Birthday muskies run in family during November trip
A Chris-Craft is a hand crafted wooden boat named after Christopher Craft, whose middle name was Columbus. Christopher Columbus kinda rings a bell. Wonder who thought of that.
Anyways, my Pa had one of them there boats and kept it at Bosacki’s Boathouse in Minocqua, which was named after Larry Bosacki whose middle named shoulda been Wacky. Anyways, it was fun to go up there and fish outa the beautiful Christopher Columbus boat and after fishing hang out in the beautiful bar at Larry Wacky Bosacki’s.
I enjoyed looking at all the dusty old pictures on the wall of the grungy looking local fishing guides and their clients with their catches. You could smoke in the bar, hear people use words that you didn’t hear in church, listen to some fish stories, drink and smell like a fish and fit in real nice. I liked all that stuff.
I thought the pictures with stringers full of pan fish were cute and the limits of walleyes impressive, but what really got my attention and respect were the huge muskies in the pictures, and more so the gigantic one mounted on the wall over the bar.
It was there at Bosacki’s in the bar hanging above the booze bottles that I saw my first Esox masquinongy or “muskie” if you prefer. It looked primitive and vicious and actually a little dusty and the thought of hooking one terrified me. I shared those sentiments with my Pa.
So to cure me of my muskie phobia, my Pa decided to take away my cane pole and worms and take me muskie fishing and maybe introduce me to a nice one in an attempt to rid me of my fear.
The second time we embarked on this adventure he took me out on Lake Kawaguesaga. I’m casting the day away bored out of my little mind when much to my surprise this huge dark shadow appeared out of a weed bed swimming right behind my poor little helpless buck tail.
It scared the hell outa me, so I naturally screamed, reeled the buck tail back in as fast as my little hands could crank and thanked god the fish didn’t bite it or eat it or jump in the boat and attack me. I was terrified.
My next encounter came on my third time out. I am over on Lake Tomahawk, my pa is sleeping in the back of the boat next to a couple of empty PBRs and I have a walter on that is at least 2-feet long. I get it almost up to the boat when a huge dark shadow as long as an oar and fat as a dark green watermelon appears outa nowhere and chomps off half the walleye.
I’m like thinking I must need glasses or I’m hallucinating or I’m dreaming or worse yet it was a shark, but my pa Charles F. wakes up from all the ruckus and says “no Tommy, that was not a watermelon or a shark. That was a muskie! I’m like “let me outa here!”
Fast forward 50 years. So there we were again a year after I landed my 40-inch birthday muskie (that article was in the February 2015 Musky Line), me and my son Air back out on the river doing our annual birthday present muskie fishing hunt. But this year it is on his birthday, Nov. 25.
We’ve got the venison sausage and hot sticks and Doritos and our Blue Bullets and Jim Beam. There was ice at the Red Bridge, so no go there and the Bukolt Park boat launch was not looking good either, but much to our delight there was open water at the Highway 10 boat landing. No dock, no boats, no ice, no buoys and no nothing except for me and the birthday boy. Not even a garbage can. Perfect!
Off we go into the wild blue yonder to our secret honey hole. So I say to my son before he launches his bait that looks like a sherbet ice cream push pop bait with hooks that he musta won at Pacelli Panacea or the Rosholt Fair.
“Wait a minute I wanna tell you a true story. The first time my Pa took me out muskie hunting was on Lake Minocqua in August on a warm day at sunrise. There is steam coming off the water as the sun rose and there’s a loon off in the distance calling to its mate.
“We are back in some bay and my dad’s holding a cigarette in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other and me being a novice am beside myself trying to figure out how the hell he’s gonna hold the pole.
“Well, he puts down his smoke and his coffee cup, grabs the rod and flings the bait out 30 yards and says as it is sailing through the air, ‘the first thing you gotta do is get the bait wet.’ Made sense to me.
“The bait hits the water and bam! A musky hits the bait instantly and there’s splashing and thrashing and then nothing! He missed it – not ready! That was 1965. Now we are back on Nov. 25, 2015.”
I am standing there in the front of Airin’s tracker finished with my story, watching him throw out that first cast, the pink and yellow push pop with hooks from Panacea. The bait sails through the air looking like a wounded parakeet and hits the water with a plunk!
He’s got it zig-zagging back and forth making it look like an impossible target to hit and bam! A muskie hits the bait and he’s ready and sets the hook and there’s splashy and thrashing and our hearts are pounding and the pole is bending and I’m grabbing the net and the next thing ya know it is in the net with the Pacelli push pop in its mouth!
Yeah Airin – first cast – he was ready! The great November birthday fishermen of the town of Hull have done it again. And then to boot, a half hour later I was ready too and without even trying or knowing what I was doing I caught one! And then guess what or did you forget? I remembered the kiss!