The Unforgettable Catch at Pymatuning Lake

10/20/20231 min read

Some days on the water are etched in memory not just for the catch, but for the sheer thrill of the experience. My adventure at Pymatuning Lake, a gem straddling the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, was one such remarkable day.

Gliding across the lake in my kayak, the goal was clear: to catch the elusive walleye. The lake, with its serene beauty and abundant fish life, seemed the perfect stage for this pursuit. Since I was after walleye I was using 10 lb braid and a 10 lb fluorocarbon leader.

The day started with an unexpected twist; instead of walleyes, I was reeling in catfish. Unfazed, I continued, trolling my spin flies, a testament to my passion for fishing. As I neared a bay, weaving towards some log structures, my rod suddenly jerked back—a familiar tug that I first thought was yet another catfish. But the lake had other plans for me.

The moment I grabbed the rod from its holder, the line went slack. In a split second, I realized the fish was darting towards my kayak. I reeled in to match it's momentum, and just when the fish was about five feet away, it leaped out of the water like a missile. The sight was breathtaking—a muskie, magnificent and fierce, was at the other end of my line.

Battling a muskie was a challenge I hadn’t anticipated. My mind raced with the thought of losing this fish, especially with the fluorocarbon leader. But fortune smiled on me—the fish was hooked perfectly at the corner of the mouth, away from its razor-sharp teeth.

After a heart-pounding struggle, I finally brought the fish alongside my kayak. It was a 45-inch muskie, the largest I had ever caught in Ohio waters. I knew this magnificent creature deserved to swim free, to grow even bigger. After a memorable struggle, I carefully released the muskie back into the waters of Pymatuning, watching it swim away into the lake's depths.

Catching and releasing that muskie at Pymatuning Lake was an unforgettable moment, a true highlight in my fishing experiences.