Outdoor Notebook: Fishing for a trophy
AND, the hunt continues! The object of the continued hunt is a trophy musky. The question is, “What is a trophy musky?” The answer to that question will change from person to person. In many areas the answer would be 50 inches. Generally speaking a 50-inch musky is a huge trophy and several anglers say that anything less than 50-inches is not a trophy.
Other anglers firmly believe that a musky need not hit that magic 50-inch length to be a trophy. A few weeks ago in this column we had a picture of our Grandson, William, holding a 44-inch musky. That fish was the first musky he had ever caught. One glance at Will’s expression left no question that his 44-inch musky was a great trophy to him.
Several of us spent a week fishing for a trophy musky in Canada on Lake of the Woods. LOW has the reputation of producing numerous trophy muskies each year. When we arrived at the resort we were told that the water was three feet above normal, the highest level in the past 80 years. That meant that many of the rocks that normally stick above the water a foot or so were no longer visible. That high water also succeeded in creating a feeding strike by the muskies.
While talking about trophy muskies the topic of taxidermy needs to be explored a bit. Some anglers are not aware that a musky can be released alive and a replica of that fish created by a taxidermist. The taxidermist only needs a good picture of the fish and statistics like length and girth. A replica can then be created. We prefer a replica to a skin mount because a replica will not deteriorate in time. Also, the price with most taxidermists is the same for a skin mount or replica.
When picking a taxidermist keep in mind that you will most likely have that piece of art to look at the rest of your life. This is not the time to save a few dollars.
This past Tuesday I was in attendance at the “Muskellunge Standing Team” gathering in Green Bay. This committee meets in various locations several times each year. The team discussed numerous topics relating to musky fishing in Wisconsin as well as our border states.
This committee, as well as the warm water fishing committee of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, also discussed the topic of motor trolling across the state. Also considered was the topic of expanding the number of lakes with a 50-inch minimum size for muskies. Another topic that created a bit of discussion was the concept of spearing fish through the ice. The discussion did not include spearing muskies or walleyes.
On motor trolling the following topics received the most consideration. 1) Allowing one line with live bait while casting artificial baits. 2) Another way to consider the topic was to allow trolling while positioning the boat while casting.
The discussion reminded me of the back-and-forth battles over allowing the use of cross bows to hunt deer. That discussion ended after many meetings and finally came to a conclusion this past year.
My belief is that the time has come to make up our minds on motor trolling and pass a regulation that we can live with.
Our grandchildren, like many young people at this time of the year, have been trying to get in the last few activities, such as fishing, before school begins.
Hunting seasons are beginning!
Longtime Northwoods outdoors personality Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.
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