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Thread: Have You Ever Been Schooled?

  1. #1
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    Have You Ever Been Schooled?

    I’m willing to admit I have. Maybe we can all learn from each other?

    It was on LOTW the first year I got a trolling motor with Autopilot. I was used to using it on long shorelines and deep weed lines, etc. I think I became a bit too fond of it. We had just finished a stretch of shoreline that ended with a nice little cove and then a boulder strewn point. We fished through it and saw nothing. I commented on how disappointing it was since it looked so nice. Then, my buddy said that “maybe it was because I didn’t do it right.” He explained that he would have “hovered” at certain spots to fully cover it. I snapped back that in my opinion if there was a fish there, we would have seen it. But, just for the heck of it I told him to take control of the boat and retry it. Well, to make a long story short, we had three or four muskies come out of the cove and the point only after repeated precise casts. Ding! Light bulb when on for me.


    The Most Interesting Muskie Fisherman In The World: The lining of his swim trunks is made of Fin Saver netting.
    Last edited by 1morecast; 03-06-2012 at 10:19 PM.

  2. #2
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    I can usually just about predict when it is going to happen. I'll be slowly picking apart a juicy shoreline in my top-of-the-line shiny new gel-coated rig when I see two kids in a 14 foot John Boat. The motor always sounds like somebody tossed a jar of bolts into the garbage disposal, and the boat doubles for their dad's duck hunting rig with some of the corn husks still falling off the sides. Both kids have their shirts off, not one respectable sponsor's sticker on their boat and then either one or both of them hook up on the first or second cast. The ultimate sting then comes when one shouts out, "Hey Mister, do you have a musky net...this is a big one?" Natrually, they also should have known that they were not in a good spot! Oh yea, I've been schooled!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junkman View Post
    I can usually just about predict when it is going to happen. I'll be slowly picking apart a juicy shoreline in my top-of-the-line shiny new gel-coated rig when I see two kids in a 14 foot John Boat. The motor always sounds like somebody tossed a jar of bolts into the garbage disposal, and the boat doubles for their dad's duck hunting rig with some of the corn husks still falling off the sides. Both kids have their shirts off, not one respectable sponsor's sticker on their boat and then either one or both of them hook up on the first or second cast. The ultimate sting then comes when one shouts out, "Hey Mister, do you have a musky net...this is a big one?" Natrually, they also should have known that they were not in a good spot! Oh yea, I've been schooled!
    Almost that exact scenario happened to me during a June musky school a few years ago. I was fishing with a father and son and beating up the open water pattern, but outside of follows nothing was happening. Then a 14' boat with two shirtless kids goes trolling by along the shoreline and soon I see they've got a fish hooked. So, I went over and helped them net it, then offered to take their picture with a Polaroid camera if they released it, which they did. I think it was a 35". After congratulating them on the catch I mentioned they shouldn't be trolling because it wasn't legal on that lake.

    "Are you sure? My dad said we could," one of the kids asked.

    "Pretty sure. You've had a pretty good day so far and you don't want to have it ruined by a visit from the warden," I replied.

    I've always felt that "when in Rome ... " so rather than go back to deep water we started casting shallow on a nearby spot, away from the kids who headed back to their cabin with their photo. On my first or second cast I caught a 40" on a Reef Hawg. The son (about 25) had never seen a Reef Hawg, so I took it off my line and snapped it on his and showed him how to work it. After a couple practice casts away from shore, I told him to start casting toward shore. Long story short, in his first four casts he had follows from three fish, two of which he probably would have caught if he wasn't trying to figure out a new bait with a musky suddenly putting pressure on him. Shortly afterward we had to quit fishing for the day because of the school's schedule.

    That fall I received a letter from the son with photos of a 49" and 46" he'd caught from Wisconsin on Reef Hawgs in the weeks after the school. That's terrific, but it never would have happened if not for two kids in a small boat trolling nearby.
    Steve Heiting

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  4. #4
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    More often than I care to admit, so nothing in particular stands out anymore, it's just par for the course.

