Dinging of the 40lber Bell

Well… I was hoping to write this about myself, but my dad beat me to the punch. After a week of fishing in one of the most grueling places for musky, my dad finally caught a 53" and 40lb+ musky.

This is no ordinary tale of tall feats… this tale is an epic story. One for the books, as my father is no ordinary man. My dad has been fishing his whole life, nothing too competitive in the beginning, but in 1989 our family made our first trip out to Mactier, Ontario… well, just past there. I don’t think anyone would necessarily stay in Mactier. ;o)

Georgian Bay, home of the Moon River Basin, more specifically the best place on earth… Blackstone Harbour. My dad has been chasing the larger Esox for the better part of the last two decades. Ruthlessly! There are week trips and weekend trips, come rain or shine, my dad is out there from the late morning until dark thirty. He is not alone in this venture, as there are plenty of other guys who take up the challenge of Georgian Bay. It is possibly one of the hardest places in the world to fish for musky, but it also holds the largest potential for coughing up another World Record Queenie.

I just recently started musky fishing, for two reasons. The first being that I now live in an area that I can fish more often, as California, well… that’s all I’m going to say. The second reason being I have a few buddies that musky fish, then add my dad’s enthusiasm for the Esox made me a little more curious to see why these guys fished so hard to catch da Esox.

This fish is truly the fish of a thousand casts… as I thought my shoulder was going to fall off during my 3rd day casting for 9-10 hours straight. Not to mention these baits are not the easiest to pull through the water, and I’m sticking to the ‘easy’ baits that don’t require pulling, twitching, or any added movement other than cast and reel.

So, back to my dad, he has seen tons of musky up in the Moon. As have many other people, most notorious in the Moon is the Ken O’Brien fish, which is the Canadian Record Musky weighing in at 65lbs, 58” and a whopping 30.5” girth.

My dad and his buddies have named several of the fish that they’ve seen, and one infamous fish is called “Two-boots” because the head of this fish (looking down on its head) is as wide as two men’s boots next to one another. The only thing that keeps these guys coming back to the Moon year after year is the opportunity to catch one of these ladies, and after I had the opportunity to fish with my dad and some of my buddies… I now know why. I’m hooked, so to speak!

My first follow was my first time musky fishing with my dad, in my favourite place of course. It was a nice, sunny day out with several clouds in the sky. I remember it was pretty warm out and the water was crystal clear. I was tossing a boo-tail, cast and reel, nice and simple. There it was, a pretty little lady following my lure… but as an inexperienced musky fisher I got really excited and jerked my bait funny. The musky was gone, but I was stoked.

My second follow was up in the great Nord, Lake X2, I was fishing with a buddy and we were in a lake that produced quite a few nice beauts. We were out on the water for about 20 or so minutes before our first strike, which I’m completely not used to having a fish strike so quickly because I’ve fished the Moon and it takes a few trips usually before you see a fish, let alone a strike. This fish was no small musky either, she was roughly 40lbs, and she has been haunting my buddy for some time now. She is still eluding the lures that drop in LakeX2, as of late!

Then it was my turn… I have begun to practice PMA. Positive Musky Attitude, this helps when you’ve been fishing all day long and haven’t gotten a bite. The next cast could be the one, and it was. I tossed my boo-tail out there and thought, ‘I’ll get her now.’ I had quit paying attention to my bait and watched my buddy tryout a new bait, and when I looked back at my bait… dere she was. I let out a little, “OOOOooo.” Again, inexperienced and completely stoked to see such a large esox stalking my bait, and ended up pulling my bait out of the water because I’ve never had a musky follow to the boat. My buddy yelled, “Put your lure in the water!” As he threw his down and started ovaling, so I did the same. That hog followed his lure, and then mine before she took off.

I was shaking… I’m such a Terd! So, naturally… all I could think about for the rest of that day was that fish, which my buddy said was in the mid 30lb range.

So, when I head out to the Moon there was one thing that I wanted to do correctly. Keep my lure in the water if I get a follow, in particular, near the boat! The second day I was out on the water with my dad, I did just that. We had fished about half the day, and we got to an area that didn’t look too promising… to me anyways. My dad was all giddy about the structure in the water that we were going over, but all I wanted to do was go fish Blackstone. I have a bias, I love that place.

I’m casting and reeling, and then I see it. ‘I have a follow.’ I said calmly. That was my goal, “Cool, Calm, and Collected.” I reeled the bait without making odd movements and then started my oval next to the boat, the fish followed… but I was going slow as hell because I was trying so hard to stay calm. My dad yelled, “Faster! An oval, Katie, not a figure 8!” I about smacked the musky on the snout because I was trying to do what my dad had told me! It was really exciting, and the fish was a decent size. Nothing huge.

And I’m damn proud that I kept the bait in the water!

So, again… the hooks have been set deeper in me to continue tracking this lovely Queenie. And for my dad, I bugged him the 2.5 days I fished with him to head over to Blackstone, but we’d only go over there right before night hit, or after it was a little dark. I was annoyed because I really wanted to fish several different structures that I had scoped out while camping there.

So what does my dad do? Catches his 53” 40lber+ in Blackstone! And does he do it casting? Nooooo, jigging. This technique is a lot less straining on your shoulders!

After about 17yrs fishing at the Moon, my dad finally catches his lovely Queen. There are still others that are out there that are larger than his Queen, but for someone who has been fishing so hard, it all has finally paid off.

Accomplishment through Hard Work… that is one thing my dad has always told me, and he’s right. It paid off for him! Congrats Dad, can’t wait to hear the story you write up!

“In The Event That You Get A Bite, I Want You To Hit Me As Hard As You Can… Knock Me Over… I Want Those Hooks Set!”

Dinging of the 40lber Bell

Ever So Kate

Joined December 2007

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Artist's Description

Based on true stories.

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