The Catch with Jeff Van Remortel
There are very few things more special in musky fishing than catching a first musky or beating a personal best. Helping customers achieve those goals is what I live for, but at this point in my career, it is rare that I break a personal best myself. This past Summer, I was fortunate enough to do exactly that with my longtime customers/friends Randy and Brad.
We were working a milk run where my group caught/raised several fish the day prior, when I raised a mid 50 inch caliber fish about an hour before the start of Moon. She came in semi-hot behind a Marvin, but she wasn’t ready to eat. I dropped a waypoint hoping we could change her mind when the window opened.
We finished our pass just as the Major was beginning, talking about how big that fish was and discussing the super giant Randy had lost earlier in the day. That fish crushed his bait at the end of a bomb cast and Randy fought it nearly to the boat where it made a power run, pinning him to the rail and throwing the hook.
As we approached the waypoint during our next pass, I told Randy and Brad where I thought she was and we began to work the spot. They were both throwing blades which had been the hot ticket, and I was throwing rubber batting clean-up.
About 10 casts after we arrived at the waypoint, I saw a very large shadow in my side image as I began my boatside maneuver. I made a full extension to my left out and away from the boat to pull her out of the blinding sun glare so I could gauge her behavior. She was on fire and her nose was almost buried in the tails of my X-toad! I brought her around the first turn and then through the straightaway, quickly popping the bait almost to the point where it would blow out, hoping to keep her from eating until the next turn where I could set the trap. She stayed with it perfectly, waiting for a hesitation in the retrieve to strike.
When I reached the turn, I gave the bait a double snap upward and away from the boat, letting the bait hang for what felt like an eternity. She followed the script perfectly. Her massive mouth opened and the X-toad completely disappeared. I drove the hooks home and we all watched as she erupted at our feet.
After two power runs and a brief but intense battle, Randy netted one of the most satisfying catches of my career. Thick as a brick, 54″ long and a picture perfect boatside eat. The stuff musky fishing dreams are made of.
To get a trip with Jeff click here on https://wisconsinmuskyfishingguide.com
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