters. Perry Smith redesigned our Muskies Inc. logo to
start with “Youth,” and I personally don’t think Perry is disappointed. – Juris
Stronger, lighter, more sensitive.
ESOX Rods are considered by
many to be the best Muskie rods
on the market.
If you’re into the sport, you know that
fishing for Muskie can be both trying and
tiring. Our Muskie rods are extremely
lightweight, sensitive and perfectly
balanced, yet through skillful engineering,
offer superior strength and durability. This
helps reduce your fatigue over a long day
of fishing.
Our 10 models of Muskie rods allow
you to work any lure on the market and
impart the action it was designed to have.
Each rod is hand made in the USA.
June 2007.....MUSKIE 15
“Muskies, Inc. is an active, serviceoriented, non-profit organization with
the single focus of improving the sport of
muskie fishing for men, women, and children.
Our mission is to unite all muskie
fishing interests for the promotion and
protection of a high quality muskellunge
sport fishery in the United States and
We will accomplish this by supporting conservation practices and research
based on sound scientific merit, and carried out by authorized federal or state
agencies, appropriate academic institutions, Muskies, Inc chapters, and their
We are committed to the abatement
of water pollution; maintenance of
records for muskie habits, growth, and
range; and the dissemination of muskie
information to everyone.”
Adopted, April 2002
18 MUSKIE.....June 2007
Meet the Kings of the Muskie World
by Joe Bednar
es the title of this article is mainly to get your attention, and
the die-hard muskie couple I’m about to introduce you to
would be the last people to ever make such a claim, but
because of their last name I couldn’t resist. Meet Michelle and Mike
King, a muskie fishing duo who had a 2006 season that will never be
forgotten. Though I’m not sure of this since records might not have
been kept for similar feats, I’m willing to bet that no other muskie
fishing couple has ever accomplished what Michelle and Mike King
of Muskegon, Michigan, did this past year. So I’d like to take this
opportunity to salute the Kings for their outstanding muskie fishing
achievements and at the same time, explore the puzzling mental illness that this great fish has brought upon the King family.
Michelle King set an all-time Women’s Division season record
with 103 muskies over 30 inches caught during 2006, for a total of
1100 points as this goes to press. Since most of you reading these
words know very well the kind of sheer insani…uh’ I mean commitment and very hard work it takes to catch muskies, period, it’s difficult to comprehend just what goes into establishing a record mark
like the one set by Michelle. Her season also included her personal
best fish of 52 inches and approximately 34.5 pounds, a beast caught
on Lake St. Clair, October 9th.
Michelle’s husband Mike made a championship run himself,
finishing 2nd in the Mens division for 2006 with123 muskies over 30
inches boated for a total of 1236 points as I write this article. Mike
caught his personal best fish this year as well, a 52 inch trophy boated on Lake St. Clair on October 9th as well. It’s tough to say who
fishes harder, and Mike will be the first one to tell you that a main
reason for their dedication and perseverance is their competition
with each other while on the water, yet in a fun and supportive way.
From what I’ve heard, to include an informal interview with
Mike that helped lead to this article, a typical exchange in the Kings’
boat this past season goes something like this:
“Nice fish Mr. King, now stop playing around with it ‘cause
you’re gonna’ need to net the much bigger muskie I’m about to catch
any minute now…”
“Mrs. King you caught bigger fish than me the last three times
out, aren’t you being a bit greedy?”
“Greedy, Mr. King, is you going muskie fishing again tomorrow
while I have to go back to work. In fact, I’d say that counts as cheating on me.”
“Mrs. King I’m not about to cheat on you, especially with someone by the name of Joe…”
And so on…
The Kings’ crazy and memorable season was also made possible
due in part to their lifestyle, with Michelle working three days on,
two days off; then three days on and six days off as a registered nurse,
and Mike being self-employed, working on his tackle company and
another home business at whatever hours it takes to provide the time
they need on the water. Michelle will point out that she’s the main
reason for the rising success of the Kings’ business, Talonz Lures
( because though Mike makes the baits, it
takes her much better angling skills to truly test them on the water.
Mike and Michelle married in 2001, with both of them coming
from a strong fishing and outdoors background. They both were and
are avid all-around outdoors people, Michelle has even won events in
target shooting, but Mike was into muskies before Michelle and is
the one to be blamed for the couple’s sickness. That’s how Michelle’s
family puts it, anyway, when they describe what happened to their
daughter after she met Mike.
But it’s been a match made in heaven really, and both Michelle
and Mike will be the first to tell you that someone up above made it
possible for them to get together, and for all that they’ve shared since.
As Mike puts it, “After my first marriage didn’t work out and some
other very difficult times, I kept praying and praying to find someone in the whole wide world that could put up with me. Then along
came Michelle…” Michelle also characterizes them getting together
as quite miraculous, adding “I finally found just the right guy for me,
and it sure sealed the deal when I learned he can also paint lures in
any custom color I could want…”
I asked Mike and Michelle what was it about this year in particular that drove them to accomplish what they did, all the countless
hours on the water in all kinds of weather, all the long miles on the
road including trips to Northwest Ontario and all over Michigan and
other Midwestern States. A season like this certainly had plenty of
challenging times in with all the good times. Mike said that the competition, trying to show what they could do if they worked hard
enough, was part of it, and so was trying to help put Michigan more
on the map in muskie circles that aren’t always the first to recognize
the state’s muskie fisheries and anglers. But he said it was mainly to
prove to themselves that they could do this together, that they had
the commitment and determination. I’d say prove it they did, and
then some.
So what are the future plans for the Kings? They plan to most
definitely continue their muskie efforts, though not quite at the same
pace as this year. A season like that, though very rewarding, also
takes its toll in many ways including the pocketbook and even physical challenges like elbow and back problems they both worked
through due to the tens of thousands of casts with heavy tackle, and
the pounding of heavy seas like the 6-footers they dealt with many
days on Lake St. Clair. They accomplished what they set out to do,
and now want to go back to chasing muskies without competing for
any titles, as well as do some other things they couldn’t get to this
past year, including more expansion of the Talonz Lures business.
Maybe the best way to conclude this salute to Michelle and
Mike and their muskie fishing spirit is to share a recent experience I
had with Mike on the water. It was a typical November day in
Michigan, cold, windy, wet. I was chilled to the bone, my back hurt,
my wrist hurt, I had been out all day just one day prior without so
much as a glimpse of a muskie fin and this day for me had not been
much better. Mike had been out several consecutive days up to the
morning we met at the lake, and had fished hard through a slow spell
too. As the day wore on I’m thinking “Does he really want to go all
the way until dark after this many days in a row in these types of conditions?” as I strategically got in little whiny comments about my
back and cold hands, prodding for an earlier end to the day.
Mike never complained, not one bit, and at the end of the day
I finally asked him, “Doesn’t your back hurt at least?” He paused,
grinned, and said “Of course it hurts like hell, but that’s muskie fishing…” Enough said. ❖
June 2007.....MUSKIE 19
➠ Somebody got you fishing, as a kid.
got smart and learned all the serious
stuff you now know?
Would you have done all that by
yourself? Without that “somebody,”
would your life be poorer? No
memories? And all the wonderful
things that followed, later on?
➠ Remember watching a red and white
➠ Like Muskies, when you yourself got
➠ Remember fishing as a kid, before you
bobber on a calm lake? Remember
seeing it jiggle just a bit and the ripples spread out? And then how
about when it finally went under –
you couldn’t wait! – and you jerked it
up? Remember that bright, shiny
bluegill, all rainbow colored, popping
out of the water and wiggling in the
air at the end of your line?
➠ Remember when you learned to put
worms on the hook? Those slimy,
slippery, squishy things, that you really didn’t want to touch? And remember casting with a big plastic Zebco
reel on a limp rod? And watching the
bobber splash down, and the ripples
die down.
