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Learning lessons from landing tiger musky: Tom Shank’s Woods & Waters

Category: article

 May 23rd, 2019 by Keith Worrall  380

Modified May 23rd, 2019 at 8:49 PM

Don Manning holds up his prize, which was quickly and safely returned to the water. The tiger muskellunge measured about 44 inches. photo courtesy of tom shank 

“Got one,” came from the front of the boat.

As I looked over, I could see my cousin, Don Manning, with a bent rod. He was in the typical fighting fish stance — upright with the rod held high, allowing the fish do its thing without being forced.

Leaving a fish fight is important to allow it to tire. Just leave the rod to do its job, with no unnecessary reeling. I was told many times by veteran fishermen that you must “play the fish.” Don’t force them. In their words, “don’t horse ’em.”

Don was doing what we have done many times. In fact, the number of hookups on smallmouth bass probably would number in the thousands. Take each time you have fished on the Susquehanna River, in our case more than 60 years. You can get the picture of how many fish we have fought, caught and released.

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