MASSENA – A longtime charter fishing boat captain was recently featured in a TV show for the statewide Time Warner Cable Sports Network.
USCG Captain Donald Lucas of Massena owns and operates Muskie Magic Charters, Inc. on the St. Lawrence River. This spring, he was contacted by Norm Wightman, president of Team E Media Productions, a company that produces shows for Time Warner all over the state. This fall, plans to film a Muskie fishing excursion finally came about.
He gives a complete timeline of events in the following release:
“Norm told me that he had heard of my fishing charter boat "Muskie Magic" and that he had heard that we had a very good reputation for catching Muskies on the St. Lawrence River and that they would like to go out and fish for Muskies and film our outing for Team E Media Productions.
I think to myself, what an opportunity, just think of the exposure. So I extend an invitation to go out in October. Arrangements are made for lodging and the date is set.
Weeks go by, and as the date draws near, the excitement builds.
Norm calls the week before the outing and I tell him that the fishing has been great, but as we’re talking, I look outside and I notice that it is raining. While we are talking, I have the computer in front of me and I look at the extended weather forecast. I convey to Norm that rain is in the forecast for the next 7 days because of the storm front spinning north from tropical storm "Nicole".
I go on to tell Norm that the rain is not to be a problem because the boat has a top that covers the whole boat and that the cabin is heated. Norm and I agree that the weather wasn’t going to be a problem and say goodbye.
Now it is up to me to do all the prep work for a smooth outing. I sharpen all the hooks on the various lures, put fresh line on all the reels, clean and gas the boat. Everything is going fine except that it hasn’t stopped raining in the last 7 days between Massena and Lake Ontario upstream.
Our day finally comes and the sun finally comes out; that’s good, but the rain has accumulated to over 5 inches, swelling the river to overflowing the banks and turning the tributaries to the color of brown gravy, which are normally gin clear.
Fearing the worse, it was hard to imagine conditions could even get more difficult. The weather forecast was to be east wind. In the north, there’s an old saying "Winds from the west, fish bite the best, winds from the east, fish bite the least".
Our day had come, we set out under the worst of conditions. I told Norm that we have a three-hour average when it comes to catching a Muskie, but I feel uncomfortable saying so with such adverse condition–east wind and high water–but we will give it our best shot.
To my relief in less than ten hours, we landed two Muskies approaching 50 inches. Pictures are taken of the fish and they are released to the water.
Norm tells me this will make an excellent show and that he loved the experience. It was especially thrilling for his guest, Bill Knapp, as this was his first Muskie. Bill is a very accomplished fisherman and a buyer for "Herb" Philipson’s Sporting Goods Store.
It’s very rewarding to put someone on a Muskie for the first time despite the worst of conditions.
We had a successful trip and I look forward to seeing the show on television.”