Muskie memories keep the fire burning

Albert caught this muskie several years ago on Lake of the Woods. He had no clue at the time about the dry spell that was to come. (Photo courtesy of Joe Albert)

My brother and I made our annual trip to Lake Miltona this past weekend in search of muskies.

Jack, my 5-year-old, also has started to come along. I’d been worried about bringing him, fearful a relative lack of action would take its toll, but he’s never seemed to mind. In fact, he caught his biggest bass of his young career last Sunday, so he was pumped.

Neither John nor I caught a muskie. That seems to be par for the course these days.

There was a time – before kids – that I caught quite a few muskies. I wasn’t a machine, to be sure, but I’d boat a fish every other trip or so. And I fished a lot. Still do, but things change when your main concern is keeping the kids occupied. When you fish muskies a lot – or any species, for that matter – you sort of get into a rhythm. You’ve got an idea of where the fish are and what they’re doing, and if you cast to them often enough, you’ll probably catch them.

I still enjoy flinging big baits as much as ever, and I love to hear the gurgling sound of my topwaters. I love watching for a following fish, and I crave that split-second when a muskie hits – there’s almost a moment when the lure feels weightless, and then all of the sudden it’s game on. It’s been too long since I’ve experienced that, and too long since I’ve used the net that takes up what seems like half the boat.

But I’ve still got the memories – still know what’s possible – and that’s what keeps me coming back.

Categories: Blog Content, Joe Albert

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