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Hey all, the date has been set for Fishing for Tyler, it will be held on Sat Feb 21 at Innisfil Beach Park as usual. The parking fees have been waived for the day. I am sure more details will be forthcoming shortly, and I am sure this year will be just a good if not better than before Maureen
Earlier this year, as part of the Fishing for Tyler charity auction Mike Rousseau was kind enough to offer up a guided day of muskie fishing on the St. Lawrence river. Andrew was lucky enough to end up with the trip, and chose me as his lucky sidekick to join! Having fished a tough closing day there with Mike a few years ago, I was pumped to give the Larry another shot. As many of you know, a few weeks ago Andrew and I had a great three day adventure to LOTW, and together landed nine muskies on that trip. Three were beasts, a 48.5", 49.5" and my first fifty incher ever - a tank of a 51". I had been hunting for that first fifty for ten years... my hopes were high that the St. Lawrence might cough up my second! Andrew is also hunting for his second, although his first was a 55" from LOTW that will likely be a very tough PB to beat... for a while anyway... 48.5" 49.5" 51" Day One Mike was fishing in a walleye tourney on the Saturday, and invited us up to join him afterwards at the weigh in. It was a tough bite, but Mike and his brother placed second in the tournament - congrats were in order! We arrived just as things were wrapping up, dropped off our gear at his cottage and headed out for a few hours of bonus evening fishing. The plan was to cover lots of water and troll for the majority of the time. I chose the rod on the left, Andrew had the one on the right for first bite. It didn't take too long before my rod went off - a decent little pike to break the ice. We continued on trolling until dusk, and just before heading in Mike arrived at a spot that he knew might be good for casting. On my third cast my rod buckled, and I set the hooks into a fish. I knew immediately that it was a really big one. She stayed down deep, and battled me with massive headshakes followed by line peeling runs. I eventually got a glimpse of her quite a ways out, as she thrashed down deep. Huge flashes of gold let me know that this was a monster. "It's a fifty boys!!!" I grunted as the battle continued. As I fought her closer to the boat, and got my first real look at her, the adrenaline flowed even faster. I yelled "Holy... she might go 55"!!!" This was surely the longest muskie I had ever had at the end of my line. She finally tired just enough that Mike got the net under her and the battle was won. Some whooping and hollering ensued, and I could not believe what had just happened. Third cast. Just ridiculous. One of if not the best fight I have ever experienced. I hauled her out of the net, and Andrew began snapping pictures. She taped out at 53.5" long with a 22" girth. My LOTW beauty was heavier, but she was my new PB for length. Reviving her took a bit which was not surprising after that lengthy battle, but she swam away strong. She tailed along the surface for quite a while, and we stayed with her for a good half hour until she powered down to the depths. We resumed casting for the remaining shreds of daylight without any further action, then headed in for some well deserved celebratory refreshments. Day Two After a good sleep in Mike's cabin, and our bellies full of Timmies, we headed out on Sunday morning. We primarily trolled again, stopping occasionally to cast high percentage spots. At the same area where I got the big girl the night before, Andrew raised a good fish which roared towards the boat chasing his lure, her large snout only inches behind. He swung smoothly into a figure 8, and on the first turn she smashed it - but was just skin hooked, and the hooks immediately popped free on the first headshake. She was a mid 40's fish and pretty thick too. Excited at seeing a good fish already, we carried on and not long afterwards, one of the trolling rods loaded up and peeled drag. Mike popped it out of the Salty, handed it to Andrew and the battle was on. Very similar to my fish, this one stayed deep, and fought very hard. Andrew played her perfectly, and she made it into the net. It was another nice fish, 46" and solid, and also happened to be tagged. We took pics, recorded the numbers from the tag and released her - I managed to take a cool underwater video of the release and took a few stills out of it. At Mike's request, the very obvious background has been covered to protect this area. Battle shot In the net Mike raised one more fish casting, but that was it for the day. Our mission had been accomplished - Andrew and I had each hoped to land a fish from the Larry, and I was lucky enough to land a giant and set a new PB. 53.5" is going to be a challenge to top, but I am certainly up for it! The St. Lawrence is a great fishery, and Mike is a knowledgeable and very personable guide who goes that extra mile to put you on big fish. Every time out is a genuine chance at the fish of a lifetime. Andrew and I will be heading back there in the not too distant future to hunt for more giants! Thanks again to Mike for his generosity in putting up this trip, and to Andrew for bringing me along. Thanks for reading! Pete & Andrew