The Twelve Days of Muskies Day 8 – Rookies Abound

I love giving people a proper introduction to muskies and musky fishing. Firstly there is a tremendous learning curve in musky fishing; it isn’t referred to as the fish of a thousand casts for nothing. Much more important than that is teaching people proper handling and release techniques because our fish live to 30 years old. Despite being the biggest, baddest, fastest fish in freshwater in North America, muskies produce stress faster than any other fish and because they are rare it is of paramount importance that every single fish goes back healthy. This fish more than any other deserves to be treated with complete respect and even reverence.

Not that long ago I was a bit of an athlete. Ok, maybe it was that long ago. I was decorated in two sports at the University of Guelph and had dreams of playing basketball too but alas you have to commit some time to study or they kick you out. My high school basketball coach and current 71-year old gym partner, Ken Stunell, has been a big influence in my life. He is the reason I am a musky guide. We went to the Eastern Ontario basketball finals every year and our fiercest rival was always Bell. Chris Johnson was their guard and is not only one of the best athletes I ever played against (went on to and NCAA Div 1 scholarship and then became a Canadian University all-star) and we always got to cover each other. He was not only good but he is one of the nicest guys I ever had the pleasure of competing against. When there was a call to raise some money to help Chris when he was diagnosed with ALS last spring Ken and I stepped in to raffle a charter off on his behalf. Mark and Lane Patterson from the famous Patterson golf family purchased it.

We headed out for their first ever try at musky fishing. The first couple of hours involved a lot of learning to cast and an appreciated for how much work it can be. My students were good and we got better and better as the day went on. Despite only one small musky through the first nine hours on the water it they kept working hard. And then came one of the most magical 30 minute stretches of the season. Back to back to back trophies as the sun went down. It was 30 minutes that none of us will forget and it couldn’t have happened to two nicer guys. And don’t worry Lane, I won’t tell anyone that you skipped school just to go fishing.

Next up is Kat with another nice fish along with papa George and brother Iggy. The Alaska Wood gang always get their fish and I think I may have even more fun when they come out than they do. I also threw in a pic that I missed earlier of Kat and her trophy again just for good measure. Seems the musky guys like seeing Kat with muskies and you can find her as well.

The rest of the pics are all people with their first muskies from this past September. Smiles abound and memories that will last forever were made. Thank you Maureen, Mel, Uncle Mike, Steve Takash, and my long time friends Andy Shanks and Steve Sangster. Mike Northcote – I couldn’t get anyone to drink the six pack of 50 you left me but I will save it for you until next year. Even if it goes skunky you won’t be able to tell. It is a great name for a musky beer but that’s all. Don’t drink 50s, catch them.


John M. Anderson
We produce BIG fish!!

be good, do good, live well

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