Musky America Magazine

position. With the rod tip held high, I lead the Muskie into the net. Success!! I put the rod down and, keeping the net and the Muskie in the water, I assessed the size of my catch. He was legal but he was of a size that demanded release. As he thrashed in the net he managed to hook himself with another of the lure's hooks. I got my compound bolt cutters and proceeded to cut the hooks to remove the lure as a source of potential harm for Muskie and fisherman alike. That done, I wet my hands and secured the Muskie under the gill plate. I lifted him out of the net, laid him on the ruler and then quickly put him back in the net and the water. He was a healthy 36 inch Muskie and I was determined to keep him that way. About that time the other boat that had been fishing the island motored over to see what all of the commotion was. I asked him if he would take a picture or two of me releasing the Muskie. He was happy to be part of the experience. I lifted my Muskie out of the net and placed him in the water, taking care to keep him upright. Even though he had not been out of the water very long, he was tired from the fight. As I cradled him under the belly with one hand, my other hand had hold of his tail. It took a few minutes, but soon I could feel strength return to his body. As his tail movements became more exaggerated, I gave him a little squeeze on the tail and off he went. We all fish for Muskie with the hope of hooking into the fish of a lifetime, however, there is nothing to compare to the feeling of satisfaction one gets from a successful Muskie encounter, alone in a boat and armed only with your fishing skills.