By Cory Allen
If anyone ever tells you they know how the fishing is going to go down on the water on any given day, especially a guide, raise an eyebrow like the doctor just sneezed-injected the Botox. That someone is either a liar or completely oblivious. For all the accumulation of knowledge, tackle, techniques, and experience, the truth of all things is that we little to no any control over the world we’re trying to grasp during any musky angling foray.
“I’ll be honest with you Ron. Kentucky has the numbers and a few big fish to boot, but Melton Hill specializes in fish of a lifetime. I won’t tell you we’ll have a lot of follows, or catch 4-5 Muskies in a day, but if you latch onto one? It’ll probably be the bar by which all others in your life will be measured.”
So with that we set a date. As the Saturday January 17th date approached, prevailing conditions made for a very predictable albeit a little droll musky trip with a very focalized population but an easy-A for success. Ron had been on several musky guide trips and has seen his fair share of action, but despite having a couple good fish hook up, his PR to this point was 39″.
Ron, Ron and his wife Patti were the kind of guests I dream about having. They were very serious about enduring these elements for a krayt dragon, but unlike some die-hard musky anglers at times can be, we never forgot to have fun. I’ve often said in my guiding, “You can’t force destiny; you just have to dance with it.” I believe in taking things seriously, but so much is due to timing and date that you can’t control, sometimes the bumps in the road slow you down just enough so that you drive down the lonesome highway in the dark just in time to see the woman of your dreams come walking out of the desert and into your high beams, flagging a ride back to the nearest telephone an watering hole.
Leading up to the record fish, we’d been facing both adverse weather and water conditions, throwing very off-model punches greeted with blocks from every angle. Creative consumption: As the sun began to nestle down into the treeline, even in a failing light condition, I doubted a muskie of trophy caliber would move shallow enough for a casting presentation to be very effective so we didn’t waste our time slinging bucktails on the weedline. Let’s troll down to the buzzer!”
Not but 3-4 minutes later, on the inside curve a channel bend, like the locked hips of a Spanish dancer at the final posture of a tarantella, I felt the oh-so-familiar “tap….HEADSHAKE” I have come to know so well. It’s the kiss of a 50″. A peck on the cheek by the belle of the ball. I slammed the hooks of the 10″ Jake with a force only my Migizi rod could transfer, combined with the patented “70 HP hookset”, and said to Ron, “Heeeeeeere’s Johnny. Come get your 50, man!”
In the 15 seconds or so it took to get Ron’s line in I simply used the Yamaha to keep tension on whatever foe had dare interrupt my Count Basie-induced trance and remember thinking to myself as I passed the baton, “This one…feels a lil’ different…” Once she surfaced, I felt a sensation I hadn’t from a musky in oh-so-long…intimidation.
In my hastening to wrangle the fish, my Bobby Knight programming kicked in.