Friday, May 22, 2009

Leech Lake Muskie

Leech Lake is renowned nationally as perhaps the finest muskie lake within the United States, and with good reason. The lake’s habitat, structure, and geographic location create an environment that is almost perfect for the big fish. Muskie enthusiasts from throughout the country travel here in hopes of landing “the fish of ten thousand casts.”

I’ve been fishing Leech ever since I’ve been in first grade. The hours I’ve put on this water over the past thirty five years or so have to run well into the hundreds and are quickly approaching one thousand. And in all that time, with all those lines in the water, I’ve never even seen a muskie boated.

Consider that situation over. Yesterday as I was trolling a Tail Dancer on the flats outside of Rogers looking to raise a big walleye, I was slammed by my friend here. He started out putting up a massive fight, but ended up with the other treble hook in the front of his snout, and finished coming in pretty quietly. He was small by muskie standards at 26 inches, but was fun to catch nonetheless.

Big west winds and the resort’s rental pontoon boat kept my fishing options down, so I was limited to the southwest side of the lake. I boated a couple of perch and my muskie, but finally had got skunked by the walleyes. It had to happen sooner or later, and it was a good run.

The boats are all rented out this weekend, so I’m not going to be fishing today for sure. Bill comes back up tomorrow and has promised to take me out, so we’ll be running hither and yon as he conducts his pre-fishing for the big walleye tournament up here in two weeks. While there’s no guarantee we’ll catch fish, I am guaranteed that I have a nice tour of the lake as Bill’s not afraid to burn up the boat gas.

So today I’m relegated to replicating my cousin Terry’s gumbo recipe. I have a big pot, some duck and pheasant, some great andouille sausage, and the Cajun holy triumvirate of green pepper, onion, and celery. Roux work begins shortly…

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