I've been a bit negligent in writing fishing reports this year, although I have posted a couple videos. When you're not catching, not too sure how interesting the report can be. But there's always a story to tell.
Tuesday was the first time I've been fishing in over a month. Life's exigencies tend to get in the way. But I'd almost always rather be fishing.
The forecast was for a sunny, hot day with light southwesterly winds. My favorite big fish condition anywhere I fish, and especially on the Niagara. My buddy Louis Long joined me in the quest.
We started in the typical big fish haunts around Strawberry Island. What I didn't expect was the number of long floating weeds which made it almost impossible to keep even a single hooked tube free of the green stuff. We worked it anyways, without any success.
After fishing the prime areas we moved to the Motor Island vicinity and encountered more weeds, and then motored up to Frenchman's Creek. The Canadian side was less encumbered by the weeds (a westerly wind would move the weeds away from the shoreline areas). Still no success. Worked our way through the Ship Yards and Beaver Island. Nothing happened. I looked at the cloudless sky and the glaring sun and started to lose confidence, or if not confidence (which can be a musky angler's folly), hope.
As a last resort we proceeded to my beloved trench, which has been the most reliable spot for me for over forty years. Big fish were not common there, but the trench would usually save an unproductive day.
When we started the drift tight to the Canadian shoreline Louis noticed all the big marks on the sonar and suggested that we start the drift farther up river to ensure that we drift over these big fish. Dreams of big carp entered my imagination, and I obliged the advice of my wise friend.
The trench has lush weed growth to a depth of 10 feet along the shore and drops quickly to 25 feet. I keep an eye on the sonar to keep our lures in the 20 to 25 foot depth which have provided us with the most success.
As we drifted along, I felt a hard thump on my line which became slack. That really isn't unusual in this area because the lures tend to grab the bottom and pop out causing the slack line. So I didn't think much about it. Then I felt another hard thump and watched my line again become slack, causing me concern that this may be a fish. I was concerned about the amount of slack and started to reel in as fast as I could.
As I reeled in I began to feel the weight of a fish, and the more line I reeled in the heavier it got. Soon the fish began the head shakes. I continued to reel in. When the fish became visible both I and Louis were a bit startled. It was big, the biggest muskie I've ever seen from the trench! Long and thick, I thought. I even got a bit excited (which is unusual) and actually hopeful (more folly?). Louis readied the net. I began the final approach. The fish jerked her head. The green tube popped free.
What followed was a diatribe of foul and vociferous language unfit for the young and unbecoming of the polite and stoic gentleman I portray to be. I'm embarrassed to admit that it's the closest I've come to a muskie tantrum breakdown in my entire musky fishing career.
But I plead understanding. You see, this has been by far the worst season I've ever had in terms of losing fish. I generally lose about a quarter of the muskies I hook on tubes. I accept that as a reasonable rate in consideration of the frequency of hookups. And even then, most of my losses have been while trying to net bigger fish while fishing alone. I at least get most next to the boat. This year I can't even get them close. I usually lose them about halfway through the battle. And I don't think I'm doing anything different than I did in the past. None-the-less, in the past month I've sharpened all my hooks and re-did my jigging rigs. It apparently didn't help.
Damn, this can be a soul sucking sport.
But there's nowhere I'd rather be.
And isn't this a lot of words for a no fish day?
A great way to start any day is to read a Tony Scime fishing report. He is NMA's Mark Twain.
Oh! I thought it was a formerly unknown adventure of Tom Sawyer that didn't make it to print.
Can we see the edited for TV version of your near musky tantrum? I'm sure your GoPro was rolling...
You know, it might sound like, "mother trucker! You son of a ditch, lousy rock mucker, piece of dirt, ditch rig!!!"
I do have it on the go pro, but it would have to be the silent film version. Not as soft-spoken as my prior verbal aberrations.
Tony nobody captures the spirit of our battles on the Niagara vs muskies as well as you, whether it's by video or the written word. Please keep your stories coming.
Great story Brother not a lot of words for the amount of thought that probably went into before and after that fish or this season. Keep up the good work jojojealous