In yet another attempt to exploit what was becoming a productive pattern, we had our boat anchored in the same place we had gotten a musky the day before, doing about the same thing. There's a 12 to 14 inch locally caught sucker dangling beneath a styrofoam float and attached as loosely as possible to a partially barbless 3 hook (dual treble plus single) quick strike rig. It had been covering a lot of ground and was doing a pretty good job of staying away from the boat and near dangerous looking structure and cover.
After less than an hour, the bait was lurking near the opposite shore of the tiny river that we were parked in the mouth of when it suddenly underwent a burst of speed and began cruising downstream towards the deeper water. With little delay, the hook was set and a genuine battle ensued with the fish and I taking turns taking line. Within a couple of minutes though, the fish was up to the boat and quickly but carefully scooped out of the water. This fish did not become unhooked in the net due to the presence of the large single hook of the rig having its barbed tip through the tongue of the fish.
Some quick work in the boat had the fish freed, measured, photo'd, and headed back to the water. Just prior to the planned release, however, the poorly gripped fish started thrashing to the point where I was no longer comfortable about the safety of my fingers, and the fish launched into the air and hit the water like a bullet, never to be seen again.