Itsy-Bitsy Angler

By: Mary Rinzel Email
By: Mary Rinzel Email

A fisher"man" pulls a big 'ol muskie out of Lake Wissota.

But, what's even more impressive than the 42 inch monster is the age of the itsy-bitsy angler who reeled him in.

It's whale of a tale that's actually kind of hard to believe, but the proof will soon be mounted in the Phillip family's Eau Claire home.

He's here, then, he's there… Nicolas Phillips is a runner. He'll fit in a Popsicle break, but, that's it, then he's off, running.

But, get this 3 1/2 year old in a boat and he'll sit... and he'll fish..

"He doesn't get bored until around two hours go by," says Kelly Phillips, Nicolas’ mom.

This weekend, in the final minutes of a father-son fishing trip, Nicolas pulled in a catch worthy of anglers four times his height, six times his weight and ten times his years.

“I catched a big one!” Nicolas says, arms up showing us just how big.

It was a 42 inch, 20 pound monster of a muskie, caught on the same pole the tireless tot now casts into branches in his backyard.

"He said 'Dad, I have a fish,’” says Nicolas’ Dad Wesley Phillips. “I could see the bobber next to the boat, and I waited for him to pull in the little fish. Then, I looked down and it was a big muskie.”

Wesley wasn't really ready to reel in a fish the same size as his son.

The pole he was using: "It's a little six-footer, with a six pound test line,” Phillips says. “And we were using a crappie minnow on a little hook."

Lucky for this father-son team, some nearby boaters lent them a hand.. and a net.

"It was a big one!" Nicolas says, arms above his head once again.

Forty minutes later the fish got tired and this munchkin pulled in his muskie. Then, made a phone call to mom.

"I was just glad Nicolas didn't get pulled in," Kelly says.

Dad is, too. But, more than anything, he's one proud papa.

“I’ve never caught a muskie that big," Wesley says laughing.

“He usually has a little fish on the end of the line with him,” Kelly says. “And just for some miracle this day, he had a huge one.”

Nicolas knows where his miracle muskie is headed.

"It's dead, we're gonna put it on the wall in our house," Nicolas says.

So, in all his days of angling, this little muskie man, will have proof of one big fish tale.

Nicolas and his dad were on their way to the taxidermist when we left them Monday afternoon. It won't be long until the teeny-tiny fisherman has years of bragging rights for all to see.


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