Big tiger muskie: Fish of the Week

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I will let Kurt Kuhlman tell this tale of Tom Luczak and his four-foot tiger muskie.

Hi Dale, Three of us nortside Chicago boys, (Tom Luczak, Joe Montalbano & myself – Kurt Kuhlman) were up in Vilas County, Wisconsin this past weekend doing a little late fall muskie fishing with Minocqua guide Jake Smith of Smity Bait fame. We battled nasty winds all day Saturday, ending up with nothing but wind burns and disappointment. And so much for any help from dat dang super moon! Not the best day, but certainly nothing a couple of Supper Club Old Fashioneds couldn’t cure! Sunday morning the 13th brought a few cobwebs, but also new determination, a new lake, lighter winds, and a continuation of mild temperatures. Right about noon, that determination paid off for Tom, as Northwoods Jake guided him to his biggest muskie to date, a beautiful 48″ TIGER! The short but intense battle was followed by multiple whoops and high fives, as the 4 foot beauty was unhooked and hoisted into the guide boat. A few quick photos later, she was back in the icy water -successfully released to fight another day. Attached please find a couple of photos of Tom Luczak and his trophy catch. Tom has already contacted Lax Taxidermy of Conover, WI to arrange to have a replica made of this true trophy. Who could blame him? I thought you would appreciate the story, and perhaps consider featuring it in your column and or as a candidate for FOTW. Regards, Kurt M. Kuhlman Chicago

I did appreciate the story.

BTW, the listed Wisconsin record (for what that is worth) for tiger muskie is 54 inches, weighing 51 pounds, 3 ounces, caught July 16, 1919.

FOTW, the celebration of big fish and good stories, runs Wednesdays on the Sun-Times outdoors page. As this FOTW shows, the story part matters as much as the big fish part, generally.

Send nominations by Facebook (Dale Bowman), Twitter (@BowmanOutside) or email (

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