Ever since the 2001 Musky season, after being chastised by John Dettloff
for not spending enough time fishing spots clean, I have adopted a more
"relaxed" approach to covering the water…an approach that has paid off over
So it was with this mindset that my fishing partner Rob Meusec and I took
to the waters of the Chippewa Flowage on an overcast September day in 2006.
We had been having success with fish over the past week fishing traditional
spots like Risberg’s Bar and Church Bar, to mention a couple, so we had good
confidence that fish were in an active pattern.
The light Southwestern wind had a mild chop on the water and the air
temperature was in the mid 60’s…it was just a great day to be on the water.
For those of you who fish the Chippewa Flowage regularly, you have probably
noticed that there are very large expanses of water that have high Musky
potential…so it is not uncommon to fish for a good hour or two covering one
of these potential Musky producing spots.
Rob and I chose a large expanse of water with good Musky potential and,
with the wind somewhat at our backs, we began to cover the area. As you can
see from the graphic below, the water that we chose had a good combination
of shallow water with stumps and weeds. It also had deeper water close by
with sloping drop offs.
We changed lures as we progressed from shallow to deep to shallow being
aware of what lure the other was using. Experienced Musky anglers will
usually try to mix the lure approach to increase the possibility of a hook
After about an hour of beating the water, we came up to the water
surrounding an isolated island. We hadn’t seen a fish but we were not put
off by that…we had confidence on the spot and in ourselves. Rob put on a
Bucktail and I put on a Best American Topper. We began to cover the water,
moving toward the island with Rob fishing deep and me fishing somewhat
It is easy to be lulled into a ‘casting trance’ when you have been
pounding the water for over an hour…you find yourself going through the
motions in an almost relaxed state…that is usually when the strike happens.
camera and ruler at the ready, this dandy 43 inch Musky was taken from the
net. A couple of photos later, it was back in the water. I kept it upright
with my hand on the tail as the gentle release motion passed water over its
gills. After a few minutes, I could feel its tail tense and undulate in the
side to side motion indicative of a healthy swim off.
There were congratulations all around as we cleaned up the boat and made
ready to move onto another Musky haunt. It was a well spent hour and a half
resulting in a nice fish and an increase in confidence in the application of