Bobby and I made a trip over to the Jump River this morning to see if we could scare up a couple of muskies as well as some nice smallies. I fished it briefly yesterday morning before I made a move back over to the Chippewa and Flambeau. The smallies had not done much on my last couple of trips here, but I had quite a bit of attention from the muskies who appeared to really like the three inch long “walleye sized” sucker minnows I was fishing with on eight pound test line. I got cut off several times and managed to land a 29 inch muskie.  Now I had a tried and true muskie fisherman in the boat. I anchored at the head of a pool where I was getting most of my muskie activity. I made my first cast at the edge of a partially submerged log where the day before I had a decent sized muskie grab and violate a two and a half pound smallie I had hooked next to that log. It looked like it was around forty inches long and had a firm grasp of the smallie around its midsection from the belly almost up to the top of its back  I spent a good five minutes or so fighting the fish before it finally tired of the nonsense and released the smallie. The poor smallie looked like it had been put through a meat grinder. I have had this same thing happen to me many times over the years and even though the muskie is not hooked, on rare occasions they will hold on to the smallie long enough for you to ease them to the boat and put a net under them. In fact, I caught a 47 inch muskie on the Chippewa River a few years ago who dropped and attacked a fourteen inch smallie six times during a long drawn out battle of tug of war. Back to the story. I made my second cast against the log when I got a definite take. I set the hook a few seconds later and could tell immediately that this was a heavy fish. It was very unlikely that it was a smallmouth. As it turned and made its way downstream I told Bobby that this was definitely not a smallie when about that time a really nice muskie launched itself completely out of the water. It was pinned just in the right place with my #6 Eagle Claw Baitholder Hook firmly imbedded in the outside corner of its mouth. As the fish began to tire after a few runs I tried to bring it up current towards the boat, but it was quite apparent I was running the risk of breaking the line. We opted for raising  the anchor and floating with the current towards the fish. As I gathered up my line and made our way towards the fish luck would have that we ended up a large pool of water with no current not far downstream. Once I was able to ease the fish into that current free water it was game over. The beautiful emerald colored muskie was forty-three inches long and didn’t have a mark on it. After it was safely released back into the Jump we decided to return to the same spot. Bobby was casting a variety of lures when all of a sudden I noticed a large swirl to my right a couple of feet from the boat. Bobby’s lure was in the same vicinity and as he dipped the tip of his rod into the water to begin his figure eight the fish struck.The muskie immediately shot towards the stern of my boat while Bobby deftly walked the muskie around the motor. From there it made a one eighty and swim up current and towards the bow of the boat. Bobby skillfully worked the frantic muskie around the bow and the anchor line where it again reversed course and made its way downstream at the point where the fight began. A complete three hundred and sixty degree fight that ended up right where it started with us safely netting the fish. It was thirty-five inches long and is pictured with this report. I only caught a couple of smallies after that so we decided to trailer the boat back over to the Chippewa because both it and the Flambeau had been fishing better than the Jump. We managed to cobble together another dozen nice smallies before a cold rain caught us at the end of the day and we put this day’s fishing in the books. Bobby is an experienced and an exceptionally skilled fisherman. It was a lot of fun to get to know know him better and put a couple of muskies and over forty smallies in the boat during the past couple of days. Even though he lives in Arizona and me in the Deep South I have a feeling this won’t be our last fishing trip together.

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