Got My (Good) Eye on You


On the afternoon of Saturday, August 18, while trolling with Captain Matthew Quintano, one of our rods was pulled down by a vicious strike. The fish was there for a second, but two cranks of the handle later it was gone. We reeled the crankbait in and attached to the front treble there was a gooey, slimy, yet hard-shelled orb. Somehow we’d managed to miss the musky’s mouth, but completely impaled its eyeball.

I have very little (read: none) experience with detached musky eyeballs, so while it looked quite large, I didn’t know if that indicates we’d lost a monster fish, or if when removed the entire musky eye apparatus is just larger than you might otherwise expect.

My wife Hanna, who is fascinated by that type of stuff, put the eyeball in a cup of water, intending to take it home, cover it in resin, and make some sort of decoration out of it. Fortunately, she was so tired at the end of the day that she forgot about it and left it onboard. What happened from there is anybody’s guess.

Two days later, while casting with Captain Spencer Berman – still on St. Clair, but a long distance away – Spencer had a big musky follow his lure to the boat. In the crystal clear water he could see that the fish was missing an eye, and was therefore swimming on its side to track his bait with its good eye. I doubt that it was the same fish, but apparently loss of sight is a pretty big issue in the world of esox. Maybe that’s why they’re so ornery.