I made another trip to the Jump River to see if the much anticipated fall smallie migration had started. The water was still low and clear. The weather was changeable from cloudy and spitting rain interspersed with periods of sunshine. I thought by now the fall movement of these fish should have started even though the water temperature was sixty degrees and we were almost two weeks past the Fall Equinox. But I would be wrong. In five hours of fishing I only caught three smallies. However, the one bright spot was that the muskies were on the feed even though I was not specifically fishing for them. The first muskie that I caught was a feisty twenty-nine incher. It was hooked in the corner of the mouth with my Eagle Claw #6 Bait Hold Hook on ten pound test which was fortunately out of reach of those line cutting teeth. There is quite a story attached to the second muskie I caught. As it so frequently happens I was snagged downstream from my boat. Usually the sinker or hook gets lodged between a couple of rocks, but instead of breaking the line I use a little technique I learned years ago to dislodge the snag. As soon as the snag pulled free I felt a fish take the sucker minnow. I waited about five seconds before I set the hook and when I did the fish did not move. I put some pressure on the fish and it became quite apparent that this was no smallmouth. I decided to put some more pressure on the fish and as I did a really nice muskie erupted from the water and cartwheeled through the air. It made two more spectacular leaps and circled the boat twice as I ran around like a crazy person trying to keep it from getting hung up in the motor and the anchor rope. The fish finally tired and I was able to successfully guide it it into the landing net. The muskie was 47 in. long and was safely released back into the waters of the Jump River. I don’t ever remember a day where I caught almost as many muskies as I did smallies. Weird day on the water. But no complaints when or wherever you get a chance to catch a couple of muskies.

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