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!
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