➠ Did you ever throw the whole thing
out, bobber and worm and all, and
get it hopelessly tangled up in the tree
branch above your head? And you
couldn’t do anything about it and got
mad at yourself? And somebody had
to help?
➠ Or maybe you started with carp. Remember your mom making doughballs? Remember how good they smelled from the
vanilla juice she mixed up in them? Remember throwing that
doughball out into the water, and then setting the rod down on
the grass and just laying back and watching the clouds scoot
across the sky? Remember when the line started going out?
Remember grabbing the pole and running backwards, to set the
hook? Remember how strong that carp was, and you weren’t
sure if you were going to pull it out or if it was going to pull
you in?
➠ Remember your first Northern – the glare from its eyes, and
that mouth full of teeth? And remember when you got a bass,
and it came flying out of the water, and almost jumped in the
boat? Remember catching a bullhead and being told to not
touch it, because its fins were poisonous and you could really
get hurt?
➠ Who taught you about that dangerous bullhead, anyway? And
who took you out on the dock or to the lakeshore, the first
time, to go after those bluegills? And who untangled your line
from the tree? Your father? Maybe an uncle? Or an older
friend, or a friend’s father?
20 MUSKIE.....June 2007
“old enough,” and somebody got
you started on Muskies?
➠ Monster fish seen and caught, or
lost. Trips to Canada. Listening to
Marv and Smokey spin yarns on
Tuesday night. The indelible beauty
of a blue and black bucktail with a
silver blade, flashing through clear
water? The joy of putting a cast into
exactly the right spot. Finding cabbage in the midst of milfoil.
Follows. And the people – the wonderful people…
➠ You’re that “somebody,” you know.
➠ There isn’t anybody else. Take your
own kids fishing. Take your kid’s
kids. Don’t let them miss out.
Work your chapter’s kids outing in
the spring. Do all of that.
➠ And remember…
Juris Ozols
Photo Contest – June Winners
by Gordon Campbell
Photo Tip of the Month
Take a Kid Fishing
Sticking with this month's theme, a few ideas when fishing with the kids-- Take photos and lots of them particularly
if you have a digital camera. Strive for plenty of of candid,
spontaneous shots to document your outing from start to finish. Candids are great because some kids can be shy and as
seen in the photo of Katy Posewitz in this months issue, you'll
get memorable action shots.
Second, and very importantly- teach your junior fishing
partners how to work your camera and give them the
opportunity to practice. They'll enjoy the chance and the
responsibility of handling the camera and should lightning
strike for you , a knowledgeable kid behind the camera could
be the difference between a striking photo and a blurry
▲ Winner #1: Michael Hannes with a hefty 43" that thrilled him
by crashing his Topraider. Pictured with his Uncle Joel Michel of
Chapter 35, this photo is well composed & framed. The fish is
dripping wet which shows quick handling and the people have a
natural, spontaneous smile. Congrats!
Last, our members have been sending in some great
shots. All it takes to see your photo(s) here in Muskie
Magazine is a good picture along with relevant caption info.
Good luck and "take a kid fishing".
Gordon Campbell,
Photo Editor.
▼ Winner #2: "We've got a pair"... We don't usually
award 3 monthly winners but we had to here. Marg
Pauling of Chapter 41 sent in shots of siblings Christian
and Marah Overmeyer . Here's Christian posing like a
pro with his St. Clair whopper that taped just over 49".
Great catch and good hold too, Christian.
▲ Winner #2: "Hooked For Life" Marah also up on
St. Clair in August 2006 with her best - a typically spotted
Muskie that measured 50.5" on the dot. These are big
Muskies by anyone's standards and the kids handled
things perfectly. Again a great catch and super hold
considering the size of this fish.
June 2007.....MUSKIE 21
Lensink Boat # 2
They Did It Again!
Guide Patricia Strutz.
by Patricia Strutz
Once again, the Between the Lakes (BTL) Muskies, Inc. chapter (Sheboygan, Wisconsin area) put together an extraordinary event.
A couple of years ago I participated in their first youth musky fishing weekend. This past October I was thrilled to take a small part in
the second youth adventure. It was called the Turning Leaf
Challenge. Throughout the year, fourteen teenagers attended several
educational sessions provided by members of BTL. They became
familiar with identification of the musky, learned about their habitat
and proper equipment, assessed weather situations for safety, and
read maps and electronics to learn to navigate a lake and find potential fishing spots. Boating safety skills were also refreshed. A final
evening session offered hands-on casting practice at a local pond.
The young anglers learned to throw late fall presentations like
DepthRaiders, Bulldawgs, and tandem Mepps bucktails.
On a blustery fall weekend, October 27th-29th, the group made
their way north. They stayed at the Sunrise Lodge in Land O Lakes
and fished the revered waters of Lac Vieux Desert. The weather was
miserable. Cold, windy, rain and snow mix…but, the youths had
“caught the fever” and enjoyed pounding the water with their fishing guides (BTL members). Several fish were caught, but more
importantly, a great experience was had by all.
Group gathering at the lodge
22 MUSKIE.....June 2007
Clint Gumieny with a 39 inch Muskie
caught at Youth Weekend
As I gazed across that open lake a big smile broke out on my
face. All the participants were wearing bright orange Turning Leaf
sweatshirts. You could clearly see them across the lake, even in the
snow and rain. Small, slight statures heaving stout musky rods and
jerking Suicks…Musky fishermen are a funny sort. We all love venturing out on inclement autumn days and here was a new generation
getting inducted into this madness.
Each evening culminated in a campfire circle to talk about the
day’s events. The true fellowship between family, friends, and fishermen was evident. This was a mixed group… a mother-daughter duo,
father-son partners, and adult BTL members who were chaperoning
individual youths. One family consisted of a Grandpa, his two adult
sons, and three grandsons. The group reflected on the event…
Words of Wisdom & Wonder
from the Youth and the Elders:
“Grandpa told me about this event. I thought it would be a
great way to spend time with him.”
“We grew up playing outdoors…now it seems like we need an
excuse to get out there and enjoy ourselves. This outing gave my
daughter and me that excuse.”
“The reason I musky fish is for the same reason I got married.
It’s all about the fight.”
“It’s our responsibility to get kids back outdoors.”
”I grew up in five foster homes. My last parents spent time with
me. It’s all about spending time together…that’s what helps put
focus into young lives.”
“This quality time of fishing together…the interaction my dad
and I had, it is unmatched anywhere else in our lives.”
“I love the Northwoods. After we passed Highway 64 all your
daily troubles seem to melt away. We won’t want to leave. It’s a short,
quick drive up north…but it seems to take forever to get home.”
“I attended the Youth Musky Adventure two years ago with my
son. We had a chance to talk more than usual and that continued as
we returned home. The whole trip brought us closer together. That’s
why I came again, this time with my daughter… to share the same
experience. It was great. We will fish more in the future.”
“I always thought I was too busy at work to spend much time
with the boys fishing. But this experience really shed a new light on
bonding…we shared in all the planning and took time to reflect on
what we each got out of the experience compared to our hectic daily
lives. It just doesn’t get any better. I’ll attend again, and next time I’ll
bring another boat for any new angling family that needs one…so
they, too, can experience the relations one develops with family,
friends, and respect for our natural resources.”
My favorite, from musky huntress Amanda Strysick…as she was
casting out in a snow storm, with the wind blasting on her windburnt face…she would power the rod forward and yell, “I love the
pain!” Next cast, “I love the anguish”. Next cast, as she gestured
toward her new Turning Leaf sweatshirt, “But, I really love the
Again, what a marvelous event. Between the Lakes chapter member Roy Kalmerton notes,
“We invite you to put on your own Turning Leaf Challenge. It’s
a wonderful feeling to be involved with introducing our youth population to the great outdoors. Our chapter will walk you through our
program, we’d be happy to help you with any questions.”
