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I met up with pondboy early this morning to try for some white bass on the Fox River.  DuPageAngler FlawlessFishing 
recently had a good day catching white bass below one of the dams and we wanted to see if we could duplicate his success. 
We had caught a handful of small white bass, yellow bass, and smallmouth when the bite completely died off. I decided to 
give a yellow 3" swim shad rigged on an 1/8 oz jighead that I had a caught a smallmouth on my first cast of the day one more try. After 30 minutes to an hour with not even a bite in the hole where we had previously had slow but steady action, I was getting ready to suggest to pondboy that we move to a new spot.  Then I finally felt a thump and my line went slack. I reeled up and felt some weight on my line.  I set the hook but didn't feel the telltale quick head shake of the white bass and smallmouth I had caught earlier in the morning. This was something much bigger.  I figured it was probably a big carp but when the fish rose to the surface and gave a good thrash I couldn't believe what I saw.  A long striped fish......a musky!
 
I yelled out "Dan!" who was fishing downriver and
motioned for him to quickly come up. I had never caught a musky let alone hooked one.  I immediately thought this fish was going to 
be tough to land.  Light action spinning tackle is not a good setup to land a musky, obviously. Plus, we didn't bring a 
net. Luckily, I was using the reel that had the strongest line of the combos I had brought with me, 10lb power pro braid.  
Also, I could see I had the fish hooked in the side of the mouth where my line was away from of the muskies teeth. I 
was able to keep the fish from getting out into the heavy current and fortunately the musky never really made a long run. 
However, it seemed every time I got the musky close to shore where Dan could almost have a chance to grab it the fish would 
peel drag and make a run back out a little ways into the river.  After a few runs and a couple close calls with a flooded 
bush near shore I was finally able to maneuver the fish up a flooded walkway where Dan could grab it. Dan handed me the 
beautiful musky and after he took a few quick pictures and got a measurement of 33.25" I got the fish back in the river and with one 
 thrash of the tail the musky disappeared into the muddy water.  
 
One of my goals for this year was to catch a musky, but I didn't imagine I would have a chance today in the Fox.  That is one of the neat things about rivers though, you never know what your next cast may produce!
 
This Catch of The Day Brought to you by:


Marty Rogers's Avatar
Marty Rogers replied the topic: #11491 12 Jun 2019 19:56
This is one of my all time FAVORITES Catch Of The Days!
Marty Rogers's Avatar
Marty Rogers replied the topic: #8585 10 May 2013 07:55
All better now thanks.
CrankinKing's Avatar
CrankinKing replied the topic: #8578 10 May 2013 06:23
404 error on your link Marty
Marty Rogers's Avatar
Marty Rogers replied the topic: #8576 10 May 2013 06:17
I was asked after the podcast where in the &@*! did I pull the musky stocking numbers from so here you go:

Illinois Musky Report
mr.fish's Avatar
mr.fish replied the topic: #8553 09 May 2013 11:13
Congrats on the beautiful Musky!!! :)
wilks19's Avatar
wilks19 replied the topic: #8543 09 May 2013 06:51
Great job Sooner!!!!!!!! That is awesome! I can't wait to get out with y'all again. Congrats on the COTD as well sir.
Barn Owl's Avatar
Barn Owl replied the topic: #8535 08 May 2013 21:27
Great Catch!
tj12334's Avatar
tj12334 replied the topic: #8516 08 May 2013 11:00
great fish it is good to know they are out there
Brutus's Avatar
Brutus replied the topic: #8503 08 May 2013 08:03
I think it is a great sign that these fish are here and have some size to them.
redhook62's Avatar
redhook62 replied the topic: #8502 08 May 2013 07:57
Sooner, I caught a 18" Northern from your Muskie spot this morning. It slipped away before I could get a picture (Yes I touched it, it counts Pondboy!), but supporting your point, another toothy predator was in that area. Pretty cool!
Pwoody's Avatar
Pwoody replied the topic: #8499 08 May 2013 04:29
Congrats Sooner. That thing is massive! Man, I've reeeeeally got to learn the rivers.
SoonerBass's Avatar
SoonerBass replied the topic: #8498 08 May 2013 00:47
Thanks for all the congrats guys, and a big thanks to pondboy for his assistance in landing the fish and recording it on his pivothead! I'm not sure I would of got that fish in on my own. Now I want to catch one of those Fox River giant (40"+) muskies! We spoke with several fisherman that had recent musky stories as we checked out a few dams along the Fox, I'm wondering if it has something to do with the recent floods getting the muskies active and moving to some new areas they are not usually found at?

Also, PB's WHAT??!? at the start of the video was right after I said "Musky" as he was walking up. I think we were both in shock at first that there really was a musky where we were fishing.
CrankinKing's Avatar
CrankinKing replied the topic: #8495 07 May 2013 22:03
Awesome catch Sooner. Congrats on the bucket list catch.
BrimReaper911's Avatar
BrimReaper911 replied the topic: #8493 07 May 2013 20:33
WOW!!!!
Orbits3's Avatar
Orbits3 replied the topic: #8492 07 May 2013 20:25
Congrats thats a nice catch and on light tackle. Also having Pondboy around to videotape is a just an added bonus. You can never go wrong with a good camera man.
Uncle Bucktail's Avatar
Uncle Bucktail replied the topic: #8491 07 May 2013 18:35
OMG! I saw this on my work pc and people thought I had a heart attack! NICE!
Searching4a7lber's Avatar
Searching4a7lber replied the topic: #8486 07 May 2013 13:29
Congrats on the first Musky. Once your bit it can become a lifetime obsession.
redhook62's Avatar
redhook62 replied the topic: #8485 07 May 2013 11:54
Just awesome! Great that you even had PB on hand for the video.
Darkstar72's Avatar
Darkstar72 replied the topic: #8484 07 May 2013 11:48
Congrats on your COTD and making your Musky goal come to fruition!

The second cat is out of the bag so now all I knew about this weekend's catches are out of my head.

Looking forward to the improving river and warmer ponds/lakes making fishing more productive!
nicksantos33's Avatar
nicksantos33 replied the topic: #8483 07 May 2013 11:22
Congrats Sooner! That is a gorgeous fish.
Marty Rogers's Avatar
Marty Rogers replied the topic: #8482 07 May 2013 10:17
This outstanding guys! I want to hit the Fox with everything in my arsenal.
FlawlessFishing's Avatar
FlawlessFishing replied the topic: #8481 07 May 2013 10:16
Congrats Sooner!! Glad that spot panned out for you guys! Nice job bringing him in on light tackle. That is no easy task! That Musky is making me rethink a fish I lost there last week... I was fishing a small swim jig very similar to your relax minnow in the pool behind the island when I suddenly had something very large on pick up my back and move into the heavy current. I fought him for a few moments and then lost him. I assumed it was a carp until I read your post... Congrats again!!
JC1Crappie's Avatar
JC1Crappie replied the topic: #8479 07 May 2013 09:29
Those lemon color relax shads are just on fire for you this year!

Nice!
pondboy's Avatar
pondboy replied the topic: #8477 07 May 2013 09:08
:woohoo: Dude still jealous. That was awesome!!!