By C. Meyer (Guest Writer)
On a beautiful fall day my client Charlie Bark and myself mused about what we would catch that day. We would be shorefishing with circle hook rigged suckers and even though Charlie was not too sure of the hooking capability of the “voo-doo hooks” as he called them. I assured him the hooks actually worked very well even though of their strange looks.
As we sat basking in the warm sun Charlie recalled he had been moose hunting a couple weeks ago in Canada and shot a moose with a 46 inch inside spread on the antlers and how neat it would be to catch a musky and mount it above the moose so it would fit between the antlers. We joked a little more and the topic was dropped for another.
About noon one of the rods went off and we piled into the boat. We rowed out from the point we were fishing and down the shoreline. After 20 minutes I told Charlie to start reeling the next time the fish moved directly away from him. “Here we go” Charlie said, crossing his gloved fingers, and Charlie began to slowly reel. Within a few seconds Charlie grunted and headed to the side of the boat. “I think it is gonna pull me in the drink” Charlie exclaimed as he pulled back against the unseen force below. “Keep reeling” I yelled to Charlie, “and don’t give it any slack line”. About this time the line started coming up and the beast broke water to show us who we were dealing with.
I was reaching for the net and did not see the fish jump but all I heard after the splash was Charlie screaming “It’s an alligator”. After a tense couple more minutes and an epic battle of tug of war the muskie slid into the net . . . . success!!!!!
Charlie looked at the fish, then at me and gasped “How big is it?”, I looked at Charlie and said “you should have shot a bigger moose Charlie, this one ain’t gonna fit”. Charlie looked at the fish again and then at me, “Huh” he said, “Not gonna fit?”. As I was lifting the fish out of the net for placement in the livewell for photo preparation I said “Your moose had a 46 inch inside spread . . . . and this fish is a few inches bigger that that”.
Charlie fell into a heap in the boat seat while the cameras were readied. We measured the fish . . . .a whopping 48 inches with a 23 inch girth and in the low 30 pound range, Charlie’s largest muskie. After a few pictures he made the decision to release this behemoth back into the flowage for another angler to enjoy. “I can always get a replica made” Charlie said as the last of her tail disappeared into the depths. “Yea, I said, “but wait until you shoot a bigger moose”.