What I Didn't Catch Over My Thanksgiving Vacation

Last week I wrote that I was as excited as the birthday boy at Chuck E. Cheese's about the pending long weekend. In years past, Black Friday and the days following have provided some of the most memorable fall fishing I've ever experienced. This Thanksgiving, after all that anticipation, added nothing but memories of frustration to the old brain bank. And ultimately, the weekend was a lesson in how quickly and drastically everything (including what you think is a solid, well-established bite) can vaporize in the blink of an eye.

First there was my striper bite, which was so-so this fall to begin with. But when the water temp drops from 51 to 43 degrees in 24 hours, it goes from so-so to no-go, leaving you burning 40 gallons of gas to scrape together three little stripers. Since Black Friday, I've heard no whispers or rumors that anything has changed. I think it's time to grab a fork and stick it in that game.

With no stripers around, I decided to do something I love in theory but have zero luck with in reality: muskie fish. My good friend Mark is a muskie freak of the highest caliber, and when you talk to him you get instantly fired up. He had a nice tiger muskie on Saturday, and some of his fellow muskie nuts fared well, too. Sunday morning we had a primo lake all to ourselves. Mild air temp. Not a breath of wind. It could not have felt more right, yet it turned out oh so wrong. We fished from 9 a.m. to dark without so much as a sniff. This, of course, I don't blame on conditions as much as me being a muskie jinx. With the exception of one trip to Western PA, Mark has never caught a muskie or even gotten a decent follow with me on the boat. Why he still invites me I don't know.

Anyway, that's enough of my venting/griping. Somebody tell me you wrecked something fishy over the weekend.