Hey peoples - Kyle here. I don't usually update the blog, but I have some news that motivated me to whup up a post. Ice fishing is one of my favorites pastimes, and the fishing this winter has been terrific! I've caught enough perch and walleye to provide several yummy fish suppers for us.
On Wednesday (12/23) I took the day off work to fish all day. I got out to Pike Bay at about 9:15, and set up camp on one of my favorite spots, going after perch and walleyes in about 22 feet of water. I caught a half-dozen real nice perch right off the bat, then they quit biting completely for a couple minutes.
I reeled up to make sure the minnow was still on my perch-color Jigging Rapala, then sent it back down. After a couple quick jigs, something hit the lure, and hit it hard! I immediately thought it was a northern pike, since there are some good sized pike in that lake. I had only 6-pound line on my medium-light action ice rod, so I knew I had to be careful.
I loosened the drag and let the fish run. WOW did it run! It was peeling line off like crazy, and after about 5-6 minutes, I was running out of line on the reel. I tightened the drag just a touch, and started pulling back as hard as I dared with the light line I had. Luckily the fish was starting to tire a little bit, and after about 5 more minutes (and several more powerful runs), I was able to get the fish up far enough that I could see the outline of the through the ice.
I almost wet myself.
It was BY FAR the biggest fish I had ever hooked, and probably the biggest fish I had ever seen with my own eyes. Now that I had seen the size, I really got nervous, because I knew how hard it was going to be to get it up through the ice.
After several minutes more, I finally got the fish up under the hole, and saw that it was in fact a trophy muskie, but there was a problem: the lure was in the back corner of its mouth, so when I lifted the rod, the fish just rolled instead of coming up into the hole! I put a glove on my left hand and reached down through the 14" of ice to try to grab a gill cover and hoist it up.
Of course as soon as I touched the fish, it was off on another run, taking several yards of line (again) and going out of sight.
We repeated this dance four more times, until I was finally able to completely exhaust the monster, reach down, and lift it up through the ice. I flopped it down on the ice, and nearly screamed! It was a monster muskie, and I grabbed my measuring tape and measured it at 50 -1/4" - a trophy by any standard.
I grabbed my cell phone to take a picture, buy my phone had got so wet that the pics looked like those blurry alleged Bigfoot pictures that nutters send to the National Enquirer. I was NOT going to let this fish go without photographic evidence, or nobody would have believed me, so I sprinted over to a nearby fish house, and banged on the door. The guy who answered was a business partner of a friend of mine, and he had a camera in his car. He was kind enough to come over to my portable, and take a few nice pics for me.