The plot to nab the biggest Geneva Lake muskie

Some insight into how Spence Petros thinks about fishing in how he caught his biggest Geneva Lake muskie.

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Spence Petros with his biggest muskie from Geneva Lake.

Spence Petros with his biggest muskie from Geneva Lake.


Of course Spence Petros was fishing Friday when I called.

“I am on the spot right now,” he said from Geneva Lake.

Petros, who nears 82, cracked, “Everything from the neck down can be replaced, I am OK from the neck up.”

It’s his head we’re concerned with.

Last week he texted about catching his personal best muskie from Geneva (he’s caught bigger ones in Canada) while fishing with a neighbor, “I got this fat 48-incher that was at least 30 pounds and lost a bigger one on the first jump.

“A long-time dream come true. Ever since I was young I dreamed of muskies being put in Geneva. Then I hoped I would live long enough to see them get big.”

Here’s where Petros’ head comes in, most were fishing deep water with big rubber baits.

“I like to do something nobody is doing,” Petros said. “We had a strong wind and it was warm out [earlier]. After the lake gets cold and you get a warm trend the third or fourth week of October, they will move shallow.”

It’s something he learned on such famous muskie waters as Lake of the Woods.

“Maybe it is the same trend on Geneva,” Petros said.

It worked. His Geneva PB came on a favorite Stagger Blade Bucktail (black skirt and shiny copper blades) in 7 feet of off-color water with the wind blowing in.

“The thing is I lost a bigger one earlier on a Tiger Tube,” Petros said. “He jumped and threw it. I was pissed off and depressed.

“There are big ones in here. There are 50s in here. God, I hope I live long enough to catch one.”

I wondered why Geneva muskie played on his imagination.

“For one thing, it is a hard lake to fish; catch one here, it is not like catching one other places,” Petros said. “I watch them get bigger. There are four or five 50-inchers caught.

“Most of the ones I caught [on Geneva] are by accident. I hook a rock bass or small largemouth bass and catch a muskie by accident. I do have a swimbait on a rod, if I see one boil or chasing bait, I will throw back after them.”

“Sometimes, something is extra challenging and it is close to your heart, it is extra special.”

Full length view of Spence Petros with his biggest muskie from Geneva Lake Provided photo

Full length view of Spence Petros with his biggest muskie from Geneva Lake


Wild things

Deer began seriously moving last week, fair warning for drivers from Chicago to the hinterlands to be alert.

Stray cast

I’ve fished blow days on Lake Erie with easier ups and downs than this Bears season.

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