NORTH OLMSTED, OH – Those that know me personally or even those who have followed my blog over the years, know how much I am pained over the fact that I have never caught a Muskellunge. Each year that goes by without getting one, just makes the species grow in mystique and elusiveness. Admittedly, I have long since given up on targeting them, but I still convince myself annually that I ‘should’ catch one inadvertently. I know this isn’t a likely catch, and my optimism is foolish.
When I learned Mike Durkalec, Aquatic Biologist (and general ‘fish guru’) for the Cleveland Metroparks would be doing a presentation about Lake St. Clair Muskie Fishing, I knew this couldn’t be missed. While I don’t have any immediate plans to head to Lake St. Clair, I knew I could pick up some general tips for the species that I could apply anywhere the fish is present. It goes without saying this proved to be true. Being originally from Northwest Ohio and living nearly a decade in Toledo, Lake St. Clair doesn’t seem like an intimidating trip to make, so I’m also not ruling it out. If I do, attending the presentation was invaluable in increasing my odds for a hookup.
It would be impossible to share every detail of the presentation, all I can say is that all those in attendance had a very rare treat. The lake was analyzed with first hand fishing knowledge sector by sector. The forensic approach to the discussion was undeniably the biologist in Mike, and it was coupled with the sheer passion of a die-hard fisherman. Attendees were educated, entertained, and sufficiently had their fishing motivation fuel tanks filled. As I walked to my vehicle after the event, I’m certain I could hear “Eye of the Tiger” playing as I thought of my next fishing effort.
I wish I could end this post on a positive note, but I can’t. The worldwide situation with the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 had progressed to the point that it became necessary for the Cleveland Metroparks to suspend all public speaking events like this. It was the right decision, a responsible one, that saddens me deeply. Maybe attending this event, just makes the cut a little deeper, realizing the wonderful things we are now without. Know that I am praying for all of you during this difficult time that is still evolving.