Saturday, June 15, the alarms were set to go off shortly after 5 a.m. That is a bit earlier than usual for us to rise; however, our son, Craig, and his son, Jack, were in Rhinelander to fish the Boom Lake Musky Tournament.
The alarms were not necessary since we were at the kitchen table checking the weather report for the day. For 14-year-old Jack, this was the second opportunity to fish this very popular event and he was excited to hopefully get his name on the board. Craig has been extremely busy with his work schedule, plus Jack plays soccer and Craig serves as a soccer coach. Thus, this was to be the first time that he has had the chance to spend some time fishing this year.
We arrived at the Boom Lake boat landing and registered along with the other contestants. Lee Bastian, the tournament director, explained the rules of the event and told each of us to don a life jacket. The skies were dark and rain was forecast for the morning.
After looking at the skies and talking over options, our plan was to fish the “dark water” and watch the weather. Another reason to fish the dark water was that if a storm moved in, we were very close to our house and a clothes dryer. After fishing for perhaps an hour, it was time to put rain suits on and pay close attention to the weather.
Just after we put the rain suits on, it began to mist. The mist changed to a light rain. We saw several lightning flashes and then the skies opened up with a very heavy, pouring rain. Craig started the outboard and we headed for our dock. The next hour and a half was spent sipping coffee while watching the flashes of lightning and the pouring rain.
As the rain eased up, we donned our rain suits and headed out again.
To understate the obvious, only three muskies were landed and registered by 44 contestants on Saturday. By closing time on Sunday, only four muskies were registered in the tournament. Is there any doubt that a severe thunder storm will cause muskies to become inactive?
Originally, the Boom Lake musky Tournament was set to pay the first five places. It was decided that the money for fifth place would be held over for next year. The largest musky registered was 461/4 inches long and was caught by Jason LaCrosse. Ed Piasecki took second place with a 391/4-inch musky. The remaining places were 3rd place with a 351/2-inch musky and 4th place was a 351/4-inch musky. Those of us who did not catch any muskies say that we were tied for 5th place. We again talked about musky fishing being weather dependent.
This weekend, the Charlie Baker Musky Tournament is being held on the Moens Chain of Lakes.
The weekend prior to the Boom Lake Tournament, Musky Hunter Magazine sponsored an instructional program in the St. Germain area. This program involves classroom seminars plus on-the-water sessions with experienced guides. The bite was slow that weekend, with only three muskies being registered. The late warm-up this spring has put fishing action about two weeks later than usual.
Two weeks ago, the members of Bill’s Musky Club, from Wausau, joined the members of Dave’s Musky Club, from Kaukauna, for a joint outing in the Lake Tomahawk area. Each club had 46 members fishing and after two and a half days, one musky was registered. Fishing is difficult at this time.
I am not looking forward to mid-October this year. For quite a few of the past years, I joined the “Osseo Jinx,” our son-in-law, Shane Arneson, and a few other guys to hunt elk in Colorado. We had been going to Colorado every other year to hunt. It was a difficult decision to not apply for a tag to hunt this year. I have always been bothered by high altitude and each year it has been increasingly difficult to become acclimated to that altitude. We have been camping at 10,000 feet above sea level. Perhaps next year we can hunt mule deer at a lower altitude.
Enjoy the summer-like weather!
Longtime Northwoods outdoors personality Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.