How to Hold a Musky (and other info)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Modern Day Muskellunge World Record Keeping

Larry Ramsell
Published April 2, 2006

Modern Day Muskellunge World Record Keeping Program

We are beginning a new chapter in muskellunge history; that of establishing
a highly verified International program for keeping muskellunge, and tiger
hybrid muskellunge, modern day world records. Due to problems with regard
to historical muskellunge records, and due also to the fact that some
current record keeping rules preclude several legal, legitimate and often
used methods of angling employed by todays muskellunge anglers. It has
been decided to begin a Modern Day Muskellunge World Record Keeping
Program. This is in no way intended to be derogatory to the other record
keeping programs, but rather a program designed for todays muskellunge
anglers, by todays muskellunge anglers, to keep verified, credible and
obtainable records for our favorite species and hybrid.

An old angling cliché says; There is no faster way to be called a liar than
to claim you just caught a record fish; and that is certainly true, for the
history of fish records is replete with false claims, distortions, lots of
unverified assumptions and indeed even some fraud.

All-tackle records for top game fish like muskellunge, smallmouth bass,
walleye and largemouth bass have at one time or another been under a cloud
of suspicion. Some have even been repudiated and disqualified. In the case
of many old record fish, photos and mounts themselves, never did, or no
longer exist. Also, the scales used usually were not verified by todays
standards. Even testimonies about the catch by other individuals regarding
the length, girth, weight, etc. can be under suspecion.

The problem of these old or even some more recent day records is that none
have been tested utilizing the great technology available to us today. For
example electrofloresis can tell you many things about the origins of the
fish. DNA also is a tool that didn’t exist that many years ago. All this
being said, does not make any or all of these old records false. The
problem is that many can not be verified by modern technology, and that is
the crux of the problem.

By establishing a new set of standards which are verifiable, all questions,
problems and arguments that arise because of the lack of verification

These old unverified records need not be lost to posterity. They indeed can go into a special category of Historical and Legendary fish.

Many very high profile and well respected members of the muskellunge
community, from both sides of the United States and Canadian border, have
signed on to be a part of the Committee that has developed and will oversee
this program. The Committee will consist of both a Working Group and an
Advisory Review Group. All will review potential record applications.

Our Committee consists of:

Peter J. Barber, Treasurer, Muskies, Inc. International
Joe Bucher, Editor Emeritus Musky Hunter Magazine & Legendary Hall of Fame
Muskie Angler

Steve Budnik, Past President and Research Committee Chairman, Muskie’s, Inc.International

Jim Bunch, Chairman, Muskie’s, Inc. Members Only Fishing Contest & Muskie
magazine Lunge Log Editor

John Casselman, Ph. d., Adjunct Professor, Queen’s University, Department of Biology, Senior Scientist Emeritus Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Applied Research and Development Branch, Member Muskie’s, Inc. & Muskies Canada

Rich Delaney, President World Record Muskie Alliance & Member Muskie’s,

Terrie DuBe, Muskies, Inc. International Secretary & Professional Muskie
Tournament Angler

Brad Latvaitis, American Fisheries Society (AFS) Fisheries Professional
Emeritus Owner, Environmental Solution Professionals; Enshrined, Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame 2006, Muskie Historian & Researcher,Contributing Editor Musky Hunter magazine

Mike Lazarus, Member Muskies Canada & Ontario and Quebec Muskie Guide

Ron Lindner, Publisher Emeritus In-Fisherman Communications Network & Hall
of Fame Angler

Pete Maina, General Manager/Co-owner Esox Angler magazine; Contributor Wisconsin Sportsman magazine & member Muskie’s, Inc.

Diana Mindar, Member Muskie’s, Inc. International Board of Directors &
Professional Muskie Tournament Angler

Jerry Newman, Founder World Record Muskie Alliance, Member Muskie’s, Inc,
Muskies Canada & The International Game Fish Association (IGFA)

Steve Pallo, Management Programs Section Head Illinois Department of Natural Resources-Fisheries, American Fisheries Society (AFS), Certified Fisheries Scientist, Past Director-Research Muskies, Inc. International, Past Chair AFS Esocid Technical Committee, Life Member of Muskie’s, Inc, Co-Chair of Fisheries Habitat Committee Muskie’s, Inc

Gord Pyzer, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (Ret.) Kenora, Fishing
Editor, Outdoor Canada Magazine, Field Editor, In-Fisherman Magazine and Television Co-Host, The Real Fishing Radio Show, President, Canadian Angling Adventures Ltd. & Outdoor Editor/Columnist, the Kenora Daily Miner and News, the Fort Frances Times, Just Fishing and Grainews

Larry Ramsell, Research Editor Musky Hunter magazine, Muskie Historian, Dual Hall of Fame Muskie Angler, Past President, Muskies, Inc International, Former Representative International Game Fish Association (IGFA), Former World Secretary National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame (NFWFHF) & Former World Record Advisor NFWFHF

Jim Saric, Editor/Owner Musky Hunter magazine, Contributing Editor Fishing
Facts magazine,Contributing Editor, MidWest Outdoors magazine

Steve Sarley, Host of CLTV's The Great Outdoors television program - 2002
to 2005, Host of The Outdoors Experience radio program on Chicagos NewsTalk 560 AM WIND 2003 to present, Weekly columnist for Shaw Newspaper's Northwest Herald, Kane County Chronicle and other Shaw daily newspapers, Monthly columnist for MidWest Outdoors magazine - 1996 to present

Tim Simonson, Fisheries/Lake Sampling Coordinator, Wisconsin Department of
Natural Resources (WDNR) Spokesman & Co-chair State Musky Committee, Wisconsin DNR

Marc Thorpe, Past President Muskies Canada & Ontario and Quebec Muskie

Steve Worrall, Owner Mukie First Internet Website & Member Muskie’s, Inc.

The bar has been set at 60 pounds (27.22 kilograms) minimum for initial
muskellunge application, to prevent numbers of large muskellunge from being
kept just to set a record. Hybrid minimum for application is 40 pounds
(18.14 kilograms), since the two largest verified hybrids caught in the past 55 years were 40 pounds and 40 pounds 2 ounces. With these weight criteria, few fish will be ever be kept for record purposes. This new beginning will constitute a highly credible “International” program with realistic and obtainable minimums as a starting point, and very credible, but attainable records once they are established.

After a presentation to the International Board of Director’s of Muskie's,
Inc. on April 1, the Muskie’s, Inc. International Board of Director’s voted
overwhelmingly to endorse and support this program.

The committee will proceed based on the overwhelming International support
that we now have, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank
everyone in advance for their support and cooperation in the establishment
of this great new muskellunge world record program. We sincerely believe
that its time has come, and that with this great International mix of
committee members from both the angling and scientific world of the
muskellunge, it will be welcomed and accepted by the world’s muskellunge

For more information, Contact: Larry Ramsell, Committee Chairman, 10907 N.
County Road S, Hayward, WI 54843. Phone: 715-462-9880 or email:


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