Campfire sharing circle
Any questions can be directed to:
Roy C. Kalmerton, member BTL Chapter Muskie Inc.,
Captain/Guide Wolf Pack Adventures, cell 715-558-2105, e-mail
[email protected]
BTL graciously thanks sponsors who made this event possible.
They include:
Members of BTL
Thunder Mountain Press
Camp Y_Koda Outdoor
Sheboygan County
Conservation Ass’n
Wolf Pack Adventures
Silken Images
Screen Printing,
St. Croix Rod,
Sunrise Lodge,
Sponsors on Sweat Shirt
“We congratulate the Wisconsin Bear Hunters organization for
holding their youth hunt and hope that becomes a tradition. These
youth adventures garner great enthusiasm—not only for the participants but for the adults who are involved, too. It reminds us all about
why we love the outdoors and there is no better feeling than passing
on that enjoyment.” ❖
Torke Coffe,
Heidenreiter Bus Service,
Schwarz Fish Company
Call your prize
UAW Local 833
Wisconsin Chapters of
Muskies, Inc.
Conservation Corp
Heartland Business Bank
Musky Innovations
Boomer Bandstand
DJ Service
Jerry “The Weasel”
Forest Lake Country Store
& Musky Mania Tackle
Group of 47 Anglers at Youth Weekend 2006
Jerry and participation prizes
June 2007.....MUSKIE 23
As I See It
by Jim Smith
I am sure that by the time you read my column for June, you’ll
have seen the “Positions Available” notice looking for a new editor
and advertising manager. So I’ll give you the real scoop. First and
foremost, I am not leaving because I am mad, nor am I being run
out. In fact, quite to the contrary. When Pres. Cates was elected he
specifically asked me to stay indefinitely and is concerned about my
current departure. When I took this job in October 2003, I looked
forward to five years or 60 issues. So far 44 issues. Truth of the matter is Lynda and I moved to Arizona due to my health issues and to
retire. In fairness to Lynda, I think it is time to really retire and travel some before I loose anymore of my health. Besides, maybe now
I’ll have time to find me a 50” incher.
I have had a great time as Managing Editor of MUSKIE
Magazine and more recently as Advertising Manager. I am proud of
where I have brought MUSKIE, but that is not to say it can’t get better. I certainly have not done this alone. I have developed a great
cadre of writers. We have the best printing company anyone could
ask for! I cannot say enough about the staff at SunRay Printing, especially John Windchitl, Brenda Kirchner and all of their staff. Folks
like Richard Gross, Bob Jennings, and of course Juris Ozols. Gosh,
where would I be if it weren’t for Juris? His loyalty and support are
beyond reproach.
I have had the opportunity to meet lots of great folks, fish with
a few and have had a few point me in the right direction. The membership, or as I see it, my family for the last seventeen years, have
become some of my best friends and certainly great company.
This is not my last issue, but that won’t be far off. I just want
to say thanks and tell you all how much I appreciate the entire M.I.
Now, I have an apology for the April Issue Chapter Projects
Contest winners. I have plaques for all six of the category winners
and similar plaques for each of their sponsors. They were shipped to
Ohio for presentation at the Spring Board Meeting. Suffice it to say
everything was shipped in a timely manner; they just never made it
to the banquet. I am sorry, but as soon as I have collected all the
plaques, I will re-send them to each of the chapters and each of the
Jim Smith, Managing Editor
MUSKIE Magazine, The Official
Publication of Muskies, Inc.
Email: [email protected]
We work to
improve fishing!
BLUEWATER OUTDOORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
ESOX RODS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
FITTANTE REPLICAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
JUST BIG MUSKIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
7,000 Muskie
LAX REPRODUCTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
On Sabaskong Bay
Six-time Muskies, Inc.,
Chapter Challunge Headquarters
1983, 1986, 1993, 1997, 2003, 2004
LEECH LAKE BOARD OF TOURISM . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
MUSKIES, INC. BROCHURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
RED WING LODGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
ROLLIE & HELEN’S MUSKY SHOP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
SAINT CROIX RODS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii
• Ultra-modern one, two, three, or four bedroom cabins
• American plan, housekeeping or camping
• Floating docks, electricity for charging batteries, Lund Boats with swivel seats
and depth finders, Honda motors with electric start
• Dining room with food and liquor available for registered guests only
Call or write for data on musky catches:
TOM’S HARBOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
1 (888) 488-5601 or (807) 488-5601
Red Wing Lodge, Box 1008, Baudette, MN 56623
TUFFY BOATS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
YAKIMA BAIT COMPANY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
YOUNG'S WILDERNESS CAMP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 •
Family owned and operated for 40 years
24 MUSKIE.....June 2007
15 33
11 17 3 7
18 51
Chapter News and Views
Phone #
September 21 (Friday)
M.I. International Fall Board Meeting
LOTW in the Morson, Ontario area.
Headquarters: Red Wing Lodge
Hosted by the International.
Contact Paul Framsted
[email protected]
NOTE: Sept 21st is the correct date.
(The 2007 MI Calendar incorrectly
shows Sept. 14th).
October 27, 28
7th Annual Fall Brawl – Kinkaid Lake,
Murphysboro, IL. Host: Shawnee Muskie
Hunters Chapter #28.
April 3, 4, 5
2008 Spring board meeting, Hosted by
Titletown Muskies, Inc., Chapter #4
Radisson Hotel & Conference Center,
2040 Airport Drive, Green Bay, WI
Telephone: 800-333-3333
Contact Jay Zahn
[email protected]
Special events listings are provided at
no charge to Muskies, Inc chapters.
To list your chapter's event, email to:
[email protected]
or by ground mail: Jim Smith,
15045 W. Double Tree Way,
Surprise, AZ 85374-8568.
Please send announcements
at least 2 months in advance.
