The Elusive Muskie

     After years and years of fishing in Tennessee, the family recently went on vacation in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We spent a week at a cabin and just enjoyed each other’s company and fishing. We went fishing everyday and we always seemed to be catching some decent bass, sun fish, perch, etc… My soon to be father-in-law (Duane) asked me if I wanted to go fishing for Muskie? The only thing I knew about a muskie was that it was similar to a Northern Pike but figured why not. I had seen some pictures on the cabin wall of some Muskie pulled from the lake and knew that my lightweight reel wasn’t going to get the job done. Mr. Duane offered up one of his rod and reels setup for this particular type of fishing.
Duane and I jumped into the boat and out onto the lake we went. When he opened up a dry storage area on the boat he handed me about the equivalent of a telephone pole with a winch on it and a brown crankbait that was as big as some of the fish I had been catching all week. I have fished for some big catfish and used several open sea reels so figured it couldn’t be that much of a difference. What I did notice when I was putting the crankbait onto the leader was that the line was different than others I have used. Duane explained to me that it was 50lb Tuf Line. He said that after trying many different brands he found the Tuf Line worked the best because it was very strong, easy to get kinks out of the line, had no memory and could last after multiple big fish catches and seasons.
About 15 minutes into fishing I got to test out the ability to remove a knot in the line. I simply pulled both ends of the knot and it came right out. My fishing buddy told me that was a great thing about the line, that is so smooth knots just came right out! About 15 minutes later I hooked into a decent sized Northern Pike, about 16-18 inches and 8-9 lbs. When I got him to the boat he saw me, spit the hook out, gave me “the fin” and swam away. The line felt great and gave me a lot of feedback to know that the fish was on and really fighting.
Not 20 minutes later we switched to another spot. When I was reeling in I saw my bait about 10 feet away from the boat, it disappeared and I felt a fish hit it hard! He swam to the boat close enough to get a good look at us and then he dove right up under the boat bending the pole almost in half! After a good fight we got him in the net right when he broke one of the treble hooks clean away from the crankbait! Once out of the net we found we had on our hands a 42″ 26lb Tiger Hybrid Muskie! Duane, having fished these waters for years and growing up on this lake, has pulled many a Muskie from the waters but this was my absolute first. I was so excited I almost went swimming with the fish trying to get him in the boat and then just about threw my cell phone in the water. We practice catch and release with these fish and once we snapped a couple of pictures we set him loose back in the water and made our way back to the cabin. Once there began to tell the rest of the family about the fish and show the pictures. 2 hours later my hands were still shaking a little bit (laughing).
Thanks to my great fishing partner Duane for putting onto the Muskie fishing and it’s addiction. Thanks to Tuf Line for making a line that helped me land the elusive fish. I am so impressed with Tuf Line that every reel in my house is being lined with from now on, from my little lightweight reel up to my Muskie rig! Even my family’s reels will be added to the Tuf Line family as well.
Thanks Duane and Tuf Line!!!

  • Posted by: Will Johnson
  • Location: Wisconsin