This is the one weekend a year completely dedicated to searching for Esox masquinongy - the largest of the pike species. I wouldn't say it's a weekend I can barely wait for every year, but it really is. If you know me, you know that this is my latest obsession.
This will be my eighth consecutive year going up to the Manitowish Waters area with a couple of buddies, one of whom owns a place up that way and graciously lets us crash for the weekend. I was fortunate enough to catch a muskie up there five consecutive years in a row. These past two years I've been skunked, so am super revved to get one this year. They are the fish of 10,000 casts, so they are hard to come by, but if you don't try, you'll never get one, right?
The occasion falls on the weekend of a couple of significant birthdays as well. My nephew and godson Nick's birthday is Friday the 13th. Then, on Saturday the 14th, it my brother Rob would have turned 54. There is extra incentive on both days to catch a muskie, with Saturday being an especially relevant date.
I sometimes talk about a couple of regrets I have with regards to my brother. One was that we never got up to Canada fishing together. He went on a couple of trips with others and I went on a few with Steve and another guy, but we never went together.
The other regret is that I never got him up to Muskiefest. He would have loved it. Part of it was a space issue and another was a boat issue. But had I to do it over again, I'd make it happen for both this and the Canada trip. I learned the hard way that life is too short to mess around. Get it done.
Knowing those regrets, I am going with two close friends who are like brothers to me. They taught me how to fish muskies and fed my obsession. On top of that, they put up with my constant banter in the boat and while enjoying adult beverages afterward. They let me be me for the weekend and the three of us always to have a ton of laughs. These guys make it all worthwhile and take away the sting of my loss a little bit, especially on this meaningful weekend.
Not to mention, both of them would go the extra mile to see to it that any one of us got a fish.
So, stay tuned and say a little prayer for me. LOL.