Paul's story in his words:
"As Kendra and I pulled up to one of my more productive fishing spots on the mighty St. Croix River I knew that it was going to be a good evening. I was going for smallies and walleyes as per usual on the Croix, armed with my trusty medium action walleye rod spooled with 10 pound test Fireline Crystal line. My bait of choice for this occasion was a size 5 jointed shad rap (#5 JSR) in a crayfish color pattern. I dropped the trolling motor and started to cast the rip-rap shoreline. I took 2 casts with no results but the third was a different story. My 3rd cast, I felt, was a particularly well placed cast. I started my retrieve and just about halfway to the boat Kendra heard the common phrase "there's one." Because it is so common to hear those words when fishing with me, she had little reaction and didn't even look up from her book. I quickly noticed that this was not a small walleye or smallmouth bass or smallie. I said "grab the net, this is a big one" --short pause-- "it's a muskie!" I battled the mighty fish for about 10 minutes making sure not to horse it because of my light line and no leader. I knew the fish was hooked well and all I had to do was to wear it down a little. My heart almost stopped when the massive fish broke the surface of the water in a fit of rage and wildly shook it's head, attempting to throw the bait. After fighting the fish all the way around the boat, I had him in netting position. There was a problem though...Kendra was not able to climb around me to get the net in place. She handed me the net and I, rather skillfully, netted the fish head first and pulled the fish into the boat. The fight was over! I won! I gently removed the hook from the mouth (and the nasty lamprey--like a big leech--from it's side) and measured the muskie. The massive fish taped about 40 inches and about 17 pounds. After a few pictures (lucky I had my personal fishing photographer along), I released the fish to swim another day. Unfortunately, the spot where the lamprey that I removed was dripped a little blood on Kendra's book....oops...I won't hear the end of that for a long time."