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The Guide Log of a professional muskie fishing guide specializing on the Flambeau Chain.

Persistence pays off with two nice Muskie

48 inch 34 lb (23 1/2" girth) and 45 inch 25lb Muskies caught and released. Caught on Bull Dawgs.

August 11th 2013 was five days after dark moon. It was calm and clear on a Sunday night. My son Mike and I had decided to Muskie fish every Sunday night starting in July. To this point we had no luck. On this particular Sunday I was trying to talk Mike into going Walleye fishing instead. He said "no way we're Muskie fishing!" I was not enthused.

We fished two spots hard for about an hour each. Then shortly after dark headed to one of our favorite spots for moon set. We arrived about 9:40pm, a half hour before the moon set at 10:10pm. Within 10 minutes I had a strike and a nice Muskie on! It hit in about 35 feet of water and started heading for the surface imediately. I could feel the line coming up but it took several seconds before the giant fish launched completely out of the water. Then it headed straight back for the bottom peeling drag with a long desperate run! After a few more minutes and one more jump we had her in the net.

Once messured I realized I had again tied my personal record with another 48 inch 33lb+ fish. My third in my life this size. It was photographed (top picture) and released. 48 inches 23 1/2 inch girth = 34 lbs.

I always think these Bull Dawgs look big, but actually it looked small in this fishes mouth. I'm not sure you can throw too big of a bait if you're after really big Muskies.

Friday night August 23rd was our last hoorah before Mike headed back to college. We planned on fishing hard as it was two days after full moon and the weather was perfect, breezy with a chance of rain. Moon rise at 9pm.

Fishing the same area where we caught the muskie a week earlier. We were working Bull Dawgs in deep water between 20-35 feet deep with lots of bait fish showing on the depth finder. It was 10 minutes after moon rise when a Muskie grabbed my bait at boat side as I was about to lift it out of the water!! I saw the whole fish roll and it looked big as it turned and headed for the bottom. Luckily I was able to release my free spool and "thumb" the fish away from the boat. Then engage the reel again and get the drag realeased and continue the fight.

I crank my drag down tight so there is no slip on hook set. So in this case once the fish was hooked I knew I had to get the drag loose fast or hit free spool and hold on tight so as not to backlash. I was lucky. Big Muskies hitting at boatside can be tough. You have seconds that usually determine success or failure.

I thought this might be close to a 50 inch fish when it hit, but once netted I realized it was not. In fact as we looked at it Mike said "it's like 10 lbs less than the other one". And it kind of looked skinny. We measured and it was 45 inches. (bottom photo) When I saw the picture I realized it really was a nice Muskie. But the first one was a brute and a much heavier fish. Once they reach this size some Muskies can add as much as 4 lbs an inch.

For comparison remember these fish taken off the chain:

Gene Allen 1974 53 inches 51 lbs Tim Hovre 1982 49 1/2" 41 lbs

Muskies like this are why I am willing to spend so many hours between fish. The chain is one of the few places in WI that can produce 50 lb plus Muskies.

Some day.....

- Rick Domini

* 10/05/2013
   Persistence pays off with two nice Muskie
* 03/23/2013
   2012 Season Recap
* 04/01/2012
   40 Years on the Flambeau Chain
* 11/20/2011
   Late fall = Fast action for Smallmouth Bass
* 11/19/2010
   2010 Year of the Big Walleye for Domini boys!
* 12/17/2009
   Summer Peak & Predicting the Hot Bite!
* 07/19/2009
   Summer Peak
* 10/15/2008
   Big Fall Smallmouth!!
* 06/16/2008
   Walleye bite is on!
* 05/08/2008
   The Chain is finally open!
* 11/04/2007
   Smallmouth Grandslam!
* 01/30/2007
   Non moon phase trophy !
* 01/19/2007
   Safe Ice and good fishing are finally here!
* 11/08/2006
   Post Turnover Smallmouth
* 10/11/2006
   Turnover is here!
* 05/21/2006
   Cold Water Temps
* 04/23/2006
   ICE OFF CHAIN BY 4/15/06
* 10/23/2005
* 10/04/2005
   Warm Water / Slow Fishing should come to an end soon!
* 08/05/2005
   Full Moon, hot weather turn on the Big Smallmouth !
* 06/27/2005
   Full Moon + Moon Rise = Success!
* 02/07/2005
   Two Trophy Pike!
* 01/24/2005
   Big Winter Pike!
* 09/19/2004
   Big Crawlingstone comes through again!
* 09/05/2004
   The August Full Moon!
Great Guide Tips on catching big muskies, walleye and bass. Focus on the Flambeau Chain of Lakes.
* 05/03/2015
   2015 Walleye size limit has changed!
* 10/04/2013
   Late, Turnover Bigins
* 06/08/2013
   Cold Water!
More Guide Tips >>
Guide Log full of fishing info on the Flambeau Chain of Lakes.

The Walleye pictured is a rare "mid day" Walleye off the chain. Anyone who knows me knows I rarely fish ...

Flambeau Chain of Lakes Muskie Fishing.

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