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Fishing a species quest: Tim Baker caught 15 species, including sturgeon, muskie, bowfin; plus Stray Cast

Tim Baker decided to go on a species quest during opening week in Wisconsin and caught 15 species, including sturgeon, muskie, bowfin and pumpkinseed.

Tim Baker’s first sturgeon was “extra special” during his quest for species. Provided photo
Tim Baker’s first sturgeon was “extra special” during his quest for species.
Provided

Three days into fishing the opening week in Wisconsin, Tim Baker realized he had already caught his first sturgeon, a muskie and a northern pike.

“That’s when I decided to go on a quest for catching the most species possible in one week’s time,” he said.

I love quixotic quests.

He ended up with 15 species: Beside sturgeon, muskie and pike, he caught walleye, bowfin, crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed, bullhead, channel catfish, carp, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, brown trout and brook trout.

The sturgeon was “extra special.”

“[It] came from the Baraboo River, which is 120 miles long and one of the largest restored free-flowing rivers in America,” Baker noted. “The sturgeon was the most enjoyable. I’ve fished the Baraboo River for over 20 years, and I’ve had family members fishing for even longer. This week was the first time any of us caught a sturgeon from there.”

He fished southwestern Wisconsin, which explains the trout.

“I was most surprised by the muskie because it ate a bass jig that I skipped under a dock in a lake where I have not caught many before,” he emailed.

Tim Baker with a surprise muskie during his species quest. Provided photo
Tim Baker with a surprise muskie during his species quest.
Provided

Variety explains the range of 15 species.

“Yes, I was constantly switching presentations and locations,” he emailed. “I might fish a river in the morning using live bait, the lake in the afternoon with bass gear, and then sit on the dock at sunset, soaking minnows under bobbers for crappie and bluegill. I had between six and eight fishing rods rigged and ready for various techniques and species.”

Baker is a senior copywriter for Chicago-based Catch Co., the online fishing company that exploded after its Mystery Tackle Box took off. That helps explain his presentations.

“I used different lures that my company creates for the bass, pike, musky, walleye and dogfish,” he emailed. “Suspending jerkbaits, skirted bass jigs and shallow swimming crankbaits were my mainstays. Other branded lures will work just fine but using products that I’ve watched be developed is rewarding. I relied on natural bait for everything else, including cutbait, night crawlers, minnows and redworms.”

His go-to was a Catch Co. bait: Googan Squad Jr. Scout, a small suspending bass bait that resembles baitfish. He used the classic twitch-twitch-pause retrieve.

Baker comes from a classic outdoor background, growing up in LaGrange with brothers Ray, Matt and Kevin.

“We’re all Eagle Scouts and learned about the outdoors from our dad and the scoutmasters in St. Francis Xavier Boy Scout Troop 33,” he said.

Bowfin (dogfish) were one of the different fish Tim Baker caught during his species quest. Provided photo
Bowfin (dogfish) were one of the different fish Tim Baker caught during his species quest.
Provided

WOMEN SHOOTING

Shoot Like A Girl® Home of the Brave Tour is in Hammond this weekend. New and experienced shooters may stop by the trailer in front of Cabela’s.

ILLINOIS HUNTING

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STRAY CAST

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