Monday, November 28, 2016

Leisure Outdoor Adventures Mille Lacs Fishing Guide Captain Tim Hanske: Mille Lacs Muskies on the Brain:

Leisure Outdoor Adventures Mille Lacs Fishing Guide Captain Tim Hanske: Muskies on the Brain

53X27 in. Mille Lacs Musky Guide Capt. Tim Hanske
Hello, my name is Tim Hanske and I’m addicted to musky fishing.  There I said it, not that I needed to if you ask my wife, my friends or family, or anyone who has talked to me for even five minutes.  I have a deep passion for these slimy buggers.  Musky fishing is something that I have been doing since I was around 13 years old when I had my first musky follow a bait to the boat. I think it was in that moment that something tripped in my brain and I never really could get rid of the “musky bug.”  I can still remember my first musky on Wabedo Lake, a 38 incher ate a bumble bee Suick, and my first topwater musky that I caught on Lake Alexander on a TallyWhacker prop bait.  Both of these special moments I was lucky enough to share with my father (who is the man to thank for my lifelong obsession with fishing).

Fast forward a couple years...ok, more like 20 or so, to 2016.  Armed with all those years of musky fishing and 15 years of guiding like a crazy person, I decided that I was going to put all my free time into chasing giant muskies on my favorite body of water, Mille Lacs Lake. I have spent more hours on Mille Lacs fishing for walleyes, smallmouth and muskies than I could possibly count.  I am truly in love with the lake and it never ceases to amaze me what kind of fish swim under the vast 132,000 acres of water.  However, in every relationship, typically there are some bumpy spots, and Mille Lacs was giving me some cheap shots this year.

A quick recap of my musky adventures in 2016:  I had been blessed with an incredible season of fishing and guiding.  My summer consisted of many guide trips, awesome customers, a good tournament run, and for the most part, good fishing.  The musky trips went really pretty well this year, some nice ones were caught, lots of memories were made, and of course we had the ones that got away.  Now, my personal assault on Mille Lacs was amplified by a truly monstrous fish (I’m talking a true 55-60 inch musky) that tried to eat a 18 inch walleye off of a customer's line.  This fish really made me go off the deep end, deeper than I had ever been.
Musky guide Capt. Tim Hanske and a customer with a 45 in musky
Actually the passion of the sport lead to many nights casting Bigtooth Tackle Juice bucktails or Klack baits into the weeds, sand, and rocks.  One of these nights I had my shot at a giant Mille Lacs beast after 13 hours straight casting...but my #80 pound brand new braided line was not match for the wicked Zebra mussels that lay on the bottom like little razor blades waiting to slice through hopes and dreams.  Seconds after, the giant jumped shaking his head with the sounds of blades chattering from its mouth and the big silhouette visible in the full September moon.  After the loss of a full moon night giant, I fished even harder nighttime, daytime, moon rise, moon set....I think you get it.  

47x22 in. Mille Lacs musky guide Capt. Tim Hanske 11/26/16
In the world of musky anglers, there are different types of motivated anglers.  However, there is a group of us, that will fish muskies until the lake will no longer allow us to launch our boats while cold temperatures and brisk winds are typical.  Dark nights, long days, random comments about the moon phase or wind directions, and other things that I cannot mention is our norm.  When people ask "How was fishing?" we hesitate to tell that them we just spent from 4:00am-4:00pm casting 15 ounce baits continuously with no photos to show.  But darn it, we will be back out there at 4:35am the next day because that is when the peak bite occurs.  It is an unexplainable drive, that honestly many people view as psychotic and irrational. These are the behaviors that we display in the cold water months to catch the true giants.  I call it passion...but I’m pretty sure anyone who does not feel the need to fish muskies until the end of the season calls it madness.  

52.5x26 in. Mille Lacs Musky Capt. Tim Hanske 11/26/16
So, here I sit on November 26th, a sense of calm, of accomplishment and sadness.  I achieved my goal by catching a 47x22 and a 52.5x26 to end my season.  I am saddened only because the season has ended.  I knew that I had one more shot at a Mille Lacs musky today, and I got lucky...but now it is done.  2016 had been a grind out on Mille Lacs for muskies with few follows, bites, and my own world it all boiled down to my last chance.

I ended my relentless quest of the 2016 musky season with my father, on my favorite lake, two very special muskies, and some pretty amazing memories. It was truly a special day, one I will be talking about for a long time. Just like the swish of the 40 pounders tail,  the 2016 season is gone, and I’m already looking forward to 2017...unless I become “sick” and cannot attend work Monday,Tuesday, or Wednesday….ahem, cough, cough…………….just kidding:)  

Good bye...52.5X26 in. ending the season

Thanks, Capt. Tim Hanske
Leisure Outdoor Adventures Guide Team

PS:  If you are wondering what made my 2016 guide season one of my most action packed season yet...check out Bigtooth Tackle at  these lures, specifically the Juice Mini 8 and the Weedless Klack bait played a huge role in my success (and many other guides) on the water.  

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