Figured with season closing it was time to file a report on my 2020 musky season. I haven’t targeted these fish much in the past , the odd cast in the Kawartha’s and a few days 15 yrs ago when I lived up on Quinte was all I really had under my belt.
During these crazy times this year I was glad to have fishing to fall back on as my time to get away from life and unplug .
From spring to fall the past few years I’ve been either playing or coaching baseball and fishing really only picked up for the salmon run and again for the browns and Steelies. Playing indoor softball in the winter kept me busy most weekends , but with baseball being removed from my life ,I was stoked to reconnect with my old friend Mepps . Anyone that knows Clive knows he is passionate about Esox fishing. Our first trip out we met up with another angler and got caught up and as I casted a tube looking for a smallie he started showing me pictures of his last season catches and talking Musky, somewhere in that trip I caught Musky Fever...
I think it was a month later before we got out again. By this point I had bought a Entry level Shimano broomstick (heavy rod) and also Abu Revo Toro Beast and a few lures. I didn’t connect with any fish that trip but man did we have fun .
The next time we went out I finally hooked into a decent Musky, that fish was enough to keep me going all season long.
Our next trip out , I had upgraded the rod and picked up another Abu Revo. I lost 3 fish that day , one that will haunt me to the grave . A massive Niagara Musky that was able to rip line off that Abu reel with the drag buttoned down and looked as mean and as big as I had been dreaming about . Clive turned to get the net and in one beautiful out of the water head shake she spit the lure and swam away. Remember breaking up with your first girlfriend .... It was worst than my teenage heart ache and probably wound up costing me more than my first divorce .
I then entered Musky Maniac mode and out came my addictive personality . I bought a few more rods , another reel and more lures. Swimbaits , glide baits, top water , bucktails. Suicks , grandmas and jakes , my collection was starting to sound like a Hillbilly family reunion .
Fall was quickly approaching and I was frantically preparing to hunt down a 50”
Fall fishing in Ontario and Monster Musky is usually associated with 2 bodies of water , not that other bodies of water don’t have them but in all my research and talking to experienced Musky anglers , LSC and the Larry always came up.
We planned on hitting LSC a few times and if an opportunity came up to fish the Larry we would be on it like white on rice. I was excited for the Musky Factory and the stories of multi fish days and upper class 40 “ fish and those 50”s being caught had my thoughts consumed.
I entered swimbait mode and bought more rubber than the GoodYear plant in Napanee.
I’m lucky being self employed and have some good guys working for me that taking a day off during the week is no issue.
That first trip we got down to LSC and started fishing at 10 pm , a nap in the car and a few stops for food , we would finish fishing at 7pm the next day . This is how our next 5 trips to LSC would look.
We fished through rain storms , snow ,winds, cold temps , warm temps , whatever Mother Nature threw at us , we grinded it out.
Changing spots after minor and major moon phases , cycling through swim baits and throwing everything we got .
Clive caught a few nice fish on our trips . I acquired the stench of skunk on me that still hasn’t washed off and achieved Master level status as a Net Man.
I think I can safely say I put in 80 plus hours fishing LSC and all I caught was other peoples lost tackle ,bait and on our last trip the most albino walleye I’ve ever seen hit my 10” Poseidon . That fish would be my only fish from LSC and a musky has not been on the end of my line since Sept 7th.
I met a lot of great guys out fishing on LSC , the vibe amongst most Musky anglers is great and other than one mishap ( Clive’s story to share ) we had a great time each and every trip. Visiting pet stores that sell Musky gear, buying lures being locally made and visiting towns I’ve never seen.
I thought maybe this drought would have discouraged me, maybe made me think about sticking to the fishing I’m more experienced with . At one point Clive offered to buy all my gear for .50 cents on the dollar and for a spilt second I entertained it .
I would be lying if I said it didn’t get into my head , every trip home analyzing everything I was doing , spending hours on YouTube watching videos, listening to Musky podcasts while at work and every trip down to LSC determined to catch a beast , only to repeat the process over again .
Mama didn’t raise no quitter and if anything it has fuelled me to spend more time chasing Musky come June 2021.
The gear is still piling up , the tackle boxes getting bigger(those special mate 13” sure are sweet) and come June I hope to start putting more fish in the basket than I did this year ... I don’t think it’s going to be hard to beat but then again I can still smell the skunk as I sit typing this out .
I’ll be out this winter doing the usual trout fishing but you better believe all I’m dreaming about is the day I land that 50”!