June 2007.....MUSKIE 25
01.....Twin Cities, 414 Division St., Excelsior, MN 55331..........................................952-380-1218
02.....Fargo-Moorhead, Box 2021, Fargo ND, 58107................................................701-298-9032
03.....Chicagoland Muskie Hunters, 7600 Kilbourn Ave, Skokie, IL 60076 ...............847-677-0017
04.....Titletown Muskies, Inc., 3097 Inverness Lane, New Franken, WI 54229 .......920-866-9705
05.....Pomme De Terre, PO Box 5, Hermitage, MO 65668 .......................................417-745-2381
06.....First Wisconsin, PO Box 122, Chippewa Falls, WI 54729 ...............................715-726-8896
07.....South Side Muskie Hawks, 5211 S. Narragansett Ave., Chicago, IL 60638......773-581-8650
08.....Capital City, PO Box 8862, Madison, WI 53708...............................................608-669-5046
09.....West Virginia, 1270 Federal Road, Little Hocking, OH 45742 .........................740-667-3571
10.....Heartland, 239 8th St SE, Mason City IA 50401 ..............................................641-424-0827
11 .....Mississippi Valley, 5301 11th Ave “C”, Moline, IL 61265 ..................................309-797-1803
12.....Headwaters, PO Box 652, Eagle River, WI 54521...........................................715-477-2913
13.....Hayward Lakes, PO Box 609, Hayward, WI 54843 .........................................715-634-4543
14.....South of the Border, 28926 W. Big Hollow Rd, McHenry, IL 60050.................815-385-9026
15.....Star of the North, 29957 La Plant Rd., Grand Rapids, MN 55744...................218-326-4958
16.....Three Rivers, 119 Bus Lane, Renfrew, PA15136 .............................................724-789-7866
17.....Quad County, PO Box 185, Plano, IL 60545....................................................815-695-1494
18.....Hopedale, 15 Township Rd 125, Dillonvale, OH 43917 ...................................740-769-7269
19.....Akron-Canton Muskie Maniacs, 10957 Northwood Ave NE, Bolivar OH 44612.330-874-2773
20.....Between the Lakes, PO Box 61, Sheboygan, WI 53085-0061 ........................920-564-3226
21.....North Metro, PO Box 41216, Plymouth, MN 55441 .........................................952-469-2155
22.....New Jersey, ..................................................................................TBD
23.....Cleveland, 5611 Alber, Parma, OH 44129........................................................440-221-5760
24.....Brainerd Lakes, 9143 Lone Pine Road, Brainerd, MN 56401..........................218-821-3669
26.....Central Wisconsin, PO Box 263, Medford, WI 54451 ......................................715-748-2630
27.....Central Illinois, 1191 Sandra Lane, Monticello, IL 61856 .................................309-264-3730
28.....Shawnee Muskie Hunters, PO Box 602, DeKalb, IL 60115 .............................815-756-3231
29.....Upper Great Plains, 1788 Hwy 4, Estherville, IA 51334...................................712-362-2501
30.....God’s Country, PO Box 1461, LaCrosse, WI 54601 ........................................608-786-4062
31.....Penn-Ohio, 309 Spring St, Jamestown, PA 16134...........................................724-932-5815
32.....Flatlanders, 5776 Vesper Drive, South Beloit, IL 61080 ..................................815-389-4622
33.....Lake Superior, 2031 Hwy. 33 S., Cloquet, MN 55720......................................218-879-2712
35.....Milwaukee, PO Box 28842, Greenfield, WI 53220...........................................262-442-6260
37.....St. Cloud, 312 18th Avenue N., Sartell, MN 56377 ..........................................320-656-1160
38.....Vikingland, 2909 Wicken Lane NW, Alexandria, MN 56308.............................320-846-7975
39.....Fox River Valley, 1253 Cobblers Crossing, Elgin, IL 60123.............................847-741-9771
41.....Central Ohio, 603 Bennettwoods Ct., Cincinnati, OH 45320 ...........................513-231-1961
42.....Hoosier Muskie Hunters, PO Box 501371, Indianapolis, IN 46250 .................317-577-8050
44.....Colorado, 3739 Sawgrass Trail, Castle Rock, CO 80109 ................................303-668-4089
45.....Kentucky, 212 Linden Ave., Southgate, KY 41071...........................................859-441-1666
46.....Bemidji/Cass Lake, 11551 Misty Meadows Rd, Bemidji, MN 56601................218-759-0098
47.....Michigan Muskie Alliance, PO Box 512, Caledonia, MI 49316 ........................616-447-1688
48.....Arrowhead, PO Box 82, Virginia, MN 55792....................................................218-482-5217
49.....Webster Lake Musky Club, PO Box 670, No. Webster, IN 46555 ...................574-834-1669
50.....Penn-Jersey, 372 Kingwood Rd., King of Prussia, PA 19406 ..........................610-962-0632
51.....Ohio Valley Muskie Hunters, 211 Mann St., Bowerstown, OH 44695..............740-269-1216
52.....Daniel Boone, 813 US 62, Maysville, KY 41056 ..............................................606-759-7610
53.....Huskerland Muskie Hunters, PO Box 394, Valentine, NE 69201.....................402-376-2743
54.....Southern Crossroads, 1524 Country Club Rd, Albert Lea MN 56007 .............507-373-1818
55.....Mid Iowa Muskies, 2940 SW Meadow Ridge, Ankeny IA 50023 .....................515-289-1583
No. Chapter, Address
June 12,13,14,15
2007 Chapter Challunge
June 12th (Tuesday) Registration
June 13th,14th,15th fishing on Lake
Holcombe, Dairyland Flowage, Old Abe
Flowage, Cornell Flowage.
Headquarters: East Bay Restaurant
Contact: Jason Smith, (715) 726-9912 or
email: [email protected]
Muskie Hunters
7600 Kilbourn Ave.
Skokie, IL 60076
847-677-0017 – Dean Rosset
[email protected]
Meets 1st Tuesday 7:30 PM, Park Ridge VFW 10
West Higgins Ave., Park Ridge, IL.
Chain O’ Lakes Guide, Darrell Baker’s presentation entitled “Location, Technique, and Patters
for Muskies on the Fox Chain” on May 1st, was
extremely informative. Darrell came highly recommended by many members as the guide who
knows the heavily fished Chain the best. He certainly was able to impress the nice sized crowd
with his on-the-water expertise.
Vince Weirick of Vince Weirick Guide Service
will be the June 5th speaker. Vince guides in
Kosciusko County’s muskie lakes and will present a fresh look at these productive waters.
The July 7th meeting will be On The Water. We
will be gathering at Barnacle Bob’s on Lake Marie
shortly after 11:30am. For more information email
Greg Denny at [email protected]
The August meeting will be similar to July’s
meeting with fishing up until the 7:00 PM gathering for the cookout and re-match casting contest.
Independence Grove is a Lake County Forest
preserve that has been stocked with Muskie.
Independence Grove is located on Route 137 in
Libertyville .
See you on the Water
Greg Denny
Capital City
P.O. Box 8862, Madison, WI 53708
608-669-5046 – Gerard Hellenbrand
Meets: 2nd Monday 7:00 PM Park Ponderosa
McFarland, WI
The club had an excellent turnout for its annual spring seminar that was held on April 19th at
the Park Ponderosa in McFarland. This is the
club’s major fundraiser for the year. This year’s
featured speaker was Mr. Tony Grant, a professional guide from Cave Run Kentucky. Mr. Grant
also guides in Vilas county Wisconsin in the summer and fall. The first part of his presentation
dealt with identifying and fishing in heavy weed
cover. He shared his approach to fishing different type of weeds, the lures he has found most
effective when fishing in weeds, and advised the
crowd to mark lake maps where weed cover is
located. The second part of his presentation
dealt with catching tiger muskies. Mr. Grant is
famous for catching big tiger’s. He shared some
interesting facts that he has learned over the
years such as the importance of water temperature, time of year, and the fact that he catches his
largest tiger muskies on very small baits. Mr.
Grant’s presentation was entertaining as well as
very informative. The club held its first outing of
the year in Iowa (named the Hawg outing) .
Twenty four club members ventured to Pleasant
Creek Lake in Northwest Iowa. It was a rough
day due to very severe weather in the area that
cut of fishing short. Even rougher than the
weather was the fact that no fish were caught.
Three club members had fish on their lines but
were lost before being netted. The club has four
more outing planned for 2007 and we hope that
the success is better than the first one. There is
quite a buzz in the chapter membership as the
fishing opener for Southern Wisconsin is only a
couple of weeks away.
Reporting: Gary Hoffman
West Virginia
1270 Federal Road
Little Hocking, OH 45742
Meets: No definite schedule-call
Our 2007 Tournament Schedule kicked off with
our Spring Mail-In.
The first day of the
Tournament coincided with our effort to catch
brood fish for WV DNR at North Bend Lake.
Despite a terrific turnout, only one muskie was
boated. Norman Boley arrived early and caught
a 30” almost immediately on his newest Crane
Bait before most of us pulled into the parking lot.
Meanwhile, a similar scene played out on
Piedmont Lake where Bill Boggess caught the
winning fish, a 41”, on his very first cast with a
Cee Bee Jerk before partner Chuck Braniff could
get a lure in the water. Bill never moved another
muskie the rest of the day. Maybe the early bird
does indeed get the worm!
