casey smilingYesterday I had the opportunity to fish an area I’ve never fished or even seen before. We were fishing for muskie and even though it was the 12th of November the temperature was suppose to in the teens and the wind was suppose to be minimal.

I was very excited and had been wanted to try some muskie fishing for quite some time. So thanks Casey.

Fishing The Arm For Muskie. The What??

mactaquac parkBefore yesterday I had never heard of the arm and if I did I imagine I was thinking they were talking about a body part. As we were heading toward Fredericton Casey explained that it was actually the Mactaquac Park Arm.

We were going to use the marina to launch the boat but they gates were closed and locked. Guess they didn’t get out of bed as early as we did so we had to launch down near the dam.

From there we headed towards the causeway and through the culverts into The Arm.

casey backing boat into water
Casey backing his boat into the water for a day of muskie fishing

We started our day on the water each wearing multiple layers of clothing and as the day moved forward it got warmer and warmer. By the end of the day it looked like I had my entire wardrobe piled in the front of the boat.

There wasn’t much of a breeze all day long, well until about 4pm and then we saw a little chop starting but by then we were heading back to the launch point.

trolling for muskieOnce we were on the water we set the lines for trolling and headed towards the culverts that would let us into the The Arm.

The water was like a mirror, without the slightest ripple. This is one of my favourite times of the day and usually doesn’t last long but this day it stayed like this until late afternoon.

Not sure how long we took to get to the culverts but for quite a distance I could see them using the zoom feature on my camera. I was wondering if we would be able to get the boat through them.

small culvertsI could see the causeway from a long ways away and used the zoom feature on my camcorder to look for the culverts. Excuse the image on the right but it was a long ways off.

I kept looking at them as we got closer and was wonder if they were going to get any bigger. Then Casey pointed to the right of those culverts and I saw the culverts we were actually going to go through.

culverts mactaquac park arm

They still didn’t look all that big but we were still a distance away and by the time we got there and I saw how big they really were my mind was at ease. A whole lot easier to go through than those at Redbank, near Chipman, New Brunswick. See you on the other side.

I could see all the way to the next causeway, at the other end and it was really foggy up there. When I looked behind us I could see the hills in the distance had very cool looking sky-line that was glowing.

glowing skyline
I zoomed in on the skyline which was about 10km away. Looked really cool.

sun over fishing rodIt wasn’t long before the clouds started to break up and allow the sun to shine through. But it was still a couple of hours before it really got sunny.

I took the shot on the right at about 11:30 and by noon I think the sky had cleared and then it really started to warm up. The pile of clothes I was peeling off was getting bigger.

By the end of the day I was down to just a tee-shirt and a lite sweater. Could not have asked for a better day, that’s for sure.

I am looking outside today and it’s warm but man that wind is strong enough to knock you over. I had to hook a chain up to our dog so she wouldn’t blow out of the yard. Okay, I might be stretching the truth a bit, but it sure would be choppy on the water today. Casey picked the perfect day.

skies are clearing
I took this picture at exactly 12:00 and the clouds were all but gone.

still foggy at the other endfog has liftedIt was still quite foggy at the other end of the Arm, which was still quite a ways away, but within just a few short minutes the fog was gone.

It was like I turned my back for a minute and the fog lifted.

Not too long after we launched I had my first strike. It didn’t feel like a longer fish would feel so I am kind of thinking it was a big smallie but never found out because I didn’t set the hook hard enough and he was gone.

Shortly after that my Rapala lure got smacked hard. I did my best to set the hook this time and had it on for a few seconds, just long enough to believe it was a muskie and it pulled a whole lot harder than any pickerel I’ve caught. We’ll never know because it got away too.

Not too much time later I had another strike. This time I was determined to set the hook better than the last two times but still didn’t keep it on the line. The action did heat me up though and I took off another layer of clothing.

Then at about 12:45 just as we were going around the little island above I had another strike. This time I put everything I had into setting the hook and had it on. This time I didn’t lose it and Casey had the net at the ready.

As it got closer to the boat I knew it was a muskie, my first ever muskie. I was so excited and even shaking. First time ever fishing specifically for muskie and I get one. I pulled it around and aimed it for the net and we had it landed.

25 inch chain pickerelThen we got it into the boat and that’s when I realized it was a pickerel. A big fat 25” chain pickerel and not the muskie I thought it was. Oh well I had that feeling of catching my first muskie, even if it only lasted for a couple of minutes. I was still quite pleased with my chain pickerel.

When I pulled the pickerel out of the net to measure it I was certain it was at least 26 or 27 inches as I’ve caught a few that were 25”, so I was excited to have a new personal best, but the ruler doesn’t lie and it measured in at 25”. I guess the fact it was so fat it looked bigger.

sunsetting as we leave mactaquac
The sun is setting on in Casey’s side view mirror as we are heading home.


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