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Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924
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The history of giant muskies and state and world records have come under some skepticism in recent years. Angling historian Larry Ramsell has investigated many of the giant muskies - in particular those caught by Art Lawton and Len Hartman in the St Lawrence River back in the 60s. Some of these world record or state record fish were frauds. To this day, there's debate over exactly which fish should be the all tackle world record.
One fish there isn't debate over is the Pa state record muskie. This monster fish was caught in Conneaut Lake in 1924 and was a staggering 59" and weighed 54lbs 3oz. Truly a giant (only a handful of muskies in the upper 50" range are caught annually throughout the US and Canada).
I've been reading a lot of classic Fox and Marinaro this winter and stumbled across this photo of the PA muskie. The photo clearly reveals what a huge fish this was. Will this record ever be broken?
I don't know. There are some big muskies out there. Perhaps a fish or two bigger than this are cruising Kinzua's depths or maybe even the Allegheny or Susquehanna River.
While I'd love to see a bigger fish.....looking at this picture, it wouldn't surprise me if this record stands a good many more years.

PHOTO COURTESY:
Fox, Charles. The Book of Lures, Freshet Press. 1975
p143

Attach file:



jpg  PaMusky.jpg (116.31 KB)
26_4f2ef756b6eae.jpg 353X600 px

Posted on: 2012/2/5 16:42


Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924

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What a pig! I'm hoping something like that grabs my fly one of these days.

Posted on: 2012/2/5 17:07
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Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924

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A beast indeed. Howard Wagner caught a fish in the Allegheny some years ago that approached the state record. He released it. When he measured it on his scale it read 52 pounds and he released it. When he checked his scale later with a 50 pound weight his scale read 47 so they are out there. That fish may have weighed 55 pounds. Here is a story on the fish.

http://fishandboat.com/pafish/musky/a ... v_dec/00musky_fishing.htm

Posted on: 2012/2/5 21:34


Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924
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Thanks TD5. I've actually posted that pic and discussed the Wagner fish at length several times here on this forum over the years. No doubt - Wagner's fish is in the same league as the old record. Both fish have tremendous girth, the big difference is in body length.

Posted on: 2012/2/5 22:35


Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924

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I think there are bigger fish out there. Why else go then. I dont think that the 50 and 60 were the glory days of musky huntin in pa. There is alot more catch and release being practiced and better management for the PAFBC. A musky approaching 50 inches is 15 to 20 yrs old but the lenght is not the difficult part, the girth is. In my noprof. opinion only a musky from a big body of water will obtain this. Like the allegheny or the "big" musky lakes in the north east. And the chances of hookin let alone landing a true beast on fly gear is damn near impossible. Well I know a couple of guys that could pull it off.

But I think that a big musky will tend to hold in deeper in water. Reaching this with a fly cast and depth that is properly fishable is the hard part. Fishing deep with a fly is the real problem.

Posted on: 2012/2/5 23:43
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Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924

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The world musky alliance is sorting though old record and heres some link to the pdf reports.


Lou Sprays Fresh water fishing hall of fame fish
Resized Image


Cal johnsons IGFA RECORD fish
Resized Image


Ken Obrian IGFA line class record report
Resized Image

Posted on: 2012/2/6 0:04
_________________
“If, when you pull a fly out you
don’t hear drums and can’t smell
chicken blood in the air, put it back
in the box, for if it is evil you seek,
then it can only be conjured with the
same.”



Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924

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I have been fly fishing the middle allegheny for ten years or so and my friend tom aka fishnut has been fishing it alot longer. Yea there are some true monsters in there but if you are wade fishing with a fly rod you are at a major handicap. It is big deep water a huge fish could easily go undetected in there. Tom has caught some true trophy muskie over 40 inches and i have heard storys about a fat boy over 50 inches patroling the mouth of a certain trib. They say he eats the 30+ inch long carp that lay in there. Though i have yet to see him.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 2:01


Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924

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one of the lakes here they say could hold a potential state record..hopin to hit it this year for them..

