Musky fishing: Catching them is only part of the fun
“Fishing with my children and grandchildren has become the highlight of my fishing experiences.”
By Roger Sabota
Special to the Star Journal
Several rulings have been in the news recently that will have an impact on hunting in Wisconsin. One is a Wisconsin law and one involves a ruling by a Federal judge.
In 2015 a ban was placed on baiting and feeding deer in Wisconsin in any county within a ten mile radius of a deer that had tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Oneida, Vilas and Forest Counties were under this ban after a deer on a deer farm near Three Lakes had tested positive for CWD. There was no specified time for this ban to be in place.
Last week Governor Walker signed into law a bill that changed the length of time the ban could be in effect.
According to this new law the ban would be lifted after 36 months without positive tests in any county where CWD had been previously been found. In counties within the ten mile radius of a positive test the length of time the ban can be in effect is 24 months after a deer has tested positive for CWD.
However, Oneida, Vilas and Forest counties continue to be under the ban of baiting and feeding until 2019 because last fall three more cases of CWD were found on that deer farm near Three Lakes.
The management of wolves has been a topic of great interest in Wisconsin as well as neighboring states. Many were hoping that the management of wolves would be returned from the Federal Government to the states.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had determined that the wolves had recovered and should be managed by the states.
On Aug. 1, a Federal appeals court retained federal protection for gray wolves in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. This overruled the Fish and Wildlife recommendations. Therefore these three states cannot resume hunting and trapping seasons for wolves. Many are very pleased with this ruling and many others are very disappointed with the ruling.
As many of our readers know fishing with my children and grandchildren has become the highlight of my fishing experiences. Earlier this week we were fortunate to have the Schroeder family from Somerset visit for a few days.
Three years ago Will, 17, had landed a 43-inch musky, his first on one of our fishing expeditions. That was as exciting for “Grampa Roger” as it was for Will.
This week John,12, was going musky fishing for the first time with us. Before departing we invited their sister, Katie, to join us but she politely declined stating that she had some other things planned for the day.
We headed out in the afternoon for the lake where Will had caught his big fish. A graphite replica of that fish hangs in his room.
Sometimes in musky fishing a “follow-up” is as exciting a catching the fish. For those who aren’t musky fishermen, a “follow-up” is when a musky follows the lure as it is reeled back to the boat. In order to coax the musky into hitting the lure a “figure-8” is made beside the boat with the lure in the water. Having a musky hit the lure close to the boat with only about two feet of line can be an extremely exciting–and wet experience.
We were not fortunate to have a musky hit the bait at the boat but both boys had several “follow-ups” which, for John, was especially exciting since this was his first musky fishing experience. He does a lot of fishing and catching and now he has been introduced to Grampa Roger’s favorite type of fishing.
Our second day of musky fishing did not produce any fish but again had some muskies follow the baits. John was anxious to describe how he could see the musky coming really close to his lure but didn’t grab it. That’s what keeps fishermen coming back.
Longtime Northwoods outdoor enthusiast Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.