Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

Second place

Matthew Schwietz,

age 14

7th grade

White Bear Lake, Minn.

T his was my second trip

to Lake of the Woods. It

was 6:30 in the evening. The sky was partly cloudy with wind out
of the south at about 15 miles an hour. We just entered a saddle
and I was using a black Bulldawg with a glow in the dark tail. This
is the same saddle where I caught my 49-inch muskie the year

When we got to the middle of the saddle, I stopped casting
because it was full of weeds. But my dad encouraged us to keep on
casting. He was kneeling at the bow of the boat operating the
trolling motor while my brother and I were casting. So I continued
to cast towards the shoreline.

On my fourth cast, my lure no more hit the surface when it
stopped. I felt something pull so I jerked back and started to reel
in. When the fish finally surfaced and splashed, it took a run. I
allowed it to run by allowing my rod tip to go in the water instead
of back reeling. The fish surfaced and came toward the boat. My dad
was ready and netted it.

I was so excited that I caught a fish that big. While it was in
the net, my dad was saying, “It’s a big fish as big as your fish
last year!”

The lure came out of the fish fairly easily. My dad grabbed the
muskie and brought it over to the measuring tape. He laid the
muskie down it was 51 inches! I was so excited that I caught a
bigger muskie than my 49-incher. My dad lifted it up and my brother
took a picture of us. The fish was so heavy, that I could barely
lift it.

My dad took the picture and I immediately returned the fish to
the water. He held onto the muskie, and I stroked its sides until
it swam away (about a three-minute release). Then my dad said,
“That’s enough for one night!” (I think he was shaking too much
from the excitement!) So we headed back to our cabin. We met two
guys from our party while returning to the cabin and told them the

What a night, a memory for life!

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