The Muskie Tale is presented to the person in our chapter who has the best story of some event that happened in the past season. A “muskie tale” is not usually about catching the big one, or even about the one that got away. It is usually about some mishap that occurred while fishing, on the way or returning from a fishing expedition.
The 2012 winner of the Muskie Tale is Time Hoene. Here is Tim's story:
Tim Hoene, his daughter Libby, and her boyfriend Marko Brinatte were fishing in the Frank Schneider Muskie Tournament. Libby had to work at her new job on Friday, so Tim and Marko headed up to the tournament from the cities on Thursday evening after work with the boat in tow and all their gear.
Tim and Libby had registered for the tournament early, but Marko had yet to do so. No problem, they had plenty of time to make it to Walker by 10 pm to get Marko registered and pick up their tournament packets.
Marko and Tim had gotten just past Big Lake when they knew something was not right. After stopping to check it out, they realized that they had blown a wheel bearing on the trailer. After lots of frantic phone calls to every repair shop in the area, they finally found a mechanic to help them.
He drove out to where they were on the side of the road and took the wheel back to his shop to repair it. More frantic phone calls and the only new bearing available was finally located - in Elk River. With their only vehicle on the side of the road with the boat, how were they going to get that bearing? The shop secretary volunteered to drive Tim back to Elk River to pick up the bearing.
The mechanic stayed after hours to install the new bearing and drove Tim back to the boat on the side of the highway and got them on their way. What a nice guy. He didn’t charge anything extra and wouldn’t take any extra money for the great service.
So Tim and Marko were back on the road, but the time was running out to get to Walker by 10 pm. More frantic phone calls to let them know they were coming. They arrived with 5 minutes to spare. Marko got registered and Tim picked up tournament packets for he and Libby. They headed up to Bemidji where they would be fishing.
On the way there they discovered that the house they had planned on staying at for the weekend was unavailable. More frantic phone calls. They were able to get the last room at an older hotel. Small room, little cots, and not much sleep that night.
The next morning, Marko and Tim were at the boat ramp bright and early so they could be on the water by 7. They removed the tie downs and winch line and started backing the boat down the ramp. Marko was in the boat ready to drive it off the trailer, Tim was driving the truck. He thought they were in the water and Marko could drive off, so he hit the brakes. It was a roller trailer.
Thunk!! And there the boat was. Off the trailer, sitting on the boat ramp, but not exactly in the water. More frantic phone calls and they finally located a company with a flat bed trailer who came to the rescue. The boat was slowly winched up onto the flat bed, inches at a time.
OK, the boat was off the ramp, but how to get it into the water? Extend the bed of the truck out over the water, tilt it, and the boat floats off just like it was supposed to. Not your every day launch, but they were in the water and fishing – just a little late.