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Wisconsin’s St. Croix Rods elevates fishing rods into an art form

Category: article

 Jun 17th, 2019 by Keith Worrall  250

Modified Jun 17th, 2019 at 12:59 PM

I’m holding a fishing rod in my left hand. In my right hand, a net. A fish is on the line.

But there are a few problems. First, the fish isn’t actually hooked on my rod. The lure tied to my rig has found its way into a tree (don’t ask.) Instead, I’m ready to net a musky — about 30 inches — that’s hooked on a crankbait belonging to my fishing partner, Jesse Simpkins, who was targeting bass. It is certainly not set up to handle a musky, as there’s no steel leader to prevent this toothy fish from cutting the line with the next thrash of its head.

Oh, and the boat is moving away from shore. And in my excitement, I didn’t open the bail on my reel, so I’m playing tug of war with the tree as the musky gets closer to the boat.

I clumsily maneuver the net in a couple of failed attempts to scoop up the thrashing musky. Tired of my incompetence, the fish dives out of the net’s reach.

The musky puts the fiberglass St. Croix baitcasting rod in Simpkins’ hands to the test. It nearly doubles over, as Simpkins works the fish back into net range.

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