River Monsters: Story From Trevor Johnson of Kit’s Tackle
By Matt Schauer

Posted: December 13, 2012

HOLY HOT FRIED FISH STICKS BOLOGNE PONY do I have a treat for you this week! I want to give a big shout out and a huge THANK YOU to Kit’s Tackle’s Montana Pro Staff team, Jim Muscat (shown in the photo above) and Dave Greger. I remember when I was young looking up to these guys thinking “man, those guys are the best fisherman in the world” and apparently I wasn’t far off ;  It has been an absolute awe-inspiring couple years since dad and I’s first conversation with these boys. The best part about the whole scenario is dad’s exact words after we met Jim and Dave was “those boys are the real deal, Trev.” It wasn’t a couple days later I received an email from Jim and his words were “you Johnson boys are the real deal.”

Dec Mo 4

Dave Greger with a nice sauger.

The friendship and mutual respect has been there since that very moment. I will always look up to these boys, but it sure feels great to see how humble these guys really are. It’s funny how people (myself included) build a mental image of certain people or things to find out how WRONG they really are. In other words, Jim and Dave are the most humble guys I have ever met that share the same passion as all of us. The only thing not humble about these boys is the size of their balls…because they have elephant nuts! I’m not going to lie, I do some pretty crazy wild stints in the outdoors but not like these boys!

I would like to highlight a recent winter trip they had on the Missouri River here in Montana. Jim, Dave, Penny (Jim’s lab) and a box full of the Kit’s Tackle “Glass Minnows” set out in the frigid winter weather to do what they do best. And this time of year it’s not just as easy as dumping the boat in the drink and heading out to your favorite stretch of river. You know you have dedicated pro-staff when every tire on their truck and trailer in chained up with v-bars! Not only that, they spent half a day shoveling drifts just to get to the ramp. This can be a very dangerous time of the year to be on the water for a million reasons…the biggest weighing in on the absence of others. Not to mention losing your lower unit dodging a maze of floating ice. If something goes wrong out there, it goes really wrong…really fast! As Jim and I talked, this is not fishing for the amateur or unprepared angler…this is Jiggin’ Big;)

photo of jimWith all the dangers weighing in on Jim and Dave they managed to get the boat in the river and start “Jiggin’ the Dream.” Trying a few different methods and applications it was soon narrowed down to the Glass Minnow Series! Jim’s exact words were, “you know Trev, I started out on the jig head and Gulp while Dave pitched the Glass Minnows; I was up on fish, but Dave had me on the studs.” Just like I have mentioned before, big fish, regardless of the species are much smarter than the little guys. It compares very well to hunting big bulls…it is common to see spikes and rag horns feeding in a park but you’ll be damn lucky for a big boy to even fringe it. All fish have a lateral line, and in order for your jig to end up in the feeding hole it has to ultimately feel right to the fish. By using a realistic representation of the targeted species natural forage base you are very much upping your odds on big fish.

For anybody who hasn’t seen the Glass Minnows in action, they are an absolutely incredible mimicking bait. In fact, the most common phrase when someone sees the “Yellow Perch” Glass Minnow in action for the first time is, “that looks more realistic than an actual yellow perch.” I myself have always been a big fish ambassador and I have built so much confidence in the Glass Minnow Series it would be a rare site to see anything else tied on the end of my line. They have a ridiculously awesome stop and go action with UV enhanced material. When in motion, the material stays tight to the jig; when the jig pauses, the material flares just like natural fin flare on frightened bait fish. The reflective properties of the jig also mimic the transparent qualities of most natural forage in their juvenile state. An to put the proof in the pudding, just take a look at some of the river monsters Jim and Dave got to quickly put their hands on during their trip.

Dave SaugerLastly, but more important than the Glass Minnows or amount of fish you catch is the respect that MUST be used when targeting big fish. A big walleye is probably at least ten years old and a very rare fish in almost any body of water. It is of PARAMOUNT importance that you handle these fish carefully and release them back to their swimming hole. Just like our mission statement reads “…maintaining and advocating for the future of fishing.” If you are lucky enough to catch a big fish and feel that incredible rush a 30” walleye brings when it hits the net…think about how lucky you really are. Wouldn’t you want the next generations to be able to feel that same feeling? And heck, wouldn’t YOU want to catch her again next year? Also, I would bet my jiggin’ arm the rush from watching a giant walleye swim off will far outweigh the rush of catching it…trust us, we know;) Dad and I’s catch and release ethics are as important as the sport itself…another reason we chose Jim and Dave to represent the Kit’s Tackle team. Their hardcore fishing mentality and sound ethics for the sport while testing and representing our products is a solid foundation that we cherish.

The above pictures would make even Jeremy Wade from the popular reality TV fishing show “RIVER MONSTERS” drool all over himself! As Jim and I joked about, you are going to see the Kit’s Tackle boys holding some huge fish…it’s just going to happen. The thing is, it comes with countless days on the water and hours spent. Even on their recent trip they covered miles of river and worked hard in nasty conditions to find fish. A perfect example, I pulled a daylight to dark shift on our local Canyon Ferry the other day and never touched a fish…but I had that goose bump enhanced excited feeling with every lift up of my jig.

Cheers to “Jiggin’ the Dream” and a kick ass pro staff.

-Trevor Johnson, Kit’s Tackle