We’ve talked about Minnesota’s monster muskies before on OutdoorHub, but the video below takes catching “the fish of 10,000 casts” to a whole new level.
First things first: This fish wasn’t caught by accident. Ryan Marjama from Big Fish Guide Service is out with a couple of buddies, and they are intentionally pursuing hardwater muskies. In preparation for hooking such a wide-bodied beast, the guys cut two 8-inch diameter holes and then used a chisel to connect them, making one giant hole. And as you can see in the video below, they needed every square inch of that space to land this 53.75-inch muskie.
(Be sure to turn up the volume on the Facebook video to hear the line being pulled through the angler’s gloves. And yes, you’ll have to turn your head to the side due to the smartphone positioning; but trust us, it’s worth it.)
Minnesota regulations for 2017 allowed anglers to target muskies from June 3 through December 1. These guys will cast and troll for muskies as late into the fall as possible, but most years in northern Minnesota, ice begins forming, even on larger lakes, prior to the end of muskie season. Typically, open-water opportunities end by Thanksgiving, and sometimes sooner. During those years when safe ice is formed by mid-November, diehard muskie anglers can take advantage of a unique and challenging fishing scenario: trying to locate muskies under the ice and then entice them to strike.
Of course, muskies and northern pike inhabit some of the same waters in Minnesota, so ice fishermen will occasionally catch a muskie while using tip-ups for northern pike. The season for northern pike lasts throughout most of the winter in Minnesota, closing in 2018 on February 25.
If you want a chance to land a muskie through the ice, contact Ryan from Big Fish Guide Service. During most years, the window of opportunity to pull off this hardwater accomplishment is only a week or two in length, sometime between November 15 and December 1. And keep in mind, that during some warm Novembers, you might still be casting or trolling during the final week of the muskie season. Either way, the chance to hook an amazing fish like this one makes it worth the effort!