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Recent entries


Just Fishing

Kings of Pain

Mon, July 14, 2014

As I’ve mentioned previously, Cam and I are on a long muskie drought. Going north last week was suppose to be the cure. As you can guess from the title of the post, that didn’t happen. We were hopeful as always when it comes to going north but the long range weather forecast had us worried even a few days prior to leaving. It had been nice up there with temps in the 80’s, and then as we were getting ready to go a major blast of cold was coming through.

Like our last trip we took off in the middle of the night to take fully advantage of our short trip. I left in shorts and a tee shirt. By the time we stopped for gas I switched to pants and a sweatshirt. As we launched the boat mid-morning here’s how I dressed.


Bundled up

Can you guess how many muskies we caught? Right! 0.

After quite a few hours and a couple of lakes in about 12 to 15 mph winds we decided we had seen this movie before and maybe we should switch gears. Now I’ve been fishing around the Minocqua area for 40 years. Much of that time I’ve chased fish other than muskies. Cam is in love with skis so that’s usual what we do. But this was different, even for him. It was beyond obvious there would be no muskies. And so our bass and northern hunt began.


With water temps still in the high sixties both bass and pike were still a little active. We found some willing fish here and there and finished the day having gotten a few bites. This smallie was the best fish.


nice smallie


Days two and three were much the same. We did try some muskie fishing each day and did see maybe 3 fish total. Fortunately, Cam came around to the idea of smacking bass and pike and we did that pretty well. Conditions weren’t all that nice. Here’s the air temp reading in the car as we launched the second day. I think the lowest I saw was 47. That’s pretty chilly even for northern Wisconsin in July.


air temp


We did finally get some sun and the wind did start to behave which allowed us to shed a few layers at times. We continued to catch fish. I think for the trip we caught around 60 bass and 30 pike. Most of the bass came on senkos and jigs while the pike took spinnerbaits.


Pete's largie


cam largie


Another largie




We really didn’t take many pictures. I’m going to try to get better about that as it many times tells the story better than I do. But really, how many small bass and northerns do guys want to see? On the other hand, one of the reasons for being up there is all the wildlife we get to see up close. On this trip it was really special. It seemed the eagle and osprey were everywhere. On one lake the little otter swam so close you had to stop fishing till they swam away which was very cool. Here’s the only pictures we took of one of the many eagle we saw.  While we didn’t get the fish we were looking for, we can’t wait to get back up there.


Cam's eagle shot




After four 16 hour days it was fair to call us the Kings of Pain. The only thing missing was the muskies but we’ll take care of that soon enough.


Looked like it was still fun!

Posted by Andy Meador on July 15

A bad day of fish’n is better than a good day of (fill in the blank).  At least you didn’t get skunked.  I have to do more lake hopping.  Lots of water out there.

Posted by bowhunterdave on July 15

Beats work. Awful musky year for me also with big fish being only a 40.75” from a tournament two weeks ago. This year is all about lake selection. A select handful have been very good with action while most others dead and simply off. No explanation and haven’t been able to figure out why. As no surprise to me, the major moon phases from last week were amazing based on other reports with some real big fishes caught.

Posted by Andrew Ragas on July 15

These adventures are definately good times. some of them just lack the kind of fish were used to seeing.


I’m sure you’ll get some good ones yet this year. Cam got his second 41 of the season this morning. He also has a 40 and a half this season so now I’m 2 good ones behind. That’s a pretty good problem for a dad to have. Last year with more than a hundred fish boated between us we didn’t have a single fish over 40. Muskie fishing is not a game you can always explain, but we love it.

On another subject, Cam would really like to spend a day in the boat with you. Maybe we can get together up north before summer ends and chase some skis.

Posted by Pete R on July 15

Sounds good. I’ll be around most of August, end of September, and most of October - all pending a free work schedule. Give me a call anytime.

Posted by Andrew Ragas on July 16

Hi Pete. It was a pleasure talking with you and Cam Thursday night. We kept fishing the NMZ and had a few more follows but no eaters…I think my daughter and I will try again Sunday evening. Best of luck to you and Cam!


Posted by muskyfishn on July 19


It was great to meet you and your daughter the other night. Cam was hoping you’d post a comment. He hasn’t met a girl who muskie fishes yet and wanted me to cruise over by you guys but couldn’t muster up the courage to ask her name. I was razzing him pretty good on the way home. We got 3 today and around 6 for the week. Cam had the best one at 41 and it was a fatty. I’ll post about it soon. It was his 3rd over 40 this season. He’s pretty pumped to be up on me 3 to 1 now in fish over 40 this season.

Posted by Pete R on July 19

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