It was a simple request from one angler to another.
"My name is Robby and I am looking for an opportunity to fish with you. I believe that you have spoken with my father and I understand you are almost completely booked. So I would like to schedule a trip with you before I go back to school in mid August. Could you give me some dates you are available?"
And so it began -- the saga of another Fox Chain fairy tale about to come true.
It isn't always easy for a guide to deliver under pressure, but it sure worked out well in this case for guide Chris Taurisano of T-Bone Guide Service (630-330-9090 or on the Web at tboneguideservice.com).
Robby Binder is a college student who hadn't yet tied into a legal-sized muskie.
Chris, meanwhile, spends a lot of hours on the Fox Chain, taking clients from the upper lakes down to the southern sections. And it's rather common for Chris to have his clients "stumble" across a muskie while fishing for bass and panfish. In this case, however, Robby was already in a "muskie mode."
Howard Binder, Robby's dad, booked the outing with Chris but didn't go along. The guided trip was Robby's birthday present.
Back to the stumbling aspect for a moment.
Accidental muskie hookups happen a lot on northern Wisconsin and Minnesota lakes. I could be a wealthy fisherman if I had a buck for every story I've heard over the years about neophytes having to change their underwear after a big muskie rises from the deep trying to "assassinate" a walleye or perch being brought in by an unsuspecting fisherman.
But on this day with Chris, Robby was out to make his bones by nailing a big fish. And it happened.
I know from experience that once an angler "graduates" and starts catching the big toothy critters, the whole scenario develops into what I call an insatiable hunger to chase even bigger fish.
This outing proved to be a winner for both Robby and Chris.
Chris gave Robby a large bucktail spinner to use in his casting routine. About 20-feet away from the boat, a miniature submarine grabbed the hooks and started pulling away from Robby in typical muskie fashion.
Chris said both he and Robby were yelling at each other while the battle ensued.
And then it was over.
Chris wrestled the fish in to the net and then measured it (49¾ inches long). A legal fish is 49 inches long for anyone wanting to keep these great battlers.
I consider this a great birthday experience and gift.
•Contact Mike Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM and live-streamed at www.mikejacksonoutdoors.com.