The Thrill of Victory, The Agony of Defeat


I got out last night after work to do a little Musky hunting. After my pretty successful trip last week with 5 follows, I felt like it was about time to get out and give it another go. My first mistake was leaving the GoPro plugged into my computer. It still holds true that if you don't have a camera, you are definitely going to need one. Upon arriving the lake it was surprised to find it pretty windy after observing how calm it was at home. The wind was pretty heavy at times but as the evening wore on it got less and less. I started off the night by drifting with the wind and casting a large bucktail spinner. About a half hour in, I had my first action of the night. I was bringing the spinner to the boat when I noticed a Musky was following right behind it. I started moving it faster and changed the direction of the lure. This triggered the fish to strike! Unfortunately, I never got a good hook set on it and after a few seconds it came unhooked and swam away. Undeterred, I continued fishing. When I got to the windiest side of the lake, I decided to switch lures and troll back to the calmer side and then drift back with the wind again to cast. I put on two Shallow Raiders and trolled back to the other side of the lake. When I got to the other side of the lake, I pulled one rod from the holder and reeled it in quickly. I hooked the lure to the rod and stowed it away behind me. I pulled the other rod from the holder. I was really just messing around with it while bringing it in. I was ripping it probably 3 to 4 feet at a time and reeling it extremely quickly. When the lure got to the boat, shockingly there was a Musky chasing it! I kept the lure in the water and moved it around frantically trying to keep the fishes attention. I was moving the lure so fast it was practically waking on the surface. After what seemed like an eternity, the fish suddenly surged forward and smashed the lure on the surface right at the boat! It was a take I will never forget. The fight was short lived and I soon had the 30+ inch Musky on the fish grips. I got it up for a quick series of pictures before releasing it. What an adrenaline rush! Success! Being only an hour and a half into my night at this point I decided to continue on and see if I could get another. I began drifting with the wind and casting with the bucktail from earlier. This is where things got crazy. As I was approaching a point, I made a cast. On the retrieve, I could see a MASSIVE fish right behind my lure. It followed all the way to the boat and I began moving the bucktail in a large oval. It gave chase and followed the bucktail around a full oval 3 times. After that it peeled out and was sitting a few feet from the lure watching it intently. I continued moving the lure and suddenly, without warning the fish charged the bucktail and smashed it. The image of this massive fish hitting the lure and my giant hookset will be forever burned into my memory. After that, it was game on as the Musky took one leap before going deep and pulling line from my reel. My heart was pounding and I couldn't believe that I was connected to the biggest freshwater fish of my life! I am using 80 pound braided line and I had the drag down almost as tight as it would go so having a fish take line with this setup was extremely impressive! The fish gave me quite the battle but after a few minutes was looking like it could be landed. I grabbed my fish grips and tightened the strap around my wrist. I pulled the fish close to the boat and reached out with the fish grips. It thrashed and took a small run. I pulled it gently back in again and within moments, my biggest kayak fish ever was on the fish grips! I pulled the fish about halfway out of the water to inspect the hooks and see what I had to do to get this bad boy unhooked. This is when everything went wrong. The fish suddenly began to thrash violently from side to side. It was so powerful that it pulled the fish grips from my hand. I still had the wrist strap on and I thought it would be enough to keep the fish secure. I was wrong. The fish pulled so hard the wrist strap broke from around my wrist and somehow during the thrashing, the fish had also come unhooked. I had barely had a chance to look at my catch of a lifetime and it was swimming away with my fish grips. If you've never seen a grown man cry over losing a fish, yesterday would have been a good opportunity. I have never had my heart broken quite so hard by a fish and it makes me sick thinking about it. Luckily I got the opportunity to see the fish strike, set the hook on it, battle it to the boat and touch it for a brief time. The memory will last a lifetime. Unfortunately for everyone else with my forgotten GoPro, it becomes just another fish story. I have no proof other than the one piece of my fish grip that ended up landing in the kayak. I pains me to know that I don't have a single picture of what is undoubtedly my biggest kayak fish to date. I had one more follow before the end of the night. Regardless, I had one hell of a night of Musky fishing. Needless to say I have a new and better fish grip currently on order and I am really looking forward to getting back out again as soon as possible. As with most things fishing, if you are doing the right things in the right areas, it's not a matter of luck. It's just a matter of time.

Kayaks Used

Predator Series

Prepare yourself for a totally new fishing experience. The Predator will bring you closer to the water and the action with highly customized features that are engineered to meet the needs of avid anglers and weekend warriors, alike. Read More