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Over the weekend I hit the Des Plaines in search of pike but wound up having a spectacular day for bass. I ended up getting a free day on Columbus Day- the wife was working and the kids had school (I thought they were off.) With the Sunday I'd had on the Des Plaines, I planned to spend my surprise personal day on Monday chasing pike. I was all set. I had all my pike equipment and the setup I used the morning before to fish for river bass all packed up in the car. I was determined to spend six solid hours and I wasn't giving up until I had an acceptable pike. I got to the river to find intruders in my spot. I wandered around aimlessly for about 45 minutes just frustrating myself with bad casts and bird's nests. I'm not sure what changed but I didn't want to fish there after all. I made an executive decision to drive to the Fox River. The whole drive there I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that I was making a bad decision. I was wasting a solid hour of my fishing day on driving. I didn't have my ultralight gear that I use for smallies, walleyes, and white bass- it was in the trunk of my car and I was driving my wife's for the day. And I've left fish I knew were biting only to kick myself about it later plenty of times before. Changing game plans mid-day usually doesn't work and the Fox was nowhere on my radar until about 10:00 am. I don't know what possessed me.

I jumped into the river with my trusty KVD 1.5 crankbait in chartreuse/black back tied on and waded to a spot I know of that has all the hallmarks of a big fish spot. I'd never actually caught anything there but I've got enough river experience to know this was a spot that would hold an apex fish at some point in the year. The last thought that went through my head was "this spot is going to hold a big cat, muskie, or smallie one of these times" and WHAM!

My drag was set too tightly and I hurriedly loosened it as the fish started ripping upstream. It wasn't fighting like a cat, it was racing around too fast. I was certain it was my biggest Fox smallie until it's back broke the surface and the dorsal fin to the tail was much too long. Then she went air born, it was a big muskellunge. I could see my line was clear of her teeth but I loosened my drag too much and she wrapped me around a log in an area I'd never ventured into. No matter, I waded in after her with reckless abandon. Sure enough, I plunged momentarily into a waist deep hole. I made it to the log, unwrapped, and thought for a second I'd lost her. Then I reeled down to feel weight. I was a bit panicked because I had no net. I stumbled and fumbled until I reached a rock bar I knew was close and gill grabbed her.

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Marty Rogers's Avatar
Marty Rogers replied the topic: #10296 16 Oct 2013 12:31
What size shoe do you wear? I have a pair that are decent quality but CHEAP!
pondboy's Avatar
pondboy replied the topic: #10295 16 Oct 2013 09:10
duuuuude awesome
Deer Run Angler's Avatar
Deer Run Angler replied the topic: #10294 15 Oct 2013 17:43
Awesome Muskie J-Dog!! Great story and unbelievable picture!
Pwoody's Avatar
Pwoody replied the topic: #10293 15 Oct 2013 17:37
must........get..........waders
redhook62's Avatar
redhook62 replied the topic: #10292 15 Oct 2013 15:42
Also huge respect for the picture. Not always easy to get a good self shot with a decent bass while standing in the river. But with that size musky!!!???
Fluke's Avatar
Fluke replied the topic: #10291 15 Oct 2013 15:07
That's a heck of a fish! Next year its going to be River fishing for me...no ifs, ands or buts. Great job!
jmdog's Avatar
jmdog replied the topic: #10290 15 Oct 2013 13:07
Woohoo! Thanks guys :cheer:
JC1Crappie's Avatar
JC1Crappie replied the topic: #10289 15 Oct 2013 12:08
That's badass!!!

I am so jealous.
Darkstar72's Avatar
Darkstar72 replied the topic: #10288 15 Oct 2013 11:50

redhook62 wrote: No disrespect to any other cotd fish, but this one is my absolute favorite.


Having caught a few COTDs I'd have to agree with you Redhook!

FANTASTIC Fox River Musike!!!

Great job and great story JMDog!!!!
redhook62's Avatar
redhook62 replied the topic: #10287 15 Oct 2013 08:53
No disrespect to any other cotd fish, but this one is my absolute favorite.
Marty Rogers's Avatar
Marty Rogers replied the topic: #10286 15 Oct 2013 08:46
Congrats on the COTD! I wish that I was there to watch that action!