Saturday, December 10, 2016

Letter to Sir Esox Masquinongy

Dear Sir Esox, Monsieur Muskellunge, if I may just call you Musky,

Without question your reputation precedes you.  Many anglers consider you The Don of the freshwater sport fishing world and your "fish of 10,000 casts" moniker seems well deserved.  General consensus is that you're a bad futhamucka and I have admired you for many years without realizing how close you actually were.  

Last year I went looking for you on the New River and only caught several glimpses as you followed my lure. You reminded me of my friend the Cobia.  You're both very curious and willing to follow my offerings but sometimes you just lose interest.  And don't take this the wrong way but you guys act just like cats.  Not catfish; not trying to insult you; I mean cats.  You guys will show interest in something, slowly follow it, stalk it, get ready to pounce and attack, but then if it doesn't get scared or try to get away you don't care anymore.  I guess it's just not fun for you if they're just sitting there.  For example, there is a cat toy that is a feather on a string attached to short wand.  If you put that feather in front of a cat, it'll just roll it's eyes at you.  But if you twitch it right and make it act as if it's trying the get away, it gets destroyed.  Yeah, that's you.  It's like you take pleasure in scaring the crap out of the little fish, making it freak out, swim for it's life, all the while knowing you're just going to come with a burst of speed like a goddamn tiger and chomp down on it's sorry ass.  You're a sadistic predator and I know you give zerofux.  Ain't no shame in your game and that's one of the reasons I was so delighted to make your acquaintance last week.

When I found out that I could find you in the upper James River I went all stage-five-clinger mode and google earth'd the ever loving satellite view out of your neighborhood.  I'm not afraid to admit it.  I stalked the shit out of you.  It put me an hour closer to home than the New River and there's something special about the fact that the same water from the upper James leads to Richmond, my home town, and hundreds of miles later, down to the Chesapeake where I chase all my favorite saltwater species.  It kinda of brings you and Cobia a little closer in my mind.  

What's different about you though, is that it's much more of a mental game.  Throwing huge lures all day is no joke.  Cast after cast after cast, while making sure the lure is doing what it's supposed to, it's easy to start second guessing yourself.  There were creeks dumping into the river, nice rocky drop offs and all the other things you like to hang around, but I started to wonder if you're even in the area.  The wind was pushing me down the river way too fast, the sandwich from earlier wasn't cutting it, I was dreading the 2.5 hour drive back home, the cold was punishing my feet, but still I kept casting.  And casting.  And casting.  I tried to maintain focus but it did become dreadfully monotonous.  Until the moment came.  On my 6th trip (2nd to the James), you surprised the hell out of me and I fooled you into chomping on my 10" glidebait.  

The sudden shock of your weight on the line, the head shakes, the streaking side to side, spinning me around a bit, your violent thrashing near the kayak, I thank you for the thrill I was hoping for.  

All 41" of you, with that emerald iridescence on your back (that doesn't show up well in photos), the attitude, them teeth, I couldn't have asked for a finer specimen for my 1st musky and the experience was definitely an affirmation of your reputation.
On a side note, you've obviously been eating pretty damn good.  You had quite the dunlap going. 
Your belly dun lap over my fingers

I plan to be back in your neighborhood in the near future.
Don't be shy.

Until next time,