Recently,I had the pleasure of sharing my Crestliner with long-time friend and fellow Shimano/Loomis Field Staffer, Wally Robins. We have an interesting relationship with the Ottawa River and its’ muskies. We hunt big fish together and rarely do we have big numbers days. We have also chalked up our fair share of what Wally calls “dry net” days. But in the seven years we’ve fished together our track record on giant fish is pretty darn impressive.
Over the years we’ve also named or renamed many of the spots we fish. Dolly’s, Clapton’s, Stonehenge, Hiawatha Bay, Weird Headed Eagle are a few. There are also a couple of other names that aren’t appropriate to share.
Based on an exciting and unbelievable few seconds we’ve named another. Here’s what happened.
We had fished for 5 hours in the morning in weather conditions that every serious musky angler dreams about and prays for. The barometer was falling. The skies were low and grey and spitting drops of rain. There was a slight but manageable chop on the water. A storm was approaching. Every musky book ever written says that these conditions are optimum for multiple fish and big fish. We contacted exactly zero fish. No follows, no strikes, no nothing. This, by the way, is further proof that muskies have their own book and they’ll never let us read it.
After an afternoon break, we regrouped and started over. Conditions had changed to high skies and soul crushing heat. We decided to hit a large shallow bay with lots of weed growth, an area I’ve fished for years but had yet to name.
Ten minutes in I hear Wally say “Fish John. No rush. It’s not big, maybe low 40s” and based on rod bend and the absence of big head shakes, this was a solid assumption. The fish jumped. We both saw it and upped the guestimate to mid-40s. Fast forward 20 seconds. The fish is boat side and jumps wildly again. Wally’s bait goes sailing towards Montreal….and the fish falls to the water. I stabbed at it as it landed and managed to get her to at least land on the hoop portion of the net. Her weight and the off balance position I am in meant the net sunk deep into the water and out of sight. For a split second I was pretty sure we didn’t have the fish. Post incident conversation revealed that Wally thought she got away too. Fortune smiled on us as I raised the net back to the surface and there she was in all her glory.
We look at her. “Probably 46, maybe 47” we agree. But when trying to lift her out of the net for her photo-op we discover that she’s a pig. Bump board said 50 1/2 inches. No question she was over 30 pounds. After another classic bass guitar pose by Wally, she swam off to wonder what the hell had just happened
I’ve netted air-borne muskies before. But never a 50. It’s unlikely I ever will again.
Wally and I are huge baseball fans. Logically, we named the area Kevin Pillar Bay. For you non-baseball types, Kevin Pillar is the Blue Jays center fielder who makes circus catches every week, ones that leave you speechless. Now I know what it feels like.
I am proud to be the net man for the guru and he has boated 50-inch muskies in my Crestliner Raptor six out of the last seven years. Not bad eh……..
John M. Anderson
We produce BIG fish!!
be good, do good, live well
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