More Solo Fishing

I had originally requested this past weekend off, thinking Matt and I were headed down to bowfish for Asian carp on the Illinois river back by home. Turns out, Matt forgot he had work to do both Saturday and Sunday. So I had the three days originally requested, plus two more. That was a lot of days to fill.

Friday, I volunteered to drive to Racine and pick up the new gas tank for the ditch boat. We gave up on the old one, given that the sealing kit barely covered half of it. We got a new, plastic one for under $200. Shipping would have been almost as much as the tank itself, so I drove down for the day. After wedging the tank into the VW, I headed to the river there to fish. I went to the Steelhead facility, where Matt and I had been fishing before. Everyone I asked said there was little trout activity, and I wasn’t surprised- the water was pretty warm. So I cast for bass and whatever else might bite. I did find some bass. But there was a surprise in store for me.

Little bass

Little bass

SAMSUNG

Little bass

Little bass

Whoa, hang on a minute.

Whoa, hang on a minute.

Yup. A 6 1/2 muskie fingerling

Yup. A 6 1/2 muskie fingerling

My first muskie was about as big around as my index finger. Though, at this point, I think I have cast for one a few thousand times. Maybe my next one can be a little bit bigger. I released him & told him to go get bigger.

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9 thoughts on “More Solo Fishing

    • I caught my first pike back in January- it was 24 inches, just one shy of the limit. I’ve seen huge muskie in the lakes around us, and a record-sized one washed up on a beach on Lake Michigan not too long ago. They’re interesting to fish for, if you’re using live bait, they’ll take it and swim away, and just sort of “suck on it”. You have to gently reel till you feel a little weight, and then set the hook. They strike lures pretty hard though. Just muskie lures are usually $20+ a pop. If you go fishing for them, I recommend going with somebody who has the stuff, otherwise they’re expensive.

  1. Good for you. The lake I fish, Pike are common and Muskie are huge. Actually saw one take a seagull that was sitting in the water. Had to be almost 4 foot. Keep fishin!

    • I’ve seen pike take ducklings, and the muskie we’ve seen in the water at night have been the size of logs. But to keep one on Mendota or Monona, they have to be 47 inches or bigger.

  2. The closest we have to Muskie are Chain pickerel. They’re fun to catch because they put up a good fight but those teeth intimidate me. If it’s bigger than my hand will fit around, which is often, I have to use the pliers.

    • We get pike, which I think are essentially pickerel, and muskie. They’re both in the same family and can interbreed. Except this guy, I’ve always used pliers to unhook them. I saw one bite the boyfriend while ice fishing & they are definitely very sharp.

  3. A great fish plier is the Fish Grippers. They float and have wide surface area that doesn’t harm the fish. $15 from yak-gear.com. Shipping is $1. Or used to be. Side note all of the long predators should not be held vertically. It causes blood to rush out of the head and displaces the internal organs. I love my grippers!

    • Follow up Amber looking at your musky pic, I’m leaning toward it being a Tiger Muskie. A cross of the Pike and musky. Google the Esox family. Pike and pickerel. But not the same. Musky are of the Pike family but fall in the Esocids or Esox as pike and pickerel. Google pics of Musky and Tiger musky and you might see what I’m thinking. Of course there could be some regional differences in coloring.

      I meant to simply say, to keep a Musky in NY it must be 30″ and one per day.
      Apologies if I sound like a know it all. I’m just inquisitive. Tell Matt to hurry! I wanna see “the ditch witch” under power. Lol

      • We have tiger muskie here, but they’re really rare. This one could have been, but his markings might spread out to the tiger pattern as he grows up. I think we can only keep one per day, and the size limit varies with what lake you’re on- all 15,704 of them- For example, Madison’s biggest lake, Mendota, they have to be 47 inches to keep. Monona, the next one south, is 40, and the next one south from that, Waubesa is, I believe 38. Other lakes where there are more fish and fewer people, they can be a little smaller, but I’m fairly certain they almost always have to be over 3 feet.

        For the ditch boat- we went through the old console and control panel and labelled wires & cleaned it up. Since Matt’s got the floor of the boat in now, we have to start wiring, and we’re prepping to get the engine going.

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