Monday, August 20, 2012

Mud, Muskies, and Family Fun

After showing my primary class the picture of my muskie I caught Saturday, one of the kids, Ethan, was bound and determined I go fishing with his family tonight. He asked his mom (primary chorister) in the middle of singing time if I could come with them and I'm sure he was pretty persistent after church because around 5 last night they called and formally invited Kat and I to go fishing with them for family home evening. Ethan is pictured below...

We showed up to Newton around 615 and the Nimer (name of family) boys were generous enough to help me get my gear down to the lake so Kat could take Brian. The fishing was slow to start, I was just casting the brush hog and catching a few bass. Doing so I looked around and got a peek at what my future might hold taking my kid(s) fishing. The dad didn't get much fishing in but he was enjoying himself anyways. I decided to throw a worm out on my other pole and soon had a perch...

Photos courtesy of my wife, Kat.

It had swallowed the hook so I figured I might as well keep it for bait. Ethan and his siblings had fun playing with the dead fish before I cut it up, even their little 5 year old sister (I thought she was pretty brave for a 5 year old) was picking it up and pretending to talk with it. While the kids were being entertained by the fish, Brother (don't know his first name >-: ) Nimer took the opportunity to fish. He threw out his blue fox spinner and was catching a few bass when all of a sudden I hear a big splash! I knew right away it was a muskie so I ran over to help him. He got the fish right to the shore line when the fish turned, took off, and SNAP!, there goes the fish breaking his 6 lb test line. He was pretty disappointing but more so that he lost his good spinner. Brian was enjoying the great outdoors, but I don't think he was enjoying the hat much...

I finally cut up the perch and threw it out. I gave some to Ethan's brother, Andrew to try as well. I caught another perch of course but not too long after I start using the perch meat, I see my line get tight, I set the hook, and Wam! MUSKIE!!!

I knew instantly this was a much bigger Muskie than the one I caught Saturday; it fought hard, took my drag which was set pretty hard, and just felt heavy. I finally managed to bring it into shore and took off my sandals before approaching the fish. It was a good thing I did because I sunk to my knees in mud. (Don't mind the crack ;>)

This muskie was a bute! I quickly got the hook out, took some photos, and had him back in the water where he swam off to freedom.

We fished for a while longer then decided it was time to go home. There was no way I was going to put my sandals back on, my feet were just too muddy (and it was the stinky mud too!). But I would rather catch a muskie and get muddy feet anyday!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Fish of 1000 Casts!

Where to begin?...It was a cool smoky morning as my friend Ben and I headed out to Newton. The air had a stench of musty cigarettes from all the fires and the temperature had dropped to 50 degrees last night and the wind made it a little chilly. We arrived at the lake just after sunrise and were soon fishing. I threw a worm out and immediately caught a perch, which is what I wanted to catch for use of bait. I threw out perch meat on one side of the boat and decided to try a perch spinner first but wasn't getting any hits. In the meantime Ben threw out a buzz bait (which clacks above the water) and right when he pulled the bait out to recast a tiger muskie surfaced chasing after it and giving Ben a good scare. We switched baits and both put on plastic baits. I have never really fished with plastics before but Ben said they are awesome to fish for bass, and who am I to second guess? The guy knows how to fish! Sure enough, soon after we switched, we started catching bass. At one point, Ben had a hit and the bass took his plastic worm; he set up a new one and cast out the same area and caught the same bass. We know this because the worm was still in the bass's mouth...if you look close to the picture you can see it.

The fishing died down so we started trolling around the lake pitching our lures as we went, we caught a few as we went but nothing hot so we kept going. Eventually we got to an area where we could see at least three tiger muskies in the water but couldn't get them to take our bait so we moved on. We got further down the lake and started getting a few more bites when Ben gets a good tug and says "Oh I hope he's a keeper (for fish tacos), wait, it's a muskie!" He brought it in, it got off, and then immediately struck again and Ben made sure the hook set good. We got it in and finally, after trying all year, were able to get Ben a muskie....

