My friends and I have put in some time the past month targeting Tiger Musky. My first trip with Jay was the starting of the sickness. In the next few weeks a few of my friends eventually suffered from the same disorder.
Through trial and error we had a pretty good idea what is needed to get these alligators. For example, the net a standard trout net is way too small but you try to use it as a basket catcher anyway. You also find out your tiny little forceps still put your fingers too close to the teeth and for the rest of the day you hope for a corner hook. The learning curve of how to actually hold these things was pretty interesting; everyone did the same thing, stared at these crazy looking fish and analyzed the situation. I think everyone's first thought was the same when the saw-like teeth came in to focus, more analyzing. Grizz'z fingers were mauled while helping to tail Nick Jones behemoth he landed…. Fly patterns are a bit more dialed in now and thanks to Spicy who had great success on a prior trip, we had had another key ingredient to our arsenal. Rainy's has an articulated pattern that had received plenty of attention on the past few trips and Grizz had an all timer the week before while using it.
Everyday some new idea is sparked and the next outings there was always some entirely different situation that needed thought. Fish are fish but not all are the same, it seems to me that each have their own puzzle to be solved. Luck for me, I have a great group of guys that have different strengths. Combined we can usually figure things out in a short period of time…. but…the one factor that we hadn't factored in was the wakeboarders. With the water temperatures warming it brings out the boats. The boats create large "wakes" or ripples that smash the clay shoreline. The end result is a murky clay mess. The last day we used the wake from the boats to our advantage and actually caught fish.. Grizz noticed something happening in certain areas when the wake moves through. A few casts were all it took before he was tight. Spicy thought about it, added a twist, called it and the next cast he was tight. I gave it a go, one cast, hooked up and I lost it. The "problem" that needs solving is one of the coolest things about fishing… along with a 7wt bent in half and the reel screaming for mercy of course.
It was a cool chapter in my fishing travels. Thanks to all who helped along the way!! . I had a ton of help from Nick Jones, without him I would have snapped my 4wt for sure…borrowed his 7 and 8wt, the matching reels, lines and flies… karma is coming your way.