Jump to content

Huge surprise this morning fishing walleyes.


Kevin J Legg

Recommended Posts


I got an early start this morning on the SLR. Was on the water by 2:45. I was trolling solo with two longlines on 7’ ugly stick spinning rods in rod holders with Bandit deep divers and a heavy bottom bouncer on a third rod in my hand. It was now 4:00 AM!
While trolling in 24 fow I saw a longline come tight in the rod holder. while reeling in the bottom bouncer I headed out to deep water with the fish on the rod in rod holder. I then stopped the motor and began drifting down river. After grabbing the rod I knew it was a big fish. My first thought was a trophy walleye but it felt very heavy so next thought was a huge catfish.
It went deep and I really just felt weight but then it turned and made a powerful run toward shallower water taking lots of drag. It made a move up river and I followed it around the back of the boat and then it really made a couple big fast runs and I was nervous it might cut me off on the shoal. There was no controlling it at this time and I basically just hung on as it took drag. Next it came out of the water and I knew it was a big muskie! It jumped a second time and fortunately then moved back to deeper water.
It now seemed to be tiring and I slowly began gaining line. I was still drifting down river and now in deep water with no obstructions to deal with. It move toward the surface and I finally spotted it with my headlight. I easily lead it in and tried to slide her into my big salmon net but she wouldn’t fit. I had her head and about 2/3 of her body in the net but could get her tail in and hook was hung in the net. I tried lifting her tail into the net but still could fold it in. I decided I would have to to get my fingers under the gill plate and succeeded but it flopped and put a hook in my hand. Fortunately it didn’t go deep and came out when I dropped the fish and net. Now the fish and net were in the water but still attached to my line. Fortunately I was able to regain a hold on the net handle and by now was concerned with releasing the fish. I decided to try to get the hooks out without putting her in the boat. Fortunately I was successful but her gill plates were still tangled in the net. Finally I was able to free them and she swam off well.
 I have caught some big salmon and carp but this fish dwarfed them. As I have zero experience with big muskies My estimate would simply be a guess but I have a 38” ruler on the side of my boat and it was much bigger than that. If I were to make a guess I would say 50” or more. I know her head had to be 8” wide and she was thick all the way to the tail.
Wish I could show a photo but it wasn’t to be as I wanted her back in the water safely. I’ve been fishing the river for 45 years and this was definitely the fish of my lifetime.
 
Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app


  • Like 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Such an amazing tale. You deserve it. And she is still swimming had to be 25+ year old lady. Congrats it must have been nice to meet her.


Sent from my iPad using Lake Ontario United

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I got an early start this morning on the SLR. Was on the water by 2:45. I was trolling solo with two longlines on 7’ ugly stick spinning rods in rod holders with Bandit deep divers and a heavy bottom bouncer on a third rod in my hand. It was now 4:00 AM!
While trolling in 24 fow I saw a longline come tight in the rod holder. while reeling in the bottom bouncer I headed out to deep water with the fish on the rod in rod holder. I then stopped the motor and began drifting down river. After grabbing the rod I knew it was a big fish. My first thought was a trophy walleye but it felt very heavy so next thought was a huge catfish.
It went deep and I really just felt weight but then it turned and made a powerful run toward shallower water taking lots of drag. It made a move up river and I followed it around the back of the boat and then it really made a couple big fast runs and I was nervous it might cut me off on the shoal. There was no controlling it at this time and I basically just hung on as it took drag. Next it came out of the water and I knew it was a big muskie! It jumped a second time and fortunately then moved back to deeper water.
It now seemed to be tiring and I slowly began gaining line. I was still drifting down river and now in deep water with no obstructions to deal with. It move toward the surface and I finally spotted it with my headlight. I easily lead it in and tried to slide her into my big salmon net but she wouldn’t fit. I had her head and about 2/3 of her body in the net but could get her tail in and hook was hung in the net. I tried lifting her tail into the net but still could fold it in. I decided I would have to to get my fingers under the gill plate and succeeded but it flopped and put a hook in my hand. Fortunately it didn’t go deep and came out when I dropped the fish and net. Now the fish and net were in the water but still attached to my line. Fortunately I was able to regain a hold on the net handle and by now was concerned with releasing the fish. I decided to try to get the hooks out without putting her in the boat. Fortunately I was successful but her gill plates were still tangled in the net. Finally I was able to free them and she swam off well.
 I have caught some big salmon and carp but this fish dwarfed them. As I have zero experience with big muskies My estimate would simply be a guess but I have a 38” ruler on the side of my boat and it was much bigger than that. If I were to make a guess I would say 50” or more. I know her head had to be 8” wide and she was thick all the way to the tail.
Wish I could show a photo but it wasn’t to be as I wanted her back in the water safely. I’ve been fishing the river for 45 years and this was definitely the fish of my lifetime.
 
Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

Bought some bolt cutters to have in the boat as I had a scare with brief hook in my finger trying to get muskie in the boat. I had that happen once with a 36” pike and it wasn’t fun.would be a disaster with a Muskie.


IMG_2814.JPG.5d289eb9ceb1d9ba589155dfb53616d4.JPG



Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That had too be a real adrenaline rush at 4 am for sure. Not something I want to tangle with alone and in the dark. Congrats on getting  a true Larry trophy boat side. How many eyes did you boat?

Actually I got skunked on eyes but did hit a couple bass. Perhaps muskiies are feeding on eyes.


Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kevin's story has some interesting parallels / themes with the Hemingway classic "The Old Man and the Sea". 

A man, alone in his boat, fighting an epic battle against a giant (Marlin) Musky... hands bloodied he lands the fish... on his terms.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Old-Man-and-the-Sea-novel-by-Hemingway

 

Awesome!

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You deserved that experience.  Thanks for sharing and for prioritizing the well being of the muskie over getting a picture. 

 

Not all fishermen would have been so sportsmanlike.

 

Just curious, what kind of lure did she hit?

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kevin,
Very exciting!!! Congrats on a great catch and prioritizing it’s successful release. Muskie are such a precious asset to our fishery and vulnerable in the summer months as surface temps rise. I keep nipps and bolt cutters in the boat for just such an occasion. I am pleased to hear the muskie released u safely, as well. Kno less fortunate anglers who have lost fingers tangling with big fish in nets. Thank you for being a fine steward of our river and sharing this wonderful experience. Tight lines.

Esox

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i understand that it was 4:00 am and still dark but the picture in my mind that i cant get out is the monster breaking water. a kodak moment for sure, but sometimes a camera just isn't in reach. congrats on the fish of a lifetime.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Kevin , that is awesome.  I"ve caught quite a few Muskies by bottom bouncing walleye colored 8" Swimm Whizz's in that area.  At night always add's to the expieriance !  I'm glad you had a big net !!  Krimpix Hook Cutters are pretty handy to have too.   Great fish 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kevin , that is awesome.  I"ve caught quite a few Muskies by bottom bouncing walleye colored 8" Swimm Whizz's in that area.  At night always add's to the expieriance !  I'm glad you had a big net !!  Krimpix Hook Cutters are pretty handy to have too.   Great fish 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...