That got our adreniline running and we started pitching the same bait (plastic baby brush hogs). We had a few more nibbles but not much, I also caught a few perch on my perch meat. We decided to head back to where the bass fishing was hot and fish along the way. My perch meat pole's drag started going off and at first I thought it was a muskie, but then after it didn't fight and was heavy, I thought it was seaweed. Once it came out of the water, we thought it might be a dead muskie?>>but no, it was just a really old plastic bag...

Then, we noticed a muskie surface in the near distance...

We cruised on over near where it was at and pitched our lures. Ben threw one out that scared it under water; mine was in front of it and I saw the muskie swim past my lure then turn around and slam it. "MUSSSSSSKIIIIIIEEEEEEE!" I yelled, then I hooped and hollered. We got him in and pictures were taken. he measured out to be 32 inches long and felt like a good 8-9 lbs.

After that we went towards the boat ramp and caught a few more bass for fish tacos, we ended up keeping 6 in total...

All in all it was a great day, probably one of the most fulfilling fishing adventures I've been on yet. For another version of the story, see my friends blog here

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I took out Roberto to Newton today after those elusive Tiger Muskies. My plan was to catch a perch with worms and use the perch meat for Muskie bait. The water is really low right now so i took the lesiure to take a few photos of the lay of the lake.

FYI, Anywhere there is white, was under water earlier this year, the lake was completely full.

Well, today I learned a new thing, Yellow perch are cannibals! It shouldn't surprise me I guess; once when I was in scouts, we went ice fishing at Fish Lake. My friend Taylor and I weren't catching anything so I decided to throw in part of a granola bar I was eating and sure enough, a perch! So it shouldn't surprise me to find that after catching a perch and using some of it's meat for bait, that I catch perch with it too.

I caught 4 perch and one bass, but no Muskie, however, there was a man fishing next to me that landed one right as we were packing up. Seeing the fish jump out of the water as it got hooked only invigorated my desire to catch a muskie.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Newton is Hot!

Newton is Hot! (Literally, the thermometer on my car said 104 today). I took Jaquez out to Newton again today and wanted to try a different spot for a chance at bigger fish. I threw my worm out and instantly got a hit...and then it broke, my 20 lb test line snapped just like that...It was a big fish, I know, I know, it's the one that got away...I like to think it was a Tiger Muskie :). After that, I caught a few fish along with this massive bluegill...

Here is a close up on it

For those of you unfamiliar with bluegill, it is a very tasty pan fish. A pan fish defined by Wikipedia is "an edible game fish that usually doesn't outgrow the size of a frying pan". They don't get very big at all, in fact, the state record is 2 lb 7 oz 11 1/2" long and 14 5/8" of girth. I didn't measure it but I know it was bigger than my hand, which is pretty big, and by far the biggest bluegill I've ever seen.

I caught a few more and Jaquez had only one. He kept complaining that we needed to go back to the spot we were at last time because the fishing wasn't fast enough for him. So we went back to the spot (kind of) and found the water has been dropping fast. The place we had been fishing is all but dry now. We fished near the location and it was like old times, not being able to put the poles down due to little fish, though Jaquez did manage to pull up this 13 inch Large Mouth...

Another closeup...

I tried to cast spinner baits with my second pole ( I own a two pole permit) to try and git a muskie, but between getting hits with my worm and helping Jaquez, I didn't get many flicks in.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Newton with the kids

Buoyed by last weeks success at newton with Ben, I took two of ny foster kids out there this week in hopes of giving them some different scenery and species of fish. I took Ricky out on Wednesday and the fishing was hot! We couldn't keep our poles in the water. The only reason we stopped fishing was because we ran out of worms.  We caught lots of bass and yellow perch and Ricky caught a decent blue gill as well. I took Gerard out the next day to the same spot and it was a little slower at first. I caught a few but gerard wasn't catching anything but small bites. I told him it was because he hadn't called them..." here fishy fishy fishy"... i finally convinced him to do it and by miracle, the moment he calls them, he gets a big bite and he was able to land a nice large mouth. It was all he needed because the fishing picked up and once again we only had a few moments to sit down after we cast out before we were catching fish. Nothing big, but sometimes with young kids, quantity is much better than quality.