Superb Pike Fishing in a Muskie Tournament

by | Oct 2, 2022 | Hayward Muskie Tournament

musky-TournamentHours for the final day of the 44th Annual Hayward Chapter Muskies Inc Tournament were short compared to Friday and Saturday.  Today we started and hour earlier, 7 AM, but had to be finished by noon in order to be on time to attend the awards ceremony and lunch.  Of course, the Hayward Chapter had this all set to be finished up around the 3:25 PM Packers Game start – ha!


musky-fishingIt was a brisk morning but clear skies brewed above.  There was an early morning fog for the drive.  We were headed to one of three lakes.  First we planned on fishing Hayward Lake.  Then Tom changed to Spider.  Then we went for convenience being it was a short day of fishing, we settled for fishing on Round Lake.  Cool!  Another new one for me.


muskellungeThe fall colors are extraordinary now.  With the rising sun and its yellow hues, the maples and birches were rich with color.  Add in the ground cover in their peak as well and I couldn’t get my eye off the surrounding landscape.  Not a good thing for muskie fishing because you really need to be watching your fly come back to the boat and then end the retrieve with a figure eight.


flyfishing-muskieSometimes letting your natural state of mind is best for fishing however.  As I was gazing I got ripped then felt slack line.  This usually means you have a fish grabbing your fly then coming towards you.  As mentioned in a blog recently, this is something muskies have a habit of doing.  My focus left the colorful shoreline for some of the fastest strip-setting then rod jabbing striking you can imagine.  Lucky for me, I finally came tight.


Jeff-Currier-flyfishingWell, it wasn’t a muskie.  But after yesterday’s long 1000 cast day with nothing on the end of the 9-weight, this felt good.  It was a proper 28” pike.  And a feisty one at that.  He did a nice job absolutely destroying my 8” muskie fly.  But I’ll take it.


We kept at it down this gorgeous shoreline.  I stuck and lost another smaller pike.  Tom was moving fish on his lure but not getting eats.  He was pretty sure he had a muskie below his lure at one point but the fish of which Tom estimated to be in the 40” range, slid off not to be seen again.


muskyBecause of the sighting however, we made a couple more passes down this shoreline.  On our third try Tom connected.  He saw the fish eat and because if its massive size he thought for sure he had a scoreable muskie.  As always, I was poised with the net in a matter of seconds.


Tom-SmedleyIt turns out, it was another nice pike, only this one was very nice.  Tom’s pike measured at a whopping 34”!  I know that’s small compared to the pike I was catching last year in Alaska, but that’s Alaska.  This is a beautiful pike for Wisconsin!


We each caught our fish before 9 AM.  The way the big pike were on the bite we thought for sure we’d find a hungry muskie and at least score one for the weekend.  But no.  Once that sun got high and the temperatures rose to the 60°s, even the pike stopped eating.  We reeled in around 11:30 and called it a tournament.


Muskie-TournamentWhile we didn’t catch a scoreable muskie this was a great three days.  I learned a ton about muskie fishing and it was a blast hanging with Tom.  It wasn’t like we didn’t catch any fish.  We caught a total of eight pike, two largemouth bass and one 30” muskie.


Hayward-MuskiesAs for the tournament results, with 503 contestants its hard to keep track of all that happened.  But I do know there were a total of 49 scoreable fish caught by 45 of the anglers.  The winner, Ray Perry of Green Bay, WI caught three.  A 41”, 38” and a 42”.  The largest fish was caught by Clayton Thayer, a massive 49.5”.  That’s a beast!


fishing-barsThat’s all for now.  I’ll be catching up on things this week and also working hard on the house.  We have a new kitchen going in along with bran new vinyl flooring.  Our house will be kick ass when done.  Ok, time to meet Granny at the Anglers for the Packers game – heaven in WI!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!