Ben Knutson

Last spot, first cast, one pull into the retrieve… “GOT HER!”

Mille Lacs lake in late fall can be brutal to the best of muskie fishermen… I had spent the last two weeks guiding on the lake with no success. The week prior we were moving fish almost every day but nothing would eat. Then, this week we didn’t move a single fish until I made that one cast; right time, right place.

My client T and I just finished up fishing a spot about 30 minutes before sunset. One reel broken, two reels on the verge of breaking, everything was freezing up and making it very difficult for us to cast. I had one more spot in mind for sunset and that meant we had to drive across the lake, about a 15-minute boat ride. With whiteout conditions, I strapped on the snowboard googles and we ripped across the lake. We pulled up to the spot and I put the boat into position. I knew the rod and reel I was using all day was frozen up from the drive over so I quickly grabbed out a fresh Thorne Bros 10’ Predator XH and Tranx combo, strapped on my Musky Innovations pounder bulldawg, and made a cast.

My bait hit the water, I cranked down a couple of times and made one pull with the bait… “GOT HER!”, I yelled. I could feel the big slow-motion head shakes and I knew it was a good one. She charged the boat and made one dive towards the back of the motor, just like big fish tend to do. I horsed her up to the surface and we got her in the net. High fives and fist bumps ensued! A couple of quick pics and we released her back to the water.

She measured: 55.25” x 28.5” (estimated 56lbs)

Editors note: The current  state record for weight is 56 inches long and weighed 54 pounds from Lake Winnibigoshish by Art Lyons on Aug. 28, 1957

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