No fish tale: Favre snags a muskie
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ Brett Favre, it turns out, is as fine a fisherman as he is a football player.
Or at least, he’s as charmed an outdoorsman as he is a great athlete.
The two-time MVP who led the Green Bay Packers to their first Super Bowl in 29 years last season recently accomplished what countless others have failed to achieve during a lifetime of trying.
No, not winning another football trophy, but reeling in a trophy fish.
While taping a commercial and fishing show on a small lake outside Minocqua in northern Wisconsin, Favre caught a 36-inch full-bodied muskie _ on his second cast.
Any angler will tell you that’s a 1-in-10,000 kind of catch.
And for a novice?
That’s like a golfer hitting a hole-in-one on his second swing ever, a gambler hitting the jackpot on his second pull.
Yet, Favre had no idea what all the fuss was about.
``He didn’t know what it was,″ said Joe Sweeney, Favre’s marketing agent, who was in a boat 20 yards away when the quarterback made his big catch. ``He didn’t understand the significance of it.″
Favre, after all, was fishing for walleye.
``It was no big deal for me,″ Favre said. ``Some guy was crying when we got back to the lodge: `I’ve been here 30 years, I’ve never caught a muskie.′
``Apparently, you don’t know how to fish for them, I guess,″ Favre answered.
Not only did Favre catch the prize fish on just his second cast but he did it with equipment normally used for walleye fishing.
Favre was using 6-pound-test monofilament line with no steel leader, and an eighth-ounce jig with live minnow. He was in a boat with John Gillespie, host of ``Wisconsin Water and Woods.″
``This is no lie,″ Sweeney said.
And the story gets better still.
Despite growing up in Kiln, Miss., a stone’s throw from the Gulf of Mexico, Favre wasn’t the picture of perfection when it came to casting, Sweeney said.
``His first cast, he had the pole turned the wrong way and it flipped over into the water, he had like a six-inch cast,″ Sweeney said. ``I made a smart-aleck remark. And his second cast he flung at me and the line got hooked on the pontoon boat.″
Sweeney unhooked the line and Favre started goofing around some more.
``He said, `Aw, geez. I got a weed,′ ″ Sweeney recounted.
``And John Gillespie almost fell out of his boat. He said, `Oh my God! Favre’s got a muskie!″
Make no mistake, this is no fish tale.
``People said, `Were you down below in a wet suit putting the muskie on the line?′ Sweeney said. ``I was there and there is absolutely no way you can stage this.″
``Honestly,″ Favre said. ``I don’t want to start swearing or anything like that. I did. I know everyone thinks there was some guy hooking it on my line.
``But I would tell you if I made a hole-in-one,″ Favre insisted. ``I’ve never made a hole-in-one. And I play golf much more than I muskie fish.
``A hole-in-one would be a lot more important for me than a muskie.″
You can just picture that guy back in the lodge crying.