Woodbury Grad, Muskie Master

Chad Mitchell-Peterson and his fishing partner recently won 2012 “Top Gun” honors in the Professional Musky Tournament Trail.

Like many boys from Minnesota, Woodbury High School graduate Chad Mitchell-Peterson was taught to fish by his father.

“He was a heck of a walleye fisherman,” Mitchell-Peterson said.

Yet as he got into fishing himself, he caught something else: “the muskie bug.”

“I caught my first one and I was kind of hooked. No pun intended,” Mitchell-Peterson said.

He and his fishing partner, Ross Korpela, recently earned 2012 “Top Gun” honors in the Professional Musky Tournament Trail.

“It’s been a fun ride,” said Mitchell-Peterson, a 1993 WHS graduate who now lives in Inver Grove Heights. “The whole experience is pretty awesome. … It’s hard to believe. It’s a little bit surreal.”

He started on the pro fishing circuit about four years ago and primarily enjoys the challenge of catching muskellunge, known as “the fish of 10,000 casts.”

“Defeating the top predator in the water—it’s a rush,” Mitchell-Peterson said.

A big part of what separates a pro from an amateur angler is simply paying attention to fish and their environment.

“Understanding the biology of it,” Mitchell-Peterson, 37, said.

He said adding that having a good partner certainly helps, and he couldn’t do it without the support of his wife and two boys.

While he quoted the line about luck being the meeting of preparation and opportunity, Mitchell-Peterson said it is a factor.

“You can’t make ’em bite,” he said.

Other tips for anglers include paying attention to lunar phases and the habits of baitfish and their habitats.

The biggest muskie he ever caught was 52 inches long and nearly 44 pounds. But he always throws them back.

“I just have a high level of respect for the fish and would never think about killing one,” Mitchell-Peterson said.


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Margaret Wachholz October 08, 2012 at 03:05 PM
Great story! Congratulations Chad and family. What great photos to view - the size of that FISH! Since my mouth is watering, I wondering if anyone eats Muskies? Are they too rare to eat, just fished for gaming?
Kris Janisch October 08, 2012 at 08:45 PM
I don't think people eat muskies Margaret. Although I've only caught northerns, and we usually don't eat those. Anybody else know for sure?
Bob Palmquist October 08, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Muskies have a similar bone structure to a northern pike and can be cleaned and eaten the same way. The "Y" bones make them a little more difficult to filet, but with a little practice you don't lose too much meat. I think most people just catch and release them now, but 30 some years ago when I lived in Minnesota, they were fair game for the table....
Margaret Wachholz October 09, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Thank you Mr. Palmquist. How interesting. I wondered about the bone structure. Wouldn't mind trying it at least once! It seems like any type of fish for eating is fair game here in Puerto Rico - fish being a staple for lots of tables. About 5 months ago I met one of my fisher friends after a dive. He had just caught a shark, a stonefish and a lion fish. He admitted he was nervous, as it can be dangerous, but he knew they would be worth the taste!! He was a happy man with his catch that evening. Love fishing stories, continued good luck to Ross and Chad. Those adorable sons will follow suit & become fine fishers of men.
Kris Janisch October 09, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Thanks Bob!


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