Guidelines with Patrick Briere – St Lawrence River – Fall/Early Winter 2021 – Huge Catch!!!!
Jim Glass rolled on to the shores of the St Lawrence river with some of his personal gear, traveling from northern Wisconsin with high hopes of hunting down a giant. Jim is an avid musky hunter with an excellent understanding of these fish and always wants to learn more. The St Lawrence has a long history of big heart pounding musky, and I was extremely thankful to Jim Glass and every other client that has traveled over the years to take a shot chasing these incredible fish.
It was day 2 of the 5 day hunt. I had picked Jim up around 8 am and headed out to the river. I told Jim it was a good day to explore a bit of casting first then hit the troll later in the day. As the day progressed we were waiting on a window to open. It was a ghost town for a good part of the day. It was early afternoon when Jim got his first hook up hunting with a Red October tube. He caught a beautiful 48.5” musky. Shout out to Marc Arena and his crew – over the years they have set an incredible standard in the soft plastic bait realm making some incredible musky hunting tools for fishermen across North America.
After letting go of our first capture Jim was back casting the same nicely chewed ROB. About a half hour went by when Jim hooked another beautiful Musky. He quickly measured her at 49.5 she was quickly put back into the water. After some high fives and some heart pounding fall musky action we continued to explore the waters hunting the giant that Jim and I had been looking for. Hours went by with nothing after making the switch to trolling. The river slicks custom baits made of western red cedar produce some serious pounding action at low speed and moving a good amount of water which I personally believe is good for cold water hunting. I was scratching my head wondering where we should set up based on a history of big fish according to my logs taken over 25 + years of hunting the eastern waters and where we would hook up next. We both had high hopes with the fish biting as a big snow storm began rolling in over the river system. Things started to get very messy in the boat with snow accumulation up to one inch. I was struggling to keep my sonar graph clean to see where we were going with the 2 river slicks pounding out the back of the boat. We went over a small bait pod that looked nice. I made a slight adjustment to my speed and change in direction when I heard a very soft triple click of the reel. After hitting the throttle to speed up and set the hook the rod started to scream. I said fish on! Jim quickly grabbed the rod and started to fight the Musky. With some big giant head shakes Jim battled her to the boat as I slipped the net under her. we both knew we had a good one. After cutting all the hooks out and getting the river slick out of her mouth Jim got the girth tape ready. We both looked at each other and said it’s about 51 52 with a beautiful fall girth on her. Jim went into the net and put the tape on her belly. He measured her at 26” round and I said to him I believe that’s your 40 pounder that you were after. Jim has caught many fish with many high 30 pounders but his goal was to catch a 40 pounder as we had discussed during phone calls leading up to his hunt. Jim agreed based on what we were looking at was his new personal best. I got the fat boy Musky board ready to get an official measurement. I said to Jim the board is ready to go. He pulled her out of the net with a few holy crap words, placed the jumbo on the board and we measured her at 56”. Jim had a few more choice of words then we quickly got some video shots. The weather conditions were horrible for shots with snow fall and blowing winds.
I did my best to get what we needed and to get her safely back to the waters. Jim and I were floating on the St Lawrence river both in amazement after what we had experienced. Jim quickly saying let’s get trolling, maybe we’re on a window. We cleaned the boat up and deployed the 2 river slicks back out to the waters below and started to troll in hopes we were able to get another hook up. About a half hour later the rod went off again. I said fish fish and Jim grabbed the rod. He reeled in a beautiful 45.5 on the same lure that the jumbo ate. After getting this one we decided to troll a little bit longer to see if the window was going to stay open. After another 1.5 hrs of trolling we decided to call it quits and headed back to the shores for some rest with adrenaline flowing. We both could not wait to get to day 3 of the 5 day hunt. A big thank you to Larry Ramsell for the referral on this trip and to Jim Glass for taking a shot and hunting with me on the St Lawrence river and to the crew at Muskie hunter magazine for the opportunity to share.
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