Rejuvenate Yourself Through
by Brian Worrall
In my lifetime I've come to know that there are two types of muskie
fisherman. The first, and rarest of the two are the diehards. You'll
find them out pounding their favorite muskie lakes day after day
irregardless of high or low pressure, blistering heat, or bone chilling
rain. Other anglers think they're crazy (and some most assuredly are) but
in most cases their catch numbers and trophies reflect their time spent on
the water. The diehards usually stick to just muskie fishing. I once saw
a bumper sticker that sums up their personality, it said "Muskie, all
other fish are just bait".
I've known quite a few diehards. I once was one in fact. A very
important lesson I learned is that there is a very fine line between
patience and utter frustration. Let's face it; after a day or two of
pounding the water and not catching a muskie you can get a little
discouraged. Discouragement is something that may not register in the
mind of a diehard but it does get to a lot of people. These are the people
that make up the second group of muskie fisherman. This is by far the most common muskie fisherman. Don't get me wrong.
They enjoy the feel of a muskie on the line just as much. What is
different about them is the amount of time they are willing to spend in the
hunt. As I just returned from 5 years in the service without much chance to
wet a line I would say that last summer I fell into this group. However,
there's more to it than that. I go fishing to catch fish. In that respect
I will always be a diehard.
Regardless of who you are, just going out and catching a muskie is always
pure chance. They make it look easy on television but I've been in a few
fishing shows and what they don't show are the hours in between fish, or
the time the local guides spent with the host teaching him about the lake.
If anyone ever tells you they catch a muskie every time they go out pull
out your tape measure and check the size of their nose for future
reference. With that said, what's an average guy to do with two days of
frustration discouraging him? A diehard would tell you to get back out and
pound some more. On this point I would disagree. What I believe every good muskie fisherman needs is a good tight line
lake. A place where he can go and catch fish one after another all
afternoon. It would be great if we could do this with muskies, but then you wouldn't be frustrated to begin with would
you? So, you settle for the next best thing.
This was my game fish of choice last summer. A good pike lake is the best thing I've found to get my spirits
up after a slow day of muskie fishing. It also helps you fine tune your
Practice may not make you perfect but it will make you better. A 30+
pike on the line is the best practice you can find for things like line
control, drag setting, rod control, bait control while the fish is hooked,
how and when to let the fish run, and communicating with your boat partner.
You can either learn these things while fishing pike or by losing the muskie of a
lifetime because you were not prepared. Besides those reasons there is
also the most obvious one. Pike are fun to catch. Also, unless you live
in Canada or Alaska, big pike are challenging to find. Last summer I
boated 17 pike over 30 inches and had clients with fish up to 37 in. Not a
day bad considering I hadn't wet a line in five years. I also managed a few
legal muskies mixed in. I am also a better muskie fisherman for my time
spent on the water.
If you are interested in the techniques and lures I use for big pike send me
an e-mail at email@example.com