The story of Two Whales

Brian Clark

Captain Chaos musky guide service

The tale of 2 Whales

Chautauqua Lake is known world-wide for being an outstanding musky fishery. It has one of
the highest population densities across the musky range, but isn’t exactly known for having
giants. To land a 50 inch class fish is truly an accomplishment anywhere, but to land a 50 incher
in Chautauqua is a little extra special.
Summer of 2021 was truly a special year for the casters. The status of the weeds was
incredible, the colder than normal water temps kept fish shallow, the constant frontal activity
kept driving even more fish shallow, and the lack of musky pressure (by casters) made summer
2021 special. I was truly spoiled for 3 months where 7-8 bites per day became the norm.
Starting in mid-September, things started slowing down a bit and fishing became more
“normal”. 3-4 bites per day was now the trend and it honestly started to frustrate me. Like I
said, I was so spoiled for so long.

On September 24 th , I was guiding client Mark Smith to his first ever day musky fishing. I
asked Mark if he wanted me to cast alongside him that way we could have 2 presentations in
the water and hopefully find today’s pattern a little quicker. Mark and I started the day both
throwing baits by Go To Bait Co. On our very first spot, about 45 minutes into the day I feel the
slightest little “tick” while snapping a Trident. The instant I laid into this fish, I knew I had
hooked a tank. The fish measured 51 inches and the day was off to a terrific start. Being a first
timer, Mark was a little unsure of what he was seeing, not knowing how special and rare a fish
of that caliber was. The day ended with 3 in the net and several other missed opportunities.
Overall, a great day.

The week following that 51 with Mark got TOUGH! Terrible “musky weather” moved in
and I took back to back skunks with next to zero action. Before the double skunk, my previous
day where we landed zero fish was back in June, so obviously I went into panic mode. “Do I
switch lakes” “Do I try trolling” “Do I switch to night fishing” were all questions I started asking

On October 2 nd , clients Jason Goode and Tim Connors made the 8.5 hour drive from
Massachusetts to try and land their “bucket list” muskies. Upon arrival, I warned the boys that
we were going to have to really grind it out and hope for some luck if they were going to get
their fish. As predicted, day 1 was a grind and ended with zero bites. This is now 3 days in a

row without landing a fish. All day long we battled awful musky weather and dealt with bass
boats “spot locked” on every one of my hottest waypoints. Day 1 did end with some hope
however, having 5 follows late in the day during a 45 minute “lowlight” window throwing
smaller bladed baits.

Day 2 brought us some hope! Upon arriving at the launch, there was not a single trailer
in the parking lot, there was a steady drizzle and about 5 mph of southerly winds. Every musky
hunters dream conditions. Five minutes into our first spot I noticed that today was going to be
a little different. The amount of baitfish that had slid into the shallows was incredible, and I
knew that would draw some big open water fish in there also.
Spot 2 of the day and we finally landed a fish! I’ve never been more excited for a
38incher in my life than this one. I was terrified of sending the boys back to New England
without a musky. Jason landed his first ever musky and the monkey was lifted off both our

Fast forward a few hours and a couple drifts later and we’re still stuck on that 1 fish. At
this point, I’m starting to get nervous that Tim would not land a musky and would have to listen
to Jason brag about his catch for the 8.5 hour car ride home. It’s now 2:00 pm, we just got
through a minor with no action and I decided to head to a spot that we had left alone the day
before. Knowing that we were running out of time, I decided to “shorten” up our drifts, and
only concentrate the best 150 yards of each spot. Thank god it wasn’t 145 yards, or I wouldn’t
be here telling this story.

As we pull up to the spot, I kill the big motor and grab a Nutbuster Jr by Llungen lures
and handed it to Tim. I then proceed for the electric motor and just as I start lowering it I hear
Tim yell, “Fish! Fish!” I looked back and saw his rod was doubled over, but at the time, I
sincerely thought Tim was joking around. I literally handed him that lure 10 seconds earlier.
Twenty seconds into the fight, and we still haven’t seen the fish. Combine that with the
size of the headshakes on the rod, the way the line sliced through the water, I knew Tim had
hooked a giant. After an entire loop around the boat, the giant finally found its way into the
net. As we laid the giant onto the bump board I saw the tail was well over the 50” line when
she started gator rolling. In my attempt to minimize the stress on the fish, I grabbed her as
quickly as I could and stupidly measured her with the belly to the back edge, thus potentially
losing a half inch. Regardless, she still measured out at 51.5”, an absolute whale for a
Chautauqua fish! Tim’s first musky was a true giant, for any lake’s standards. A fish I’ll never


Gregg Thomas

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