Musky America Magazine

Being all ears and hungry to learn any tidbits of Musky wisdom that Bruce was willing to share with my partner and myself, I don't think I took any of Bruce's comments lightly. Still, his words, "You've got to fish it clean," seemed to implant deeply in my mind. There was a clear blue sky, slight west breeze rippling the water, and temperatures were pushing well above 70 degrees that morning. Not what one would consider to be good Musky fishing conditions but, as Bruce has always said, "a Musky will always violate any theory you might have." Within an hour we rose our first fish, one that made an impressive boil behind my black Topper. The fish came out from two large stumps which were hung up on a small sand point. After thoroughly working the rest of the bar, Bruce quietly repositioned his boat for yet another drift on the spot. "This must be what Bruce meant by fishing an area clean," I thought. Handing me one of his red bucktails with a chartreuse twister impaled on the middle treble hook, Bruce said, "Try this." I wasn't about to argue. Within just a few casts, a beautiful 27- to 30pound Musky followed to the boat. What a sight! At the time, it was one of the biggest muskies that I had ever seen. Deciding to let this fish rest for a bit, Bruce took my partner and me over to some nearby islands. And after raising three more muskies we realized that the muskies were active. Not wanting to give up on the big one we raised an hour earlier, Bruce took us back to give her a try. And I'm glad he did; on my very first cast a Musky nailed my black Topper. The initial foam job that took place after I set the hooks made us all think I had the big one, but after fighting it for a few seconds we soon realized it was a different fish still, a 40 1/2-incher.