Posted on: 2012/2/6 6:45
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Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924

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50 is a hard enuff number to hit let alone record weight. If I was lucky enuff to catch a near record sz musky. I would take the proper measurements and photos. Realease the fish & maybe try to get a tippet class record in the IGFA. With a good length and girth you can get a pretty accurate weight thats good enuff. I would never think about killing it.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 7:15

Edited by PACOFRANSICO on 2012/2/6 7:41:59
_________________
“If, when you pull a fly out you
don’t hear drums and can’t smell
chicken blood in the air, put it back
in the box, for if it is evil you seek,
then it can only be conjured with the
same.”



Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924
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I remember when the Ken Obrien 65lb fish was caught. This was in Georgian Bay sometime in the 1980s. It was a big story and I remember it being on the cover of one of the well known outdoor magazines at the time. Back then, the world record was still thought to have been the Art Lawton 69lb fish (later disqualified). There are certainly a good number of muskie historians who feel the Obrien fish is the true world record and larger than the grainy fish in the black and white photos from the 1940s-60s. Compare the pics posted above. What do you think?
Whatever the case, looking at these old photos is an inspiration to muskie hunters.

I agree that the biggest fish are in deep water. Rivers like the St Lawrence that have this deep water produce monster fish but most of Pa's flowing water is shallow and great for producing fish in the 40" range, but to grow fish in the mid 50" range that are heavy usually takes depth. Nevertheless, there are exceptions and they can reach this size in PA rivers as Wagner's fish proves. Also back in the mid 80s there were a string of giant muskies in the mid 50" range that came from French Creek including a 57" if I remember correctly.... so it is possible. However, if we get a new muskie record here in PA I'd bet on Kinzua.

Wow.

Kudos to the PFBC for finally raising the size limit to 40" (personally, I'd rather see it even higher) - this was long overdue. Some of us nagged the PFBC for years with letters and petitions to do this and they finally came around. I believe that the old 2 fish 30" limit resulted in too many small muskies getting whacked by bass fishermen. I think once a muskie gets to 40" they are much less likely to get caught and killed by casual fishermen. I'd like to believe that the new 40" reg will really help improve the number of good sized fish in our state's rivers.


Posted on: 2012/2/6 7:52


Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924

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Alot of muskys in french were transplants tamarack and I bet most of the big 1's were escapies from Lake Hopwell. French creek I think isnt trophy musky water.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 8:23
_________________
“If, when you pull a fly out you
don’t hear drums and can’t smell
chicken blood in the air, put it back
in the box, for if it is evil you seek,
then it can only be conjured with the
same.”



Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924

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I don't know. I think French has the habitat to do it. It's full of big deep holes and lots of woody debris. On top of that is full of big suckers. I think the Allegheny whether it be Kinzua or the main river probably has the new state record swimming around it but I wouldn't count French out. There were big musky in French long before they transplanted the Tamarack fish. Tamarack was only drawn down as long ago as 1999 for repairs.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 8:50


Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924

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Well we will see about French. But I wouldnt call it "Ground Zero"!

Posted on: 2012/2/6 12:42
_________________
“If, when you pull a fly out you
don’t hear drums and can’t smell
chicken blood in the air, put it back
in the box, for if it is evil you seek,
then it can only be conjured with the
same.”



Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924

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From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
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had a 52" one in the delaware on hardware one year never measured the girth as she escaped. Delaware is a good river for big Musky. It has the depth average hole can run from 25 to 113 feet deep up north..The shad netters claim a 72" caught and released down in the new hope area..Can we say 24" sucker fly or a full grown shad fly...

Posted on: 2012/2/6 13:29
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So many Fish, So little time !!!
from the outer edge of nowhere
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Re: Pennsylvania State Record Muskellunge - 1924

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paco I say Delaware or Cowanesque Lake.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 13:31
_________________
sandfly

So many Fish, So little time !!!
from the outer edge of nowhere
fly tying and fishing ghillie..
https://www.facebook.com/BigMeadowsFlyShop





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