Nelson Brown and Elbert Robinson enjoyed a
brief flurry of super action on the Buckhannon
River with a 35” and a 33” only fifteen minutes
apart. Nelson’s 35” came on a NJB Crank and
Elbert’s 33” on a NJB Spinnerbait. And special
congratulations to young Raymond Rector, a Jr.
Member for his 32” on an Amma Bama Jerkbait
also from the Buckhannon River. Thanks to
Sharon Crane who served as Tournament
Our annual roundtable discussion with WV
DNR officials was held 3-27-07 in the conference
room of the Gander Mountain store in South
Several topics were discussed including a
kiosk and the Radio Telemetry Project at North
Bend Lake, Water Access Surveys, Viral
Hemmorhagic Septicemia, droplines on muskie
streams, Designated Trophy Muskie Waters and
the muskie rearing and stocking program.
We appreciate the opportunity to meet with
DNR officials in this small group format which
facilitates discussion and the exchange of ideas
better than larger, more formal meetings.
Already this spring several muskies have been
captured and tagged by DNR near the mouth of
Middle Island Creek. About half of the fish now
being captured have been previously tagged.
One of the fish electroshocked this spring (2007)
was tagged in 2005 in the Blue Hole. This fish
moved about fifty miles downstream and grew
from 33” to 37”. Like most other muskies
observed to travel long distances in WV streams,
it was a male. In all of his years of electrofishing,
Scott Morrison; District VI Fish Biologist has only
captured one 40” male.
John Kaltenecker, Secretary
Mississippi Valley
5301 11th Ave “C”
Moline, IL 61265 • 309-797-1803
Email: [email protected]
Meets 2nd Wednesday 7:00pm at the QCCA Expo
Center in Rock Island, IL.
Chapter membership meetings are held on the
2nd Wednesday of each month at the QCCA concession. Meeting starts at 7:00pm. We invite
everyone to attend.
We are setting our calendar of outings for the
2007 year. We would like to hear from you for
suggestions for outings.
I am now taking care of all catch and release
forms. Please submit all forms to Rob
Dickinson, 1531 11th St. Rock Island, IL 61201.
If you would like to submit your own catch and
release forms on line, please also send me an
26 MUSKIE.....June 2007
P.O. Box 652
Eagle River, WI 54521
715-477-2913 – Paul Hansen
Meets 1st Wednesday 7:00 PM
as well as providing, piers and docks on numerous lakes. A number of chapter awards were
given out at out banquet. Junior awards were
received by Joseph Tynan and Peter Blicharz.
Women’s awards went to Linda Jacobs and
Rosemary Owen. Pattie Miller was inducted into
the Hall of Fame. In the men’s category awards
went to John Ascenbrenner, Bruce Ludke and Ed
Spoerl. Charles Schauer was inducted into the
Hall of Fame. Lunker awards were given for the
largest released fish in various categories and
were given to Joseph Tynan, Pattie Miller, Brian
Widule, Tom Rahlf, Paul Hansen and Rosemary
Owen.Congradulations to the above recipients
Additional information and photos of our banquet
can be found on our website Our June open membership
meeting will be June 6th at 7 PM at the Eagle
River Inn. If visiting the area be sure to stop in.
Glenn Matula
Secretary Headwaters Chapter 12
Hayward Lakes
P.O. Box 609
Hayward, WI 54843
Plans for our 30th Annual Fall Tournament are
close to being finalized. The event will again be
held the first weekend of October, the 5th,6th and
7th this year. Hayward Power Sports will again be
our major sponsor. Thanks to them our top prize
will be a Lund 1700 Explorer with a 50 hp.
Mercury on a E-Z Loader trailer. Power Sports is
located ten miles east of Hayward on highway 77
east. Stop and see them for not only boats but
also ATV’s and snowmobiles and they rent all
these toys too. Tell them you’re with Muskies
Inc.and you appreciate their support.
In June we are going to have two meetings.
We had already scheduled a meeting for
Tuesday June 5th. Our guest speaker will be Mike
Cookas. Mike has been active in Muskies Inc. for
many years and has fished and guided in Sawyer
county for most of his life. Mike also fishes our
local rivers, which few people do, so his presentation will be
interesting. We will meet at the Beerhunters
Restaurant, 11 miles east of Hayward on highway
77 east at 7:30 p.m.
The second meeting was just put together
recently. We are going to host Mike Staggs, the
head of fisheries for the Wisconsin DNR. This is
co- sponsored with Walleyes For Northwest
Wisconsin. The event will be Thursday June 14th
at 7 p.m. at the Hayward Veterans Center in
downtown Hayward. Mike will also answer questions after his presentation. Everyone is welcome.
The Hayward Chapter recently donated
$5,000 to remove Northern Pike from Musky Bay
on Lac Court Orielles and turn the fish into fish
patties to be donated to Fishing Has No
Boundaries and the local food shelf. This developed when Dave Nueswanger contacted us with
an idea to help Musky reproduction on Lac Court
Orielles by reducing the competing Pike population. The DNR gets large numbers of Pike in it’s
nets each spring while trying to capture walleyes
and Muskies. The Pike were brought in and taken
to a butcher shop for processing so the not for
profit groups could use them. 2,500 fish were harvested, about 15% of the adult population. Many
of these fish were ripe females who had not yet
spawned. This produced 1,200 pounds of
processed fish patties. The DNR will do follow up
survey work to check on the effect of the removal.
Good Fishing,
Mike Persson
10957 Northwood Ave. NE
Bolivar, OH 44612
Gordon Selden - 330-874-2773
http://[email protected]
Meets 3rd Monday 7:00 PM, Belgrade Gardens,
3476 Massillon Road, Akron, OH.
The Muskie Maniacs had their first tournament
of the 2007 season at Salt Fork Lake on April 21
and 22nd. Club member Jack Whyde brought a
guest with him to be his partner. Well, Jack’s
partner Warren Sturtz won the tournament with a
(Continued on page 28)
The Headwaters Chapter 12 of Muskies Inc. is
ramping up for a very busy season. Upcoming
events include our youth trout fishing pond held
April 27th at the Eagle River Home Show. Funds
generated help our youth programs. May 26th is
the opening day for musky fishing in Northern
Wisconsin and will be our first member’s only outing chaired by Roger Sabota and Jim Rechlitz.
Club members will be meeting at Oneida Village
in Three Lakes, WI after a day of fishing to see
who had a lucky opening day. Our 27th annual
Headwaters Spring Classic will be held on June
9th on the Eagle River Chain. This event is
chaired by Jeff Miller and Jim and Carol Heffner.
If you are looking for a premiere tournament with
first place prize of $15,000 check out our website
Headwaters Chapter 12 held its 29th annual
banquet on March 29th at the Eagle River Inn with
about 175 musky enthusiasts attending. Dale
Peterson did an outstanding job as chairperson
of our banquet. The banquet is a major fund raiser that allows our club to give back to the community in many ways including youth programs,
muskellunge research to ensure a quality fishery
June 2007.....MUSKIE 27
Email or print a copy. I need to have a verification copy in case of a lost on line form. Please
send pictures if available. We are always looking for pictures to add to our photo album.
We had 35 fish caught in the 2006 season by
our members. 34 were released, one was kept.
This member gave all he could but release was
The following were awards given for the 2006
season. First place men’s division with 17
releases 129 points, was also top hunter for
June, July and August went to Jim Megli who also
had largest release. 2nd place men’s division
with 2 releases, 26 points, top hunter for
September was Denny Johnson. There was a
tie for 3rd place. Men’s division first with 3 releases, 22 points, top hunter for May was Russ
Schnieder. Sharing 3rd place of men’s division
with 2 releases, 22 points went to Paul Sikkema.
Juniors division 1st place 3 releases, 35 points,
top hunter in May went to Brandon Schnieder.
