For Megan McGregor, the lure of fishing isn’t a lazy afternoon on a nearby lake, idly casting for whatever fish might meander past. Rather, it is the exhilaration of the chase, the adrenalin rush of the strike and the thrill of landing the big one.
In Megan’s case, “the big one” is none other than the muskellunge, or musky.
“It’s about chasing after the predator, the top of the food chain,” she says as she explains why musky fishing has her hooked. She adds the challenge is also greater because of the smaller musky population, compared to other sport fish species.
Some would say that a sport involving rods over 9 feet long and lures bigger than most of the fish this writer has ever caught would be a daunting prospect for anyone – and let’s not forget muskellunge can grow to 5 feet long and weigh over 50 pounds. No, the search for this “fish of 1,000 casts” is not for the faint of heart, nor is it something one would readily associate with women.
Megan McGregor to the rescue! Shimano, a world leader in the development and manufacture of angling equipment and gear, recruited Megan to their pro team two years ago, and it is her job to help promote women in fishing. While she cringes at the term “fishing influencer”, she explains that she just wants to bring different people to the sport of fishing. She is a proud ambassador for Shimano, Lululemon, Musky Maniacs, Dadson Blade Baits, Blue Water Baits and Musky Candies, and makes good use of her connections in promoting her passion for musky fishing.
Through her social media and blog posts, she shares her passion for the sport and lets the reader tag along as she travels across Ontario, from Lake St. Clair – where her passion for fishing began – to Lake of the Woods near Kenora, and into Quebec. Most weekends during musky season will find her and her partner, Luke, on the water.
Here in the Kawarthas, Megan’s favourite lakes are Scugog, Little, Katchawanooka and Chemong, as well as the Otonabee and Pigeon rivers, and once the season opens you can find her out there every weekend. By the third week of June she and Luke head north, as the northern rivers begin to open up.
Always eager to promote the sport to other women, Megan welcomes inquiries, and offers these tips for women who want to get started in the sport: join a local women anglers group; start by making it a fun day out with friends – take lots of snacks and be open to the experience; learn the basics, like casting and the safe removal of fish from the lure. Most importantly, embrace the challenge and enjoy the experience.
If you want to take up musky fishing in cottage country, the Kawartha Lakes Chapter of Muskies Canada is an invaluable resource: www.muskiescanada.ca/kawartha-lakes/ or on Facebook @MCIKL