Young anglers, monster fish

Posted on: April 12, 2016 | Bob Frye | Comments

Austin muskyAustin Glaister with his 50-inch musky from the Allegheny River.

If you’ve spent years trying to catch a really big musky, with no success, prepare to be impressed. Or shamed. Or humbled. Or something.

Austin Glaister has you beat.

The 17-year-old from Burrell High School has long wanted to hold a monster musky in his hands, so recently he and two friends, Jake Shrader and Jordan Alexander, began to seriously try for them. They’ve been at it for all of about three weeks now.

Already, Glaister has three fish — all of them beauties — to his  credit.

He caught his first musky this year on April 2, a 37-incher. Four days later, on April 6, he caught a 50-inch fish, and then on April 9 he landed a 45-inch musky.

How’s  that for a start to a musky career?

All were caught on the Allegheny River near Braeburn.

The story of Glaister’s 50-inch musky – which had a 22-inch girth, weighed about 35 pounds and was released alive – is especially fun.

He was using a 13-inch Musky Innovations Bulldog swimbait purchased by Shrader at the Muskie Maxx fishing expo in March as bait. He was casting it on a brand new rod purchased by Alexander.

The three were taking turns with the gear when Glaister got his shot. On his second cast, he hooked the mighty fish.

That’s exciting, he said, because “all three of us had a part in catching this giant.”

“First fish on Jordan’s rod and first on Jake’s lure. Pretty cool that we technically all had a part in landing this fish,” he said.

He wasn’t expecting what he called “the fish of his dreams” to be as big as it was, he admitted. When Alexander helped him pull it from the water, though, it was impressive.

“The 50-inch fish was the absolute biggest fish I’ve ever saw,” Glaister said. “I’m still in shock. When I hooked the fish, I was in utter shock. I just froze.

“I was expecting the fish to measure in the mid 40-inch range. But we laid it out on a garbage bag, measured it, and it broke 50 inches by a hair. After a quick few pictures, we released the fish for somebody else to catch again.”

Meanwhile, another young angler familiar to readers of this blog has been at it again.

Austin Aikins of Lower Burrell – who himself caught a 50-inch musky on the Allegheny last year – this spring decided  to give fly fishing a try. He’s been at it for maybe a month.

To say he’s having some success would be an understatement.

Fishing Dunbar Creek in Fayette County on March 24, he landed 61 brook trout on sucker spawn.

He’s also hit three of the delayed harvest, artificial lures only stream sections – on Laurel Hill, Loyalhanna and Neshannock creeks — stocked with large amounts of big fish as part of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s Keystone Select trout waters program.

He’s hauled in quite a few trophies along the way.

According to his mother Maria, he got 30 brown trout from Laurel Hill on one day, eight of them exceeding 20 inches. On Loyalhanna Creek another day, he landed a 25-inch brown on an egg pattern. That’s his biggest of the season so far.

“He just started fly fishing a few weeks ago, so it has been a new experience that he is really enjoying. He’s hooked on fly fishing now,” Maria Aikins said.

Aikins 1 troutAustin Aikins with a 25-inch brown trout from Loyalhanna Creek.

Bob Frye is the editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or See other stories, blogs, videos and more at

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