Let’s not forget the Ladies! First place went to
Dee Megli with 2 releases, 12 points, top hunter
June. Congratulations to all the members who
caught fish in the 2006 season! We hope you all
will have a great 2007 season with many catch
and release forms.
The Chapter gives heart felt sympathy to the
friends and relatives of Rick D’Angelo who
passed away. He will be missed.
We still have jackets and denim shirts available at Custom Designs in Monogramming in
Moline, IL. Please contact Joan at (309)7641690. You can bring in your own jackets or shirts
for them to embroider or buy directly from them.
Jackets complete run $70 and denim shirts complete are $50. You may also have them personalized with your name for an additional cost.
Joan and Tom will be more than happy to give
you these prices or help you with any other custom embroidery. We would like to give a big
thanks to Joan and Tom for all their help and time
in getting the new design and colors set for our
Thank You.
Rob Dickinson
nice 42” fish. This is Warren’s first muskie he
has ever caught and managed to also catch two
sub legal fish of 26” and 27” fish. Way to go
Warren! I think he is now hooked on to muskie
fishing. Guy Bechter won the big fish pool with
a 31 ?” fish. One of our new members Gary
Puckett caught his first Ohio muskie with a 30”
fish. Good Job Gary! We had a great tournament and you couldn’t have asked for the weather to be any better.
We want to thank Chris Shuck for providing us
with some great pointers on how to fish Salt Fork
Lake at our April 16th meeting to get us ready for
our first tournament.
Chris also handed out
maps and highlighted were he has caught fish.
Thanks again Chris!
Our next event will be our Chapter Challenge
May 19th and 20th at Salt Fork Lake.
We are hosting this event and hope we have
the same weather for this event as we had with
our first tournament.
On June 9th and 10th, we are going to have our
2nd tournament at Leesville Lake.
I will give the run down of the Chapter
Challenge results in the next month’s article.
Until then, catch some fish………!
Kevin Proffitt
New Jersey
Spring fishing is underway and it sounds like
Norm Small is the first to put a few in the net.
Greenwood Lake survived the drawdown and
Chuck Graf provided a trapnetting report:
“Netting is going well so far with the biggest a 47”
female along with quite a few Muskies in the 3640” range”. Craig Lemon will have a full report
when the work is complete. At a recent meeting
the Chapter bestowed the first “ Hall of Fame “
award to “Smitty”. To those who know him, he
was a tireless fundraiser in the early days and
always had a contagious enthusiasm for building
NJ Muskies Inc. and the fishery. A plaque was
awarded to Jim and we would like to formally
thank and recognize him for all his efforts and
friendship over the years. Put June 23 on your
calendar as that’s our annual spring Tournament
with Greenwood and Monksville as the 2 qualifying waters. Dinner afterwards will be at the
American Legion Hall in the village of Greenwood
Lake. Watch our site for further
details. No more meetings til September... it’s
been a long Winter so enjoy the fishing.
Submitted by Gordon Campbell,
VP Chapter 22.
P.O. Box 602
DeKalb, IL 60115
815-756-3231 – Gary Dew
(815) 529-1159
Meets: varies-call for schedule.
Shawnee Muskie Hunters Calendar
July 14 Shelbyville Bellow Dam Fish Outing &
meeting & Lunch @ 12:00 P.M.
August 12 Board of Directors Meeting, 7 P.M.
Phone Conference
September 14-16 Prairie Lake Outing in Jim
Edgar Panther Creek (W. of Springfield) meeting & camping Jim Beaty is setting this up 618-
28 MUSKIE.....June 2007
971-7806 (Prairie Lake Weekend that will
start Friday, September 14th thru Sunday
September 16th. Panther Creek is located in
the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish &
Wildlife Area, 10149 County Hwy 11,
Chandlerville, IL 62627. There is a no limit HP
lake, but the entire 210 acre lake is “no wake”.
There is no fee for launching a boat. We have
reserved 3 cabins (#2, 3, & 4). The total cost
of each cabin is just $85.00 each for the two
nights. Check in is 3:00 Pm and check out is
1:00 pm
October 20 Guide For Day & Meeting (7 pm)
after dinner @ Paul Ice Ramp on Kinkaid Lake
October 21 Guide For Day continues…if interested please contact Manuel Santa Cruz
[email protected] or (618) 610-5003 or
David Artrip @ [email protected]
October 27-28, 7th Annual Fall Brawl
Tournament, Kinkaid Lake (IMTT)
November 3 Outing for Veterans & Board
Meeting If You Are Interested In Helping Let
Manuel Santa Cruz Know [email protected]
or (618) 610-5003 or Jerry Ford [email protected] 618-628-4205
November 10-11 IMTT IL State Muskie
Championship, Lake Shelbyville
December 1 Christmas Party Place To Be
Lake Clean Up Event (4/14)-There was 2,000
pounds of trash taken out of Lake Kinkaid. “SMH
members and friends teamed up with local support to haul out a ton of trash. THANKS for all
that helped on this cold rainy day. “
Muskie Gal!
Shannon Beaty-Dingus
[email protected]
Upper Great Plains
1788 Hwy 4
Estherville, IA 51334
Meets 3rd Thursday , Legion Club, 1709 Okoboji
Ave., Milford, IA.
On April 19th board members Carl Waddell,
Skip Frakes, Mark Mithchell, Virg Harrison, Leo
Kofoot, Dale Witt, Scott Larson, Randy Meyer,
Shannon Greene, Ryan Blau, Rod Blau, and
myself were all in attendance for our annual
monthly meeting at the American Legion in
Various topics were discussed which included
gillnetting results by the IDNR, website updates,
and upcoming chapter events. As far as gillnetting on the Iowa Great Lakes, the up and down
water temperatures made things tougher then
normal for IDNR fisheries staff at the Spirit Lake
Fish Hatchery. However, over 200 muskies
were caught in the gillnets. The largest muskie
was a 53 inch 47 pound beauty caught in Big
Spirit along with several others in the 30 lb. class
range.As far as upcoming events we have
muskie league nights and the 3rd Annual June
Outing on Big Spirit Lake this month. League
night will be on Big Spirit Lake on June
6th and June 20th at Templar Park boat ramp.
July 11th we will be on West Okoboji at Triggs
boat ramp and then back on Big Spirit on July
25th at Templar Park boat ramp.
League night fishing will start at 6:15 pm and
you can sign in with Rod Blau or myself from
5:30-6 at the boat ramp. Entry fee for league
night is $7. The outing on Big Spirit Lake will be
held on June 23rd.
Fishing hours are from 7am to 7 pm. After
fishing we will have a BBQ dinner at the Templar
Park shelter. There is no entry fee for the outing
and we encouraging bringing someone new to
expose them to our great chapter and to
this sport we all love so much. This a good
opportunity to get some good fishing in, have a
great dinner and to socialize with fellow chapter
members. You can go to the UGP chapter website to see all the
upcoming event dates as well as pictures from
gillnetting on the IA Great Lakes. On behalf of
all the chapter board members we wish everyone
a successful and safe muskie fishing season.
Pete Hildreth Chapter Editor,
[email protected]
Fox River Valley
1253 Cobblers Crossing, Elgin, IL 601230
847-741-9771 – Rich Gallagher
Meets: 2nd Wed (Exc June/July) Poplar Creek Country
Club, 1400 Poplar Creek Drive, Hoffman Estates, IL.
Hello All,
A couple of quick reminders. Like you, I am out
on the water.
This month starts our “Summer fishing
League.” The days are: Sunday June 10th,
Sunday July 8th, and Sunday August 12th. Times
on the water have been revised from last year.
We will be starting at Five a.m. and go until 11
a.m. The points system remains the same. Check
the web site for further details.
