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buffets with deserts to die for, and meals available basically anytime. And they also have a full off-lake menu to choose from. Wiley is staffed with some of Lake of the Woods’ best muskie and walleye guides. They offer Deep-V Lund boats as part of their packages, powered by new Mercury outboards. Their docking facility is second to none and is complemented by electrical hookups along every dock. Daily maid service and a full service bar set them apart from other facilities located on the lake. The lodge itself is located in a quiet bay, and their outside decks and dining areas offer some of the most spectacular views available from anywhere on the lake. Inside the lodge you will find two full bars, the main dining room and a lower-level group party room offering central air and satellite television. As I stated earlier, there was a time when all these amenities were not available to the muskie angler. A good deal of the attention we receive today is, in my opinion, due in large part to the growth of muskie fishing in general. But how do the lodge owners feel? Have they witnessed the same growth trends I have? Eric Brown Jr. says he can see a definite increase in the number of muskie anglers, not to mention a huge improvement in their skill level. Ed Tausk also says he has seen major growth in the past two years. “Vermilion may be somewhat of an exception compared to other muskie lakes,” Ed admits. “In the past Lake Vermilion has always been recognized as a bass, walleye and northern fishery. It was not until the late eighties that muskies were introduced to Vermilion. The real opportunity for a shot at a respectable muskie didn’t come about until the mid-nineties. And here we are today with a reasonably good shot each day at a fifty-plus. With that being said, we are experiencing steady increases in the number of muskie anglers. They respect their resources, and if trends continue, we can expect Lake Vermilion to excel beyond anyone’s furthest dreams”. Randy Tyran states that for the last fifteen years of owning Century Lodge, they have seen more and more fisherman each year interested in fishing for muskie. He also pointed out that an increasing number of serious muskie fishermen are hearing about the prime waters in their area and their outstanding resource. According to Randy, “the growth is not only in the amount of people that fish for them, but also in the desire these anglers have to release and protect the resources in which they hunt”. And, last but not least, I thought I would give the lodge owners an opportunity to turn the tables on muskie anglers with the following question: what is the number one thing as a lodge owner that you would like to request of muskie anglers in general? Eric Brown Jr. responded by expressing how wonderful he felt the sport of muskie fishing was and asked that all anglers share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport with others. “It’s the numbers that will win in the long run. Practice conservation, release and love a muskie.” Randy Tyran echoed that catch and release is the way to go. “We would love to have you experience the outstanding fishing for muskies we offer at our lodge. Regardless of where you decide to go, we encourage all muskie anglers to educate themselves on the use of proper equipment (braided lines, proper leaders, rods, reels, etc.) and the proper way to handle and release muskies. We also congratulate those of you who have seen their big fish swim back off into the depths. There is no greater feeling in the muskie fishing experience than to see your trophy go back healthy into its habitat to fight another day”. Pete Olson, “The KIng”, with a Lake Of The Woods Muskie

Ed Tausk responded by saying he would like to see the respect and consideration displayed by today’s muskie angler to continue, especially as the size of the fish increases. “Vermilion has a rare opportunity with its muskie resource and we want to see it remain far into the future so future generations can enjoy what we hold so dear today. This is a precious resource that didn’t even exist twenty years ago and it’s up to us to maintain it. My hat’s off to our local Muskies, Inc. chapter for all they have done and [I] wish them continued success as they move forward regarding their efforts on Vermilion and muskie fishing in general”. At this point, you may be asking yourself why I never asked the owners about television’s impact on their respective lodges or the sport in general, since this was the preface for this article in the first place. The truth is there have been many contributors to the growth of the sport of muskie fishing. Simply Fishing, Joe Bucher’s Fishing with Joe Bucher and In-Fisherman have all contributed to a degree, but the true contribution comes in the form of you the anglers – the people who have supported larger minimum size limits, practiced sound catch and release habits and, in short, helped bring muskie fishing to its current level of popularity. You are the reason we have more fish in more systems, more lodges to frequent, and more loved ones to fish with. You are the reason our equipment is better today that ever before, with boats designed to fit the task. You are the reason we have less mortality, better reproduction and a stronger understanding of environmental conscience. You are the ones. All we are as producers, hosts and writers is a conduit to provide an exchange of information, and for me, that’s good enough. Here at Simply Fishing, we’re proud of our success. We have produced almost 500 episodes, with many of them devoted to muskie, and we adopted a total catch and release policy on our very first program and live today to continue to promote it. And thanks to the support of the viewers, our program and others have access to some truly incredible fishing. Because of you, our friends the lodge owners welcome us with open arms. It’s now up to you to seek these people out and show them how much you appreciate their investment in our future. I know some of the lodge owners’ responses seem a bit on the commercial side, but that is to be expected. If they are to remain in business to service our needs in the future, they must sell their facility and services at ever turn. But, did you recognize as I did that during every attempt to pitch their lodges, they never lost sight of their passion for the sport, the fish, or the anglers? I did. These are the people who in some cases have risked everything to provide for us, and I’m happy to return the favor by giving them this forum to share with us how much they would like to continue to do so. The rest is up to you. Bob Mehsikomer is the host of the Simply Fishing Television Series, seen weekly throughout the United States, Canada and abroad on many networks including Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Wisconsin, WFN, the World Fishing Network, TLN, PAX, and more. For more information on Bob Mehsikomer or Simply Fishing, contact them at: We also invite you to contact any of the following Lodges for your next muskie experience: Pehrson Lodge Resort – Eric and Mary Hanson 2746 Vermilion Drive Cook, MN 55723 1-800-543-9937 Century Lodge - Randy Tyran Winter: 23777 North Shore Drive Edwardburg, MI 49112 269-699-5792 Summer: PO Box 785 Dryden, Northwestern Ontario, Canada P8N 2Z4 807-938-6863 Vermilion Dam Lodge - Ed Tausk PO Box 1105 Cook, MN 55723 800-325-5780 Wiley Point Lodge - Eric Brown Jr. Box 180 Sioux Narrows, Ontario, Canada P0X 1N0 807-226-5275