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Fingerling grows to 34 lbs., muskie caught in Sha - - - 4 messages. Showing 1 through 4.
VoyageurNorth
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Joined 02/05/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 1 Posted: 07:21 PM 10/04/05 (CST)


This is the story of one of our customers from the Chicago area. He was on the front page of the Ely Echo and I was impressed with the fish & the fishermen! They come up every fall and order about 700 large sucker minnows for their 2 week stay.



MORE THAN A HANDFUL - Tim Hartseil and Timmy Hindman hold up a 34 lb. 12 oz. muskie caught in Shagawa Lake on Sept. 24. They were fishing in four feet of water with bobbers and sucker minnows.

A massive 51-inch long muskie caught in Shagawa Lake likely came down the river from a rearing pond as a fingerling according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Tim Hartseil of Plainfield, IL was fishing with a bobber and a sucker minnow in four feet of water on Saturday, Sept. 24 when he hooked a 34 lb. 12 oz. muskie.

Hartseil has fished Shagawa for 24 years and never caught a fish like this.

His partner in the boat was Timmy Hindman who chased the fish from one side of the boat to the other, at one point tripping and falling half-way out of the boat.

Hartseil never panicked, setting down his pole and pulling in his buddy and a 34 lb. 12 oz. muskie that would tie the state record if it was a tiger muskie.

Joe Geis of the DNR said he believes from looking at photographs that “it looks like a pure strain of muskie, not a tiger.”

“The color pattern is noticeably different on the hybrids. Here you’ve got some spotting toward the tail and barring up the side but the pattern on hybrids has a lot darker bars and spots and sometimes a vertical line of spots and a vertical stripe. On this fish in the tail the tips are pointed and in the hybrids that should be rounded,” said Geis.

For Hartseil and Hindman, just catching the fish was quite an adventure in addition to having a good time while being in Ely for a week-long vacation.

“When it hit it just started shredding line like there was no tomorrow and he was almost running out of line,” said Hindman.

Hartseil was sitting in a chair in the boat reeling in as best as he could with Hindman chasing the fish from side to side with a net.

As he went behind the chair, that’s when Hindman ended up half in the water.

“I tripped on something and the next I know my right side is in the water. So Tim sets the pole down and lifts me out,” said Hindman.

Fishing for big northern pike, Hartseil had the right equipment. He was using a mustad muskie hook, St. Croix pole and an Abu Garcia 6500 reel filled with 30 lb. nylon braided line.

The two went across the bay to Shagawa Inn where they were staying and took some photos.

The two men decided to weigh the fish on an official scale and tried several bait shops before ending up at Zup’s Food Market.

“It was probably an hour and a half by the time we got it on the scale at Zup’s,” said Hartseil. “So it might have weighed even more.”

Geis believes the over four-foot long monster started off as a fingerling in the Wolf Lake rearing ponds.

“In the past when we harvested muskies there we used to seine the muskies out of the ponds and we had to drain the ponds to do that,” said Geis.

“When you got to the end we really had it drawn down to pull the screens completely out. We know a few fish have escaped when we were doing that. And when we would dip fish out of there to load into the truck occasionally some would flip out and travel down the river to Shagawa,” said Geis.

There have been other reports of muskies caught in Shagawa, including several over 20 pounds.

The rearing ponds have been used for muskies since the late 1980s and Geis believes a fingerling could grow to 51 inches based on the growth rates the DNR has seen on Lake Vermilion.

“We started stocking the Leech Lake strain of muskies in Lake Vermilion in 1987 and we have with our sampling of fish caught them up to 54 inches,” said Geis.

Muskies can be found in Harris Lake down Highway 1 as well as in Dumbbell Lake near Isabella.

And, believe it or not, in White Iron and Birch lakes.

“There were muskies stocked in White Iron or Farm lakes in the late ’60s and early ’70s in low numbers and also in Birch Lake,” said Geis. “We’ve had occasional reports from both of muskies being caught.”

As recently as last year the DNR caught three hybrid muskies in White Iron, ranging in size from 20 to over 30 inches in length.

Whether or not there are more monster muskies in Shagawa remains to be seen, but for two Illinois fishermen, they know there’s one that won’t be swimming there anymore.



Not to commercialize, but just to let you know I am one of those "outfitter types"






Voyageur North
1829 E Sheridan St
Ely, MN 55731
www.VNorth.com




Voyageur North
1829 E Sheridan St
Ely, MN 55731
800-848-5530
www.VNorth.com
WebDude
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Joined 02/26/2004
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Daily Subscription Msg 2 Posted: 07:01 AM 10/05/05 (CST)
Nice! Hey VoyageurNorth, can I add this pic to the pics pages????



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Hammer Time
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Joined 01/07/2005
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Daily Subscription Msg 3 Posted: 07:07 AM 10/05/05 (CST)
Nice fish eh?....... smile smiley
VoyageurNorth
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Joined 02/05/2004
Posts:350

VoyageurNorth's blogs, pictures and recent posts
Daily Subscription Msg 4 Posted: 09:19 PM 10/06/05 (CST)
Web Dude, sure, go ahead and post this one! :-)




Voyageur North
1829 E Sheridan St
Ely, MN 55731
www.VNorth.com




Voyageur North
1829 E Sheridan St
Ely, MN 55731
800-848-5530
www.VNorth.com
Fingerling grows to 34 lbs., muskie caught in Sha - - - 4 messages. Showing 1 through 4.
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