Muskypalooza

Territory For Only The Dedicated Anglers

Last weekend my Pops and I made the trek back to the Northwoods of Wisconsin for the annual (last year was unfortunately cancelled due to the recent birth of a founding member’s son and the imminent birth of my son) Muskypalooza trip with my brother in law’s family.  This year six men were bold enough to travel 6+ hours each way for an extended weekend of strictly musky fishing while braving the uncertain October elements (don’t let the cover image deceive you) and lakes of Hayward and the surrounding area.  For those who aren’t familiar with the craft (I’m still a young patawan myself) a musky is a fish of 10,000 casts.  This freshwater beast (which resembles a saltwater barracuda) is not one that ends up inside your boat on accident or by sheer luck.  It comes with great patience, skill, knowhow and persistence.  But in the Fall we are blessed with (what feels equivalent to) a videogame cheat code which is the sucker baitfish.  These poor, bottom feeders are farm raised, sold for an average of $10 each to knuckleheads such as myself, and are like candy to the ferocious predator…

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This year we were fortunate enough to reel in at least one beast each, totaling nine muskellunge (one being a tiger musky which is a crossbreed of a musky and northern pike).  My Pops and I hit a few taverns to celebrate our voyages  on the wonderful waters of northern Wisconsin.  They were nothing glamorous but you couldn’t help but notice a sense of warmth and feeling of home as you eased onto your barstool after an arduous day of casting those heavy, bulldog lures.  Patrons on your left and right noticing the bibs you were still wearing, eager to hear a complete stranger’s story of how he landed the elusive fish.  This sense of gathering was abundant in each watering hole we patronized.  Just like New Glarus beers, this experience cannot be located south of the Wisconsin border.  The challenge of catching a musky, the unpretentious nature of the locals and the camaraderie of our group is what keeps my Pops and I coming back each year.

Here’s to traditions!

 

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