This pug-nosed brute is beyond spectacular in the looks and charm department.
Erin Howard is no stranger to big fish with teeth. Hailing from Nebraska, this die-hard angler has caught so many brute muskie and pike, that in all honesty, it's pretty mind-boggling! In fact, we recently featured her in a piece titled '10 Muskie Huntresses Show Us Some Big Fish They've Battled.' (You can read that article - and salivate over the muskie pics - HERE.)
June 7 will be long-remembered as a special day for this 22-year-old avid angler, because after many miles of driving, and logging only three hours sleep, she hooked into a fish of a lifetime. Here's the incredible experience in Erin's own words:
"I was running on fumes after a long drive, but wanted to hit the water to see what I could learn before the sun went down. Saw some things on the water that suggested I should change a few things up from how I thought I would fish for most of the trip - so I threw on a slightly bigger blade than my now jello-like wrists wanted to burn (DC-9). Gave myself till the end of the shoreline and I was calling it for the evening. Not even 2 casts later I had the fight of my life on my hands. She ran towards the boat and dove hard. I remember saying something along the lines of - I cant gain on this fish - as my rod was bending around the hull and the locked drag was slipping. It couldn't have been more than a minute but felt almost unreal. Finally she was boatside... missed the net once as I got a glimpse of her... and her size. I mentally prepped myself to lose her and yet somehow before I knew it, she was in the net... and I was shaking like a limp noodle. Took her out for a quick picture, bump, and in the water she went. Hopefully to meet again someday..."
This tank tiger muskie measured 46 inches in length, and as you can see, is girthy as all heck! You'll also notice the 'snub-nose' on this gal (the fish, not Erin!) which in itself is pretty quirky. (And for those wondering, the fish came on a Llungen Lures DC-9 bucktail.)
Here's two release videos Erin shot with her GoPro and posted to her Instagram account:
Talk about a clean and wonderfully-marked tiger muskie. Honestly, they don't get any better than that.
Catching a muskie isn't an easy task. Catching a trophy muskie (and a tiger to boot!) - akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Here's some insightful words Erin wrote on one of her Instagram posts:
"The fish of a lifetime is different to each and every one of us. This past week I took off hundreds of miles from home to get a shot at my dream fish. Perhaps it was my zero expectation, hope-fueled mindset, or the fact that she's my first (tiger muskie) that made this fish so special. In complete transparency, I was scared. Scared of towing a boat through the mountains, scared of camping in an unfamiliar wilderness, scared... of failure. A culmination of all those things is what hands-down made this beautiful, silver striped gal the most favorite fish I have ever caught. (...As well as the biggest). Tightlines everyone!"
Congrats on your fish of a lifetime, Erin. A job well done!
Follow along on Erin's 'big fish' adventures through her Instagram account HERE.
Images Courtesy of Erin Howard.
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