It was early November and Bill Swanson was chasing muskies on 13,000-acre Chautauqua Lake, N.Y. with his friend Vance Kaloz of Muddy Creek Fishing Charters. They fruitlessly trolled all day on their first go at buster gamefish on Chautauqua, located southwest of Buffalo.
“We fished all day, and did everything we could,” Swanson told NYUP.com about their no-fish outing.
But the following autumn day was different, as the anglers were on the right spot at the right time.
“It’s a time of year when you can really get some big fish,” Swanson said to NYUP. “They’re going on that frenzy where they’re bulking up for winter. So if you happen to hit it right you can catch those amazing fish.”
The pair of experienced muskie hounds were trolling diving crankbait lures, and on their second Chautauqua Lake trip they hit the jackpot late in the afternoon.
Swanson hooked and lost a big muskie, then he caught another great fish measuring 46-inches that was promptly released. According to the In-Fisherman “Muskie Length To Weight Conversion Chart” that fish would have weighed 30 pounds.
The anglers were glad to have had some action, and as the sun was setting they started getting ready to head home. That’s when a bigger fish slammed a plug in 16-feet of water, and after a hard-fought battle Swanson brought it to the boat.
“She did two tail splashes and totally drenched both of us in the back of the boat,” Swanson said. “It was just so great.”
The fish was Swanson’s biggest muskie ever – a 51-incher, estimated by the In-Fisherman chart weighing just over 42-pounds.
After a few photos the fish was released back into 17 miles long, two miles wide Chautauqua Lake.
As a dedicated and determined muskie fisherman, Swanson knows what it takes to consistently catch the prized fish, and he credit’s Kaloz’s skills of the sport.
“He just goes all day, every day,” Swanson says about Kaloz. “And that’s the trick to muskie fishing. You gotta be there when that bite window comes.”