Even though it was already October, a heat wave came through that made it feel more like July. The action had slowed upstream where the muskies would normally be congregating to feed, so we headed down stream to find these heat wary fish in deeper water closer to the main lake. We had the usual baited quick strike rig out with our last sucker that had actually been store bought due to our inability to catch a local one.
We had paddled the boat downstream from our starting point where the river was about 8 feet deep to the point where it was opening into its first deep bay where the water was closer to 20 feet deep. Having no action, we turned around and went upstream aided by the wind and a little paddling. We were about half way back to where we started when I got tired and offered to go back in. It was the last day of the trip and we were planning to start packing in a few hours, but Mike talked me into staying on the water a little longer. The bait had been lively with intermittent quite periods, and during one of these periods, the bait suddenly got really excited. I uttered "I don't know what gets into this guy sometimes, " and in this case, I shortly found out as I watched the float slowly submerging as it tore away. Barely able to believe that I was going to catch 3 fish in the same week (a lot for me), I numbly set the hook and had a fish on with the usual excitement and wobbly knees. It stayed low until it got under the boat and there was some speculation that this must be a very large fish. It just turned out to be strong, and shortly it was in the net.
The hooks dropped out immediately as the fish had only been stuck by two barbless points on one of the trebles, and they were in the hard part of the fish's snout. Some fussing, measuring, and snapshots later, and the fish was carefully released with no splashing, tossing, or any unplanned activity.