Twenty-Eight Pounds, Forty-Eight Inches – The Monksville Chronicles #120

Everyone thinks a muskie is a shallow water fish, but in reality – especially in Monksville – the bigger muskies spend 90% of their time, if not 95% of their time, in the deepest water in the area where they’re livin’. Whether that’s twenty-eight feet or ninety feet, the fact is, that’s where they are, that’s why they’re so hard to catch, and that’s why you don’t catch ‘em castin’ a lot – they’re not up there in the shallows, they’re in the deep water. You catch ‘em in shallow water when they go up to feed, that’s the only time they leave the deeper parts of the lake. So every time I fish on Monksville, I always make sure I check the shallows because, quite simply, you don’t tell a fish where he should or shouldn’t be. If there is one golden rule to fishing, that right there is it.

So this particular day I caught one which I thought was a pretty big fish, twenty-eight pounds, a pretty good-sized muskie. I was checking my shallow spots up in the north end and I went to all the weedlines, all the spots that I thought there might be a fish out that particular day, and no fish. So as I was getting ready to head out to my deeper water spots, I said to myself, “Oh, you know what, let me just check the stream channel, that’s the deepest water in the area. Maybe there’ll be one in the channel.”So I changed the setting on my JB to get it down deeper and I went down, turned the boat around. The deepest section of the stream channel there is twenty-one feet and that’s the bottom of the channel. So I took my boat, I got my depth finder going, I went right over top of the stream channel, cut out into the middle, hit twenty-one feet, dropped the JB down, hit the bottom one time, POW! I thought I was hung. I was like, “Jesus, I’m hung? God!”

Turn the boat around, start jerkin’ on the line, the bottom starts fightin’ back. I’m like, “Oh boy, we got a big fish on.” I start fightin’ the fish and you know, felt like a pretty good fish, but didn’t feel like a giant, and I’m like, “A’ight, it’s a muskie, it’s a good muskie for sure.” Bringing it in, bringin’ it in, and all the sudden this thing pops up and I swear to god the first thought that goes through my head is State record. This thing is gigantic, and just as I think that, I look at the fish and look around and there is not a soul on the reservoir. So, I got him to the boat, landed him, trying to take a picture, can’t take a picture, freakin’ out because I wan’a get him back into the water because it’s summertime and I don’t wan’a kill him or her or whatever it was so, all right, that’s enough, put it back in the water, took a picture of it in the water, released it.

I was rattled. And then, uhhh… I started making my phone calls, then lo and behold it came up again. Drive the boat over to it, start revivin’ it, send it back down, and that was the last I saw of it. Twenty-eight pounds, forty-eight inches.

To revive, I held it by the tail and swished water in front of its face, like it was in a river, and it seems to me that doing so gives it more oxygen moving across its gills. It kinda peps them up when you do that, gives them more oxygen, makes it easy for them to get the oxygen. That’s why fish like moving water.

– M.W.


This has been the twentieth story from the first appendix of the book The Monksville Chronicles. Here is everything you need to know about it:

The Monksville Chronicles

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~

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