page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78

Randy and Jonathan Kintner releasing Jonathan’s first Osbourne Bay muskie. Your experience at Century will be very much a family experience. tailed information - which I gladly impart. As a result, they are not prepared to fish for the big one. To me, it does not make much sense to invest large sums of money traveling to Canada (or anywhere else, for that matter) to fish for muskie if you have not taken the time to invest in the right tackle, gear and other preparations beforehand. If it is your first time muskie angling, it can be quite overwhelming trying to figure out what to purchase for your adventure. If you have seen the price of muskie lures today, I’m sure you realize that it can also be quite costly. Most of the lures are over fifteen dollars, with some now pushing fifty bucks! With that in mind, I strongly suggest avoiding the approach of “buying the kitchen sink”. Instead, be a smart buyer by studying your location of interest and choosing your lure selection accordingly. In Osbourne Bay, where I fish, you can get away with using three or four lures and having a very successful trip. This shallow, naturally stained fishery provides excellent topwater fishing along with a good bucktail and spinnerbait bite. Deep crankbaits benefit you little here, but are used quite extensively on the deeper and clearer big part of Eagle Lake. My favorite lures for Osbourne Bay are the M & G Flashback Bucktail, Mepps Magnum, Poe’s Giant Jackpot, Bucher TopRaider It is also imperative to use the right fishing line. I am a strong proponent of braided line over monofilament for these brutes. Braid offers minimal stretch, which increases hook set capability. Perhaps more importantly, braided line stands up to the rigors of casting all day along rocks and other structure that would quickly nick mono and render it useless. With braided line you will often see a fray where the line has been compromised, whereas with mono you most likely will not. I personally fish with nothing lighter than 40 lb. test. With the fine diameter of today’s braided lines, the castability is there without the feeling of using rope we endured with the old black nylon lines. While I have seen braids fail (no line is perfect), they offer far more durability than mono. The last thing I want to see in my boat is a muskie, big or small, swimming off with a lure in its mouth and a bunch of line trailing behind - possibly killing the fish - because the wrong type of line was used. Proper leaders are also very important. The terms titanium, fluorocarbon, 50 lb. test, etc., mean very little to me, as I have seen all of them either break off or be bitten in two by a fish. I personally use stiff wire leaders with double snap ends and heavy duty ball bearing swivels. One bit of advice I often give our guests before they come is to go and find the toughest leader they can, pass it up, find one better and buy that one. Good ones should run about five bucks each or two for eight dollars, which I am more than happy to spend for a leader I can depend on. Remember, you are only as good as your weakest point, and if your leaders are sub par, the muskies will let you know. I find the 8-12” length is just about right for casting. The longer 18-24” sizes mean your lure will be hanging an extra 6-12” from the rod tip when casting, which is unwieldy and increases the risk of hooking your partner. Rod selection is often based on which lures will be used. If this is your first time, I suggest purchasing only one muskie rod until you’re sure this is a sport you will want to stick with. A good rod and reel combination can multitask for applications ranging from jerkbaits to bucktails to topwaters – don’t feel like you need to start out with a different rod for each type of lure just because that’s how the veteran anglers do it. Online retailers like Thorne Bros. www.thornebros. com , Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s offer a

number of good muskie rod and reel combos for less than $150, and I often recommend these to new anglers. And you will definitely want to use baitcasting reels. Once you get over your fear of the infamous “bird’s nest,” you will be forever grateful, because baitcasters cast with far more accuracy, distance and control than a big spinning reel. It is virtually impossible to cast braided line with a spinning reel without wanting to pull your hair out or give up from exhaustion. So we have covered lure selection, rods and reels, line and leaders. But what about the all- important net? Most novice anglers who hook into a muskie immediately scoop it up into the net and exclaim, “We got her!” as they bring the fish into the boat. DON’T DO THIS! Instead, have your fishing partner hold the net in the water at boatside while you remove the hooks. This method allows the fish to swim and breathe freely while remaining comfortable in its environment. The number one way to kill a muskie is to drop it or have it damage its head by smacking it on the bottom of the boat, which is very likely if you try to free your lure from an angry muskie in the bottom of the boat. You can also use the buoyancy of the water to your benefit as you maneuver the fish into an upright position for easier access to its mouth – just hold one hand behind the head of the fish and tilt it vertically. If the fish decides to thrash, just let go. The fish will still be safely in the net and you can resume once she settles down. Good pliers, mouth spreaders and bolt cutters (the red-handled ones you have in the garage to cut padlocks with), a tape measure and a good camera are all important keys to getting the fish unhooked and released in a timely manner. Once the fish is unhooked, properly holding and supporting the fish will make for a nice photo and boost your chances of releasing the fish safely. I believe that God has given us a handle to hold these fish. A couple tips to note: If you are going to grab the fish from its left side, you’ll want to grab its jaw with your left hand (and vice versa), as it tends to be awkward to hold the fish from the opposite angle. Remember to keep your hand as close to the outside wall of the cheek as possible to avoid cutting your hands on the sharp gill rakers. As you raise the fish out of the water, remember that its spine was not built to support its full weight out of water. Supporting the fish’s body with your other hand without making a bend in the fish takes the stress off and also provides for a nice way to show the fish to the camera. Please see the pictures below. I personally enjoy the release shots the best! The more I learn about muskies, the greater the respect I have for them and the more committed I am to their survival. They are not just another fish to be caught. Muskies show great interest in their environment along with being ferocious opportunistic feeders. They need to be treated with respect, as their survival in large part depends on how we handle them once caught. One of the big reasons guests choose Century Lodge is our mandatory catch and release policy for every muskie caught by our guests. Although Eagle Lake has a 54” size limit to protect its trophy potential, we feel that is not enough. Since we have and do catch muskies that big and with the understanding that keeping any