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Nice story in the Star Tribune

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Fish tale: A monster muskie


Bill McDaniel, 74, of Fergus Falls, pulled a 47-inch muskie out of the Otter Tail River.

"At the happy age of 74, I finished mowing the grass, and with my boat motor being repaired, I thought it would be nice to go fishing," McDaniel said.

"I decided to go to the Orwell Dam and fish from the bank.

"I was told that there were walleyes being caught, so I rigged up with a lead-headed jig and a worm and 10-pound line.

"On the first cast I was hung up on a rock; on my second, I thought I was hung up again, but this time the rock started to move up the river toward the dam!

"You bet I had a fish -- it went up the river and down the river and across the river.

"Another angler with a net helped me land it.

"It took two of us to lift it.

"I tried to weigh her, but she broke my scale. We took photos and released her.

"This is the largest fish I have ever caught.

"I tell people I have fished 70 years for this one. It was a once-in-a-lifetime fish."

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Bill McDaniel, 74, of Fergus Falls, finally figured out that contraption his grandkids bought for him to see the pictures they email to him from time to time.

He thought to himself, “hey I bet I can manipulate a picture to make it look like I caught a big one”, then I can send it into the newspaper down in the big city and become famous!

End Sarcasm

This guy was out fishing with worms probably enjoying a cold beverage much like the guys in Grumpy Old Men, and then this awesome fish decides to bite his line and probably gave him the fight of his life.

I say Congrats!!!

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I think this same picture was posted on fm over a month or so ago i looked around for the post but I couldnt seem to find it. Definetely a fish of a lifetime!!!

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Another congrats for sure!

I know that area pretty well. Makes me wonder how a leech laker got in there??? Anyone have any guesses? Or is that another strain? The Locals were probably wondering why the walleye fishing all of a sudden turned off shockedshockedshocked

also, let that girl grow a few more inches and keep eating well and we have the new state record.

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Congrats to this guy - we should also be talking about the recent stories in the Star, mainly "How Many Muskies is Too Many?" and "Muskie Intrudes on a Smallmouth Expedition" or something to that effect. Hope you saw the columns, what's the Star trying to do to us?

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Do you have the link to the Smallmouth / muskie article?

I cant speak for everyone but I would Much rather Catch a Muskie than a SmallMouth!

Brian K

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Here is the link to the first story:

Link still works, this one is really bad, total spin - notice where the guy from SFRMM says "I even fish for them myself once in awhile"

Yeah, with a spear.

Here is the second column - not even sure what the point is here.

Bill Marchel: Muskie intrudes while on mission for smallmouth

By Bill Marchel, Special to the Star Tribune

Last update: June 25, 2008 - 8:22 AM

MILLE LACS LAKE -- Last week, on one of the few glorious days we've had this spring, Lindy Frasl of Fort Ripley, Minn., and I launched his boat on this expansive lake.

Our intent was not to catch walleyes for which Mille Lacs is renowned, but to cast for smallmouth bass, a fish most famous for its fight and aerial acrobatics while on the end of a line.

At one point during our afternoon of fishing, I cast a jig and crawtube combination toward exposed rocks, and wham, I had a hit. Then my line went limp.

"Something just bit me off," I said, and pointed toward the shallow rock hump.

"I see the fish," Lindy said. "It's a muskie."

When Lindy cast a Rapala Husky Jerk toward the muskie -- you guessed it -- it bit off his line, too. Then the 40-plus-inch fish swam slowly away despite our efforts to feed it a third lure.

By sunset Lindy and I had boated and released about 15 smallmouth bass, but none were over four pounds.

Bill Marchel, an outdoors columnist and wildlife photographer, lives near Brainerd.


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Unless I am imagining this (I'm biased I'm a musky fisherman) there is not close to enough muskies in Minnesota. I think it's a case of people trying to skew others minds because they don't want to see the way it really is. How many people catch a walleye and eat it vs. how many people take a muskie and release it. What percentage of fishermen fish/harvest their limit on walleye's vs. pike or musky? I think the DNR has always been on the ultra conservative side on putting Muskie's where they weren't before. I catch bucketmouths all the time accidentally while musky fishing. A lot of the metro lakes are just stocked with Tiger Muskie that don't naturally reproduce as a means to make sure the population doesn't explode if the lake conditions were conducive to it.

What's next are these people gonna start trying to conceal and carry in their boat so they can do what was done in the past? These things don't eat up all the fish in the lake. People should realize that when there are perceived problems sometimes when you think things through and open your mind you realize that there is not one smoking gun that is causing a problem - usually it's a combination of factors!

And by the way how many times have we heard/seen examples of people jigging for walleye's and really being excited to catch a big hog? I always thought if there were complaints to make about fishing in MN it would be about the over abundance of people fishing on certain metro lakes.

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