The Triple Crown
September 28, 2007
I fished with Keith today on a local lake for both Muskie & smallmouth bass and oh, what a day! We got a late start as his flight only arrived this morning and the best we could do is about 10:00 AM. After last weekend’s success at muskie, I thought it would be a good idea to give it another try. I knew the bass would cooperate and wasn’t worried about catching some of them, so we set the rods out for skis and began to troll. The winds were out of the SW at less than 10 knots and the skies were completely clouded over with possible storms in the distance. Water temps were slightly above 67 degrees and the air temps weren’t much higher either. Keith had never caught a muskie before and I was hoping to show him how impressive they were to see when they are 20 to 30 pounds or more. About 30 minutes into the troll, one of the reels started to scream and I knew we were locked up! This fish really bulldogged as Keith reeled her to the boat and he freaked when he saw the actual size of her alongside. I knew that it would weigh at least 25 pounds and boga gripped the muskie for a few pics. A quick measurement of 43.5 inches and she was ready for release. We wasted no time getting the lines back into the water in anticipation of another hook-up! Sure enough, the same rod fired about 45 minutes later and Keith was battling another fish of almost the same size again. Once more, I boga gripped the fish and unhooked her for a few more pics and released her unharmed. This one went 41.5 inches, but was much fatter than the first fish making her weight very close as well. We continued trolling for a little while longer without any luck and then decided to try for some bass close by. The rain had begun and the winds had kicked up a little bit more, but I was sure we would be able to catch a few. Keith wanted a little side bet and thought he was going to kick my butt or as he said, “school me” with the most bass caught, so the gloves were off! I told him that it was a no brainer and hooked up a few casts later on a jerkbait. Of course he wanted a lure like that so I handed him the same rod and grabbed a tube jig instead. Shortly after, I was locked up on another smallie and it wasn’t looking too good for Keith. He said he had a follow, but no hook-up! I missed a couple of others and we moved on looking for the school of bass that frequent this area. The rain had begun to fall pretty good making visibility in these areas rather difficult, but the skies looked like there was a clearing soon to follow. The next area saw me telling Keith that he had a hit on the tube and to set the hook. Unfortunately the hook set was light and the fish came off. I hooked a few more and was up 4 nothing when I decided to give him a break and hook a couple of his own. There were just too many fish in this last area and I knew even a blind squirrel eventually finds a nut! Bottom line, 8 to 4 was the end result and dinner was on him! I suggested that we go back to trolling for Muskie again and see if we couldn’t get another to make it three and he agreed. This time I don’t think we had the rods in the water for more than 15 minutes when the rod fired. Another screamer as I yelled, “Fish”. He managed to get the rod out of the holder as I cleared the other rod and fought the beast to the boat once again. This one seemed to be about the same size as I brought her aboard for pics again. A measurement of 43 inches and a real fat belly on this one would have put her around 25 pounds once more. Back to the lake she went and we tried a little longer without success before we made a run for the ramp. The storms were moving in now & I didn’t want to get caught out there in those conditions. To say it was a great day would have been an understatement, it was awesome! Catching his first, second and third Muskie all in the same day wasn’t anything he had expected. I hope he can sleep tonight!