The University of Esox is about to embark on its 25th year in 2020 and a huge milestone will be reached sometime during the season — the 3,000th musky caught in a school will be tallied.
“I find it incredible that we’ve been doing these schools for 25 years, but we have always offered the best instruction, best guides and best locations for our events. It’s a natural that people would want to attend,” said Jim Saric, host of “The Musky Hunter” TV show and co-owner of the schools.
“When Jim and I started the University of Esox in 1996, our only hope was that we’d be able to pull it off,” said Steve Heiting, co-owner of the schools and managing editor of Musky Hunter magazine. “Yet here we are on the verge of having the 3,000th musky caught at one of our events.
“We owe it to our students and instructors. No matter the weather or the bite, good or bad, they’ve fished hard and made it happen,” Heiting continued. “Three thousand is a lot of muskies.”
The University of Esox plans two schools in 2020 — the Summer Musky Tactics school at St. Germain Lodge in northern Wisconsin June 12-14, and the Canada Musky Adventure at Sandy’s Blackhawk Island Camp on Lake of the Woods July 18-25.
Summer Musky Tactics serves as a primer for the new season for beginning and experienced musky anglers alike. Its focus is on catching summer muskies wherever they’re found. The weekend event features eight hours of multi-media and dockside seminars wrapped around two days of fishing. Fully guided and bring-your-own boat packages are available.
“St. Germain Lodge and the adjoining Fibber’s Restaurant are among the premier locations in northern Wisconsin,” Saric said. “The food is great and the accommodations excellent. We’re always hearing from former students who stay and/or eat there even years after they attended the school.”
The Canada Musky Adventure features a unique program in which students and staff share their experiences twice each day. “We get everyone working together so that as patterns emerge or evolve, everyone stays dialed into what’s going on,” Heiting said. “If this is your first time fishing in Canada, we make sure you aren’t on your own. You’ll know what to do each day. Students like this format so much they keep coming back, some every year.”
Fifteen hours of multi-media and dockside seminars are worked into a week’s worth of fishing at the Canada Musky Adventure. Part of the instruction includes at least one day fishing with an instructor. Students stay in beautiful, almost-new log cabins overlooking the water. The resort’s dock system is protected and secure.
“On top of that, the camp is owned by legendary guide Bill Sandy, who is available as a guide for students and offers insight all week,” Saric said. “Bill’s involvement is invaluable to our program.”
School packages include all meals, lodging, class materials, welcome bags and a chance at hundreds of dollars worth of door prizes.
For more information about the University of Esox, visit muskyhunter.com/university-of-esox or facebook.com/UniversityOfEsox, or call 715-358-0754. Deposits are required to hold your spot. To enroll call 715-358-0754.
Reflecting on nearly 3,000 muskies caught at University of Esox schools, Saric only wanted to discuss the students who have attended over the years. “Many students have become longtime friends of ours, and a bunch have become terrific musky fishermen in their own right. They’re constantly sending us pictures of the fish they’ve gone on to catch,” he said. “We have had almost 3,000 muskies in the schools, but I can’t imagine how many the students have caught afterward. The number has to be huge.”