ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — Braxton Steidl of Carlos, Minnesota, has had an interest in muskie fishing that was ignited from the time he was 8 years old and landed a 50-incher on Lake Miltona in Douglas County.
Now 13, Steidl has had a couple instances where he’s caught multiple muskies in the same day. His most recent came on a memorable evening again on Miltona when he landed back-to-back muskies ahead of the thunderstorm that moved through the Alexandria, Minnesota, area on Aug. 20.
Steidl had a couple of follows from big fish earlier in the day that did not quite commit. Braxton and his dad, Scott Steidl, marked the spots with the intention of giving this stretch of cabbage weeds another try later.
When they returned, Braxton latched into a 45-incher while casting a summer-craw colored bucktail. After a few photos, they returned to the second location where they had gotten a follow earlier, and another big muskie immediately hammered the bucktail — this time a 47-incher.
Both fish hit right before the storm that brought heavy rain to Alexandria in a short amount of time. Anglers who have ever fished right in front of a weather system like this can probably relate to how the bite picks up.
The falling barometric pressure that happens as the storm approaches often triggers an uptick in aggressive activity from multiple fish species. Cooling air and darkening skies often coincide with that falling pressure, triggering bait fish to become more active in open water, and in turn activating a flurry of feeding from predator species.
Anglers have to be careful to not get caught in a dangerous situation on the water, but Steidl timed it perfectly for a day in the boat he won’t soon forget.