“Nice fish!” Gunnar yelled from the back of the boat.  I  looked back to see a nice sized muskie closely tracking his spinnerbait.  “Why is he swimming sideways?” Gunnar asked as he went into a classic Gunnar figure -8 [too much line out, moving the lure too slowly (I never think anyone does it right though {I should talk, I can’t remember the last time I got one to eat on a figure – 8!})].  It was true, the muskie was tracking the lure off to the side instead of right behind it.  “I bet that fish only has one eye!” I said as I watched the curious behavior. Around one time on a figure-eight, and the around the back of the boat, the fish kept its left eye just inches from the lure. Eventually the fish grew weary of Gunnar’s boatside antics and sank back into the depth of the Lower Two Fish Hole.

It was another great day chasing river muskies. The stars had aligned perfectly for a mid-week outing, and Gunnar was as pumped as I was to get after them, as he was 20 minutes early getting to my house.  Last minute tackle wrangling ensued, but soon we were on our way.  When we arrived at the boat landing early that morning, we were greeted by water that was a little higher than I had expected.  Mind you, it was now at the PERFECT level, but it had jumped almost a foot overnight, and when combined with dropping water temps I was a little concerned that the fish might be in a funk.  My worries were unfounded though, as our first stop at the Big Cottonwood Hole had a hot fish behind my bait right away.  It’s always great to move a fish right away.

We had moved a couple of other fish in other spots before Gunnar’s weird follow, so things were looking promising.  After that follow, we fished down to the bottom of the hole.  I changed it up, and put on a Bulldog.  Bulldogs are a wildly popular muskie lure, but I rarely use one, and had never actually caught a muskie on one.  Working our way back up along the deep current seam, I pitched the Bulldog up and across, and allowed it to sink into the ten foot depths of the hole before beginning my retrieve.  They really look great in the water, and it is hard to imagine how a fish could resist one. Right when we got back to the spot where the unusual following fish had been sighted, my Bulldog got SLAMMED.  After a normal muskie battle–brief but spirited, I had the fish firmly by the gill cover.  A quick check of the fish’s face revealed that my theory was true–the fish’s right eye was glazed over.  I was glad the fish was still able to feed, and got it back in the river after a quick photo.  The fish doused me with a tail splash as it took off, giving me confidence that the fish was  none the worse for wear.   I hope someday One Eyed Willie and I will meet again.

We raised a couple more that day, and even came back to the follows with the Bulldog, which I was now sure was a sure-fire tactic.  It wasn’t to be, and the ran was increasing by the minute.  Our plans to end the day at a spot near the access was foiled by shore bound anglers huddled under an umbrella while they waited for a bite.  I’m not about to fish from my boat in front of shore bound anglers so we put it on the trailer.

Only one fish today, but anytime you are in the “plus” column at the end of a day of muskie fishing it was a good day!