Minnesota Angler Walleye and Muskellunge Hooks With A Cast

Some anglers spend their entire fishing career trying to land a trophy muskellunge – Paul Schiller snagged one by chance. Schiller was fishing for walleye on Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka in late May with his wife Rachel Daly, both of Minneapolis, when he felt a stiff pull on the end of his line.

It took several minutes to get the fish to the boat, but when it finally surfaced, Schiller could see it was a sizeable muskellunge (52 inches to be exact). Funnily enough, when he and Daly went to catch the big fish, they noticed there had a 21 inch walleye in its mouth. Both fish were hooked securely to the same night owl harness, with the walleye on the first hook in line and the muskellunge attached to the third.

After adding the guardian walleye to their stringer, the pair released the big muskellunge to fight another day.

Paul Schiller holds his 52-inch muskellunge with an estimated weight of 45 pounds. Rachel Daly

“I fish every weekend,” Schiller, 52, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “If I’m not in my boat, I like to fish from the shore, under the dams. I’m almost always on the hunt for walleye. Never for muskies.

“About five minutes passed before I got close enough to the surface to see it was a muskellunge. I only had an 8 pound test line so I loosened the drag on my reel. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on him. »

The walleye grabbed the same caterpillar harness as the muskellunge.
Rachel Daly holds the walleye caught on the same harness as the muskellunge. Paul Schiller

The pair already had a pair of walleyes in the boat when Schiller snagged his double muskellunge-walleye around 2 p.m. He fished with a caterpillar harness, which usually consists of a metal blade at the top of the lure, followed by a sequence of colored plastic beads to draw walleye attention to the bait. Just past the beads is a hook, then a short piece of line with a second (and sometimes third) baited hook attached to the end.

“One, getting a muskellunge to eat a worm almost never happens,” local muskellunge guide Josh Stevenson told The Strib. “Secondly, landing a walleye on a separate hook on the same harness, that doesn’t happen either. Already.”

Read more : The best musky lures

At 14,000 acres, Lake Minnetonka is the largest lake in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul) metropolitan area. It is a renowned largemouth bass fishery and contains other popular species such as pumpkinseed, perch, crappie and pike. Muskie was created with stockings from the 1970s. The Minnesota DNR continues to stock muskellunge and walleye every two years. Muskie is stocked in odd years and walleye in even years.

The Minnesota state record for muskellunge is a 57 3/4-inch (55-pound, 14-ounce) fish caught in 2021 by Nolan Sprengeler on Lake Mille Lacs, breaking a record more than 60 years old. Minnesota’s former largest muskellunge was a 54-pounder caught on Lake Winnibigoshish in 1957.

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