Remember to purchase your tickets for our
electronics “Mega Raffle.” All proceeds from this
raffle go to our Youth, Fisheries and Stocking program. Help us to build a fishing future for your
children. Our goal is to have each member sell
$100.00 worth of tickets. The member who sells
the most tickets will win a $300.00 Gift Certificate
from Rollie & Helen’s Muskie Shop. Prizes are:
Third Place, A 30 GB iPod (Retail $ 240.00)
Second Place, A Nintendo Wii (Retail $ 400.00)
and in First Place the one we are all crossing our
fingers for, a 42” Daewood Plasma TV! (Retail
$2000.00) We are selling tickets for $5.00 each
or a book of five for $20.00. We will be selling
them right up until the time of the drawing at our
September 12th. Meeting. You DO NOT have to
be present to win.
Upcoming Club trips are: DePere/Fox
River/Green bay, October 12th to 14th. North
Webster Indiana, November 16th. to 18th. All
details and updates are on the website.
Our regular club meeting dates are the second
Wednesday of the month at the Poplar Creek
Country Club. We will be back in September
when our featured speaker will be Todd Forcier
on Wisconsin Petenwell Flowage Muskies. In
October will be our own Russ Schaller on the Fox
Chain of Lakes. The accommodations at Poplar
Creek are the best. They offer members a buffet
style dinner starting at six p.m. before the 7:30
p.m. meeting. The week before the meeting the
web site will have the buffet menu and cost. See
you there!
Until Later,
Return ‘em to the water Healthy
and Remember Our Troops.
by Eric Engbretson
he first time I came face to face with a muskie underwater in
it’s environment, I thought I was going to have a stroke. I
was scuba diving in a small northern Wisconsin Lake known
primarily for bass and bluegills, when I turned and found myself face
to face with a monster that looked more like an alligator than anything else. To say I was startled would be an understatement. I
remember screaming into my regulator as an eruption of air bubbles
exploded from my lungs and raced towards the surface. My arms
and legs moved involuntarily in panic and I stirred up a cloud of silt
that quickly enveloped both the beast and me. After a few seconds,
when I had recovered from the start, and regained my
composure, I was amazed to see that the giant
fish hadn’t moved an inch. It was still
there, just three feet away hanging
motionless in the slowly clearing
water. In stark contrast to my
initial panicked surprised
its reaction was just the
demeanor was calm,
and it’s steely-eyed
fixed on me the
entire time like a
gunslinger in a
Clint Eastwood
western. This
was a fish filled
confidence, instead
of fear. He was
the ruler of this
underwater kingdom, and seemed
to regard me with
the same sense of
apathy and disinterest
that’s normally reserved
only for telemarketers and
late night TV pitchmen.
Finally, he slowly finned away
into the depths and I was left with
a feeling of awe and admiration for
these magnificent fish that has only grown
over the years.
I began taking pictures underwater in 1993. I’d been an avid
fisherman all my life, but one sunny August afternoon, instead of
grabbing my rod and reel, I grabbed a cheap mask, snorkel and fins
that were 3 sizes too small and dove into a clear water lake near my
home. That day changed my life. As a fisherman I remember staring down into the water from the boat or the end of the dock and
wondering “What’s down there? Are there any fish in this lake?
What do they do down there all day long?” Diving under the sur-
face of the lake that August day was like stepping into a new world.
I couldn’t believe the radiance of this underwater landscape. Plants,
rocks, sunken trees covered in green algae…it was simply breathtaking! An underwater paradise! And then there were the fish. I saw
more fish in one afternoon than I had seen as a fisherman in the previous year! It was my first glimpse into an astounding silent world
filled with unsurpassed beauty and teaming with life!
As the days and weeks passed, I found myself fishing less and less
and snorkeling more and more. Eventually I bought a cheap underwater camera so that I could take pictures and show my others this
amazing new world, and photos of what the fish looked
like “on their own turf ”. It wasn’t long before
I wanted to go deeper and take better pictures. I began buying scuba equipment and more sophisticated
cameras and learning the craft
of underwater photography. Eventually, I sold
an underwater picture
of a bass to a small
fishing magazine.
By this time, I had
fallen deeply in
love with the
realm and the
fish that lived
there, and I
knew that this
passion would
become my life’s
Today, 13
years later, I’m a
freelance photographer. My underwater fish pictures
appear in fishing and
around the world. I sell pictures to book publishers, calendar companies, advertising agencies, state natural resources departments, and so on. I spend 7 months a year
taking pictures underwater in the lakes and rivers
of the upper Great Lakes Region where I live. Often my life
feels like a non-stop vacation and I wouldn’t trade places with anyone else.
I’m also very lucky that I just happen to live in an area that’s
home to some of the most legendary muskie lakes in the country.
Over the years, I’ve had a chance to swim in some of these famed
waters and encounter muskies up close in their own environment.
There’s nothing quite like seeing a large muskie underwater. They
(Continued on page 30)
June 2007.....MUSKIE 29
MUSKIE (Continued from page 29)
glide effortlessly through the water with the supreme confidence
reserved for members at the top of their food chain. Because of this,
they’re not afraid of divers and I’m able to approach them usually fairly easily. They are surely aware of all the other fish and animals that
populate their world and because divers are an anomaly, they will routinely approach me with what I can only characterize as curiosity.
They often make a complete circle around me as if to inspect this
‘strange creature” from every angle. They also display keen awareness.
When I enter a lake, I don’t have to search for the muskies. I’ve discovered that if I’m patient, they will find me. Drawn, I’m sure by acute
imperceptible sensory abilities and also probably just by the noise of
my air bubbles too.
One of the attributes of water is that when viewed through a
prism of air, objects appear to be larger than they really are. So when
I’m underwater looking through my diver’s mask, a 45-inch musky
appears to me to be a
60-inch fish! Fish and
anything else viewed
underwater are only ?
of their actual size.
Fisherman often ask
me how big the fish
are that I see. I do my
best to adjust for the
optics of underwater
viewing, but the fact
is, I just don’t know.
Fish look really big
underwater, and big fish look positively huge when viewed underwater. For the first few years, I got really excited whenever I saw muskies.
“Wow! That’s gotta be a world record!” I would say to myself. But
over the years, I’ve come to better understand this illusion and now I
don’t pee my wetsuit quite as often when I see what looks like Moby
Dick. What this means sadly, is that all those reports you hear of 6
foot long monsters swimming next to the boat, or huge fish that got
off before they could be netted are really just ordinary sized muskies.
Some may argue that the fish lined up exactly with something on the
boat that’s of known size and therefore, that’s evidence that the fish
was really a whopper. This of course is nonsense. Since you would still
be viewing the fish in water through a space of air, the magnification
illusion is still in play. Your boat is a poor yardstick since it’s in air,
and the fish is underwater. (If you don’t quite grasp this idea, lean
over the side of the boat sometime and stick your hand underwater
about a foot. Then take a ruler and hold it above the water’s surface
and take a good measurement of what you see. Next, take your hand
out of the water and measure it. If you did this right, your actual
hand will measure only ? of the size of your estimated measurement
while it was underwater.)
Having said all that, I remember a particular encounter last
spring. I was taking pictures in Lake Tomahawk in Vilas County
Wisconsin. I came across 2 muskies engaged in spawning activity. It
was a very dark rainy afternoon and the light was terrible and I wasn’t able to get any pictures, but the fish I saw that day was truly
impressive. The size of the spawning male was not remarkable. In
fact, he was simply dwarfed by the female he was swimming with.
