|Lon's 44 1/2 inch muskie caught on Lake Vermilion on 9/12/12|
|Lon's 51 3/4 inch muskie caught at the same lake on 9/15/12|
The muskie came up out of the water and exploded onto Lon's top water lure about 15 feet from the boat. It took the entire lure in its mouth, dove down and then came straight at the boat. As it came toward him, Lon reeled in the line. Then the muskie took off around the back of the boat by the engine so Lon had to follow it around and along the other side of the boat. The fish was mad, thrashing its head and tail wildly. Jared was waiting and observing all of this with his net in hand. He netted the muskie before it had a chance to take off again.
It may not be obvious at first glance, but it's hard to hold a live muskie horizontally that weighs between 25 and 30 pounds while standing in a boat. But, you've got to do it because a photo is the only way to preserve the memory when you catch and release. Besides dealing with the strength of a fish like this, it's very slippery which makes it harder yet to hold and control. Prior to the Kodak moment, Jared had to cut the net to untangle the muskie's head, teeth and lure hooks from the mesh. After Lon lifted it up from the net, they measured and photographed it. Jared eased it back into the water and within a short time it swam off and dove down into the depths once again. There are so many things that can go wrong when you try to hook, handle and then return a big fish safely back to its original environment. I can't imagine how challenging that must have been especially when the adrenaline is flowing and time is a factor. (Of course, a fish can only survive for a short time out of the water). I'm so glad they pulled it off.
Lon's first catch, the 44 1/2 muskie, took longer to bring in than this one. Go figure.
I never call Lon by his name. I've always preferred to use nicknames. I love my latest: MUSKIE MAN.