Mike Gold and Bruce Lund, of Staples, Minnesota, have been buddies since elementary school. They have hunted and fished together many years. There are many stories to tell of their outdoor activities over the years, but none better than what they experienced last fall while crappie fishing in Ontario.
Gold owns a trailer on Lake of the Woods, Ontario. It is property his family has had for over 17 years and has been a great spot for family outings like fishing, hunting and summer water sports. Gold and Lund have a long tradition of taking fall trips there for duck hunting and late crappie fishing.
The area they fish is loaded with big fall schools of crappies, which are also magnets for large northern pike and musky. It is not uncommon for anglers to catch a crappie only to have it smacked by a large pike or musky. Most anglers fight the bigger fish for a while until the line breaks or the fish lets go of the crappie. It does make for a few minutes of excitement wondering what is that big fish that just grabbed the line. It is most unusual to see someone actually land the bigger fish they are fighting.
It was a beautiful fall day when Gold and Lund slipped into a little spot known for big crappies. They were fishing with five-pound test fishing line in about 28 feet of water hovering over a large school of crappies that were showing up on their fishing graph. Gold felt the slight tick of a crappie bite and gently set his hook. He could feel the hook set into a crappie and started to reel the fish in when suddenly he felt a much bigger fish grab onto his line. He figured it was a northern pike or a musky, so he let a little line out to see if the fish would swallow the whole crappie.
The fish slowly started to swim away from the boat. Gold, using his trolling motor, started to follow the fish, being careful not to put too much pressure on his line. The fish left the 28 feet of water and slowly swam in towards shore in about 9 feet of water. Then it slowly turned and headed back into water close to 30 feet deep. This was a pattern the fish followed for an hour and 50 minutes.
Gold and Lund followed the fish wherever it went, being very careful not to put too much pressure on the line. Finally, the big fish slowly headed toward the weed line in 6 feet of water, where Lund was able to stick the net under it and land it. It was a 47-inch musky that Lund and Gold figured weighed over 30 pounds!
It was Gold’s biggest musky every. It was also a great crappie surprise catch!