    On the flip side, I've been in the lucky boat on more than one occasion. One that comes to mind was a trip on Lac Seul, in about 1982 or thereabouts. We were close to 50 miles up the lake from the launch on our "flyer" outing. We always tried to do one special trip to somewhere we had never been before. We were fishing pike as our walleye bag was already filled for the trip and in the freezer. We didn't have a clue what we were doing actually, just trying things. The smaller pike were going nuts that day. Well there was a guide up there working for walleyes with his client. We ran into him several times during the day and never saw him catch a walleye and every time the guide saw us catch pike he moved to another area. Meanwhile we kept hammering the pike. Finally we anchored and tossed smelt on bobbers of a deeper dropoff looking for bigger pike. The guy in the middle gets a hit just as the guide is making his way towards us trolling. He fights a really nice fish, we land it and he yells in disgust, "Damn, it's only a ******** walleye!" The guide threw down his rod, gunned the motor and we never saw him again. So maybe some of those schoolings aren't from skill as much as pure luck.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Steve Heiting's Avatar
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    Jim's story reminds me of another that I've heard several times, though I wasn't there.

    Three friends and their families were on a houseboat trip to LOTW. One evening they had three boats anchored on a reef and were catching walleyes by vertical jigging. They were close enough they could have easily cast into each other's boats, but since the walleyes were down about 25 feet (it was August) they just opened their bails and let the jig/crawler combo sink to the bottom. A guide boat from a nearby resort pulled in right in the middle of the three boats and started fishing (LOTW is a million and a half acres and there's no shortage of walleye spots).

    My three friends names are Dan, Tim and Kevin. After the guide pulled in, the conversation went like this:

    Kevin: "Dan? Dan? Where did you go?"
    Dan: "I'm right over here, Kevin."
    Kevin: "Oh, okay. For a moment I thought you'd left. I couldn't see you anymore."

    Tim hooks a fish and fights it to the boat. It's a 24-incher, a nice walleye but not a monster.
    Tim: "It's huge! It's huge! Omigosh look at the size of this thing."
    His daughter buys into the scam and starts screaming. Tim fights the walleye to the side of the boat away from the guide boat. His daughter nets it.
    Tim, as he measures the fish: "31 inches!"
    Dan: "Wow, Tim. You're on a roll. How many is that now?"
    Tim: "That's three over 30 today and six for the week!" He releases the fish on the side of the boat (again) away from the guide boat.

    The guide left immediately after that. There was more indirect abuse of the guide, but this is the stuff I remember.
    Steve Heiting

    www.steveheiting.com

  6. #6
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    I had a turn at being the one of the young guys in the leaky john boat, way back in my younger days. It was evening and we had had a tough day fishing. We had the boom box playing pretty loud in the boat as we pulled up to our favorite spot. There was a boat anchored on it and to our surprise, they were musky fishing. We started our drift towards them and right at the point where I need to turn out, my friend catches a nice musky. We take a pic and release it. I trolled out around them and came back into casting position on the other side of their boat and on my first cast I get a nice musky. I remember the fish jumping a couple times and they didn’t even turn to look. Oh well, I have been on the wrong side of that type of story, but I don’t seem to remember them as well.

  7. #7
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    Last summer there was another family staying at the same resort as us. They were from Chicago. The dad had only caught one or two muskies in his life while fishing for bass. I told him he could hop in and go with me. He used my rods and lures which I was happy to share. He didnt even know how to cast a baitcaster. Through out the week he ended up with 4 muskies.The last evening he caught one, had several follows and a couple of misses on the figure 8. He looked at me and said "Why do they call musky the fish of 10,000 casts." The best part I never caught a musky all week.

  8. #8
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    Its pretty easy to get schooled when you fish a lot of money tournaments...has happened to me plenty. This is probably why many ''pro's" avoid tournaments like the plague. You spend 16 hours fishing with very little action only to find out that 2 teams tripled and 6 teams doubled. Its a humbling experience but makes you a better angler in the long run.

  9. #9
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    So true about musky tournaments. On one hand you think that you might get one big fish and win, but even more likely is that you will get skunked. That goes for "pros" and "non-pros" alike.

  10. #10
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    I got schooled, or better yet, wood shedded, about 5 years ago. On our annual Labor Day weekend outing, my boat partner out fished me 9-1. It's usually 4,5,6,to 1 in my favor. That year/trip he was on fire and could do no wrong, while we're in my boat and me fishing 1st cast water and boat control, I caught my one and only undersized fish the last day to avoid a shutout. I was the brunt of ribbing from the other teams that the pupil was taking it to the teacher. All in good fun and happy to say, back to normal outcomes since, lol!

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