She was a real beauty. She was enormous, and had a girth like those
big watermelons that win ribbons at the county fair. She swam along
side of me and I took a good long look. I’m five foot, eight inches tall,
and the fish lined up next to me was longer than I was! Was this a 630 MUSKIE.....June 2007
foot long muskie? I did the quick arithmetic: Since it appeared to be
70 inches or more, its real and actual size would have been a little over
50 inches. Possibly even a little more. It looked to me like it could
have been the next world record. It wasn’t, but at 50+ inches, it was
a spectacular fish in anyone’s book
My three best tips for muskie fisherman:
Over the years observing muskies underwater, I’ve seen a few
things that I feel confident in professing. Many fishermen believe that
muskies favor certain “spots” in a lake. I can certainly testify to that.
Some downed trees or weedbeds hold muskie all the time. So after a
few visits to a lake, once these hang outs are found, I will almost
always find a muskie there on subsequent dives. Because of this first
hand observation, I believe that fisherman who fish the exact same
spots where previous muskies were caught increase their chances
tremendously. However, these muskie hot-spots do change from time
to time, just like a restaurant or bar that may be really popular for a
season and then cool off. Once a musky is caught however, I recommend moving to a new area immediately. It’s my experience that
muskies, not engaged in spawning rituals, stay far away from each
other. I’ve never seen 2 muskies in close proximity to each other. It
makes me wonder if they might have agreed upon territories that are
off limits to rivals.
I think most muskie fisherman miss some of the best water and
best opportunities to catch a large early season muskie, In May and
early June, I see many muskie in very shallow water. Sometimes as little as 3 feet. Which means, basically, you want to go to the end of
your dock and cast sideways or perpendicular to the dock, not straight
out. If you’re fishing in a boat, concentrate on areas that would seem
to be much too shallow to possibly hold a large fish. If you think
you’re fishing too shallow, go even shallower! I think you’ll be surprised.
I never spent much time fishing for muskies in the days when I
used to fish a lot, but if I were fishing them today, I’ll tell you what I
would use. I would look for a crank bait about 13 inches long that
resembles a walleye. If
no one makes a walleye
imitation for musky
they really should. I
can’t tell you how many
times I’ve seen muskies
stalking schools of
walleyes. I think the
amount of predation
that occurs is vastly
understated and understood. Muskies target
walleye with great regularity. Walleye fishermen often report muskie
attacking their catch as it’s coming to the boat. I want to assure you
this is neither an aberration nor a deviation from their normal diet.
Muskie regularly follow, stalk and target walleyes. I’ve seen this many,
many times. I think that bass are taken occasionally too but no where
near the frequency that walleyes are preyed upon. If you make your
own lures, or can paint, and you fish muskie in lakes that have
walleyes, I’d strongly recommend a walleye patterned lure. You’ve
undoubtedly heard that muskie prefer soft rayed fish like suckers and
avoid sharp, spiny-rayed fish like walleye. That’s nonsense. I’ve seen
both northern pike and muskie swallowing large walleyes tail first!
The spiny erect dorsal fin is crushed with little effort just like a tin can
under the wheels of a city bus. ❖
Set That Hook–HARD!!!
I looked at his dad, grinned a bit and said to the boy, “With
Muskies my friend—ya gotta set that hook….and SET IT HARD!!”
I met a fellow Muskie Fisherman and his young son, Cody at the
Chippewa Flowage Campground last summer. My wife, her mother
and I were there for the month of June. I had fished alone in the Chip
and also Callahan. I had no luck in the Chip, but boated two in
Callahan; one legal sized—both were released. A Bald Eagle swooped
down out of nowhere and pounced on the legal sized Muskie as he
was treading water ready to swim away. The Eagle took to the air
empty han…er…clawed. Mr. Muskie disappeared to the deep!!
Anyhow, back to my two new Muskie friends. They invited me
along one day—they had a nice boat, rigged proper for the Sport. We
decided on Moose Lake, got on the water by about 8 AM. We
worked the shore line casting until our arms were sore. About 2 PM,
we were quite a ways from where we had put in. It clouded up. A
storm was moving in fast, so we started back just as it started raining.
And rain it did. My friend was a good boatman as he kept us on a
slow but steady course. We had all donned ponchos and a good thing
we did. About half was back I asked, “The bilge pumps start automatically?”
“Yep!” Was all I heard through the pounding rain.
The rain did not let up all the way back.
There were no cross winds—just a steady down pour of rain and
more rain. We got back, safe and sound—Wet? Clear through to our
skin and then some.
Two days later, we went again; this time to Tiger Cat Flowage.
We had a good time—no rain, a nice day. I
caught nothing. The gentleman boated a couple of Northerns as did Cody. They planned
on pickling them. Northerns seem to hit and
stay hooked. Muskie? An entirely different
Both my new friends were using spinner
baits in a brown color. I was hoping we would
tie into some Muskies. They were happy with
the Northerns they had caught. I was watching as Cody’s spinner bait came alongside the
boat when a nice Golden Muskie hit it. I was
just starting to say, “Hit it!” when this Muskie
was gone. Cody didn’t see this Muskie, but he
knew he had had a strike and felt bad about
not getting it.
We kept casting for about another thirty
minutes and again I was watching Cody’s spinner bait come alongside the boat. His dad was
on the forward casting platform and turned
just in time to see another Goldie hit Cody’s
spinner bait. But this time, Cody saw the
Muskie too!
“SET IT!” Was said by his Father. Cody
reared back….I saw the slack line when this
Muskie had hit the spinner bait….the flash of
this fish, and in another flash he was gone back
to the deep!
“What Happened??” Asked Cody, not
knowing what to think and also thinking we
were going to ‘holler-on-him’ for not hooking
this Muskie.
I looked at his dad, grinned a bit and said to the boy, “With
Muskies, my friend—ya gotta set that hook….and SET IT HARD!!”
“He’s right.” Said Cody’s dad.
The boy looked down at the water, then up at us with a defeated look.
I could see that this boy is a good candidate for the famous
‘Muskie Fever’ so I said to him, “You got thru lesson number one—
and there will be more—but you’ll win over the Muskies.”
“Sometimes.” I answered.
He looked at his dad; who said, “Well…son…ya
see……Sometimes….” ❖
June 2007.....MUSKIE 31
Kelsey Eitel age 13 displaying a 35" Kentcky
fish released November of 2006. Chapter 52's
Larry Besant submitted the shot.
Katy Posewitz reeling one in. One of a
series submitted by father Jack, it's an
excellent action shot. This type photo adds
to a great collection.
Chapter 50's Joe Tarditi proudly hoisting a 38" caught by
son Nicholas while casting as daughter and sister Olivia
looks on. A great perspective as seen from another boat.
"Starting Early" - Paul Hartman and
daughter Gracie, 9 months up on Leech Lake.
Photo by Wife and Mom Kristi.
Austin Smith nicely photographed by his father Jason. He's off to
a good start with this Northern Pike.
Proper Muskie
Holding Techniques
for MUSKIE Magazine Photos including Covers, Article Support, Photo
Contest Entries
& Member Photos
32 MUSKIE.....June 2007
"Musky Tom" who prides himself as a
"teaching Guide" helped Eric Gooden to
this catch. "Eric had a ton of fun and
handled the fish perfectly".
Tom can be reached at
[email protected]
Amanda Strysick won this Frabill net
donated here by Jerry Messman for
the Between the Lakes Youth Outing.
Now she's ready for the big one!
Another of several shots submitted by
Capt. Roy Kalmerton,
[email protected]
Also from Larry, a family photo of Chris Haley,
with kids Charlie and Christine all holding up
a 36" Green River Muskie.
Fred Brogle of Chapter 12 took out young Karsten Hultgren, age 10
and his Dad Randy for Fall fishing . Randy beat the elements for this
his first Muskie and immediately joined Muskies Inc. Good job to all.
June 2007.....MUSKIE 33