The Ottawa Chapter of Muskies Canada is a special place for many reasons. The club is a driver of cutting edge research, large scale environmental projects that make a real difference to the waters in our region, is a bastion of learning and data on muskellunge, and the home to three members or former members who have been in the boat with the largest musky in the world from a given year. No club anywhere can say that. Now there will probably be a fourth name to add to this list.
A friend of mine and fellow Muskies Canada member told a story publicly for the first time at our Ottawa chapter monthly meeting last night.
Earlier this fall he and another club member caught and released a 59 x 34 inch muskellunge. Pictures were shared in the room and that is as far as they will go for now. The story will be told in the next issue of the Muskies Canada Release Journal.
When I sent out my Facebook post yesterday I thought that this story was going to go public in a much bigger way as of last night. It is not, at least not for now.
This fish was released. Many would have kept it as the dimensions of it make it the biggest musky ever captured on a line. The largest fish in history. I have great respect for anyone who would be selfless enough to put this fish back.
The last time a ‘live release world record’ was caught was a few years back. It became a very controversial fish and created a great deal of animosity and internet aggression. Declaring such a fish opens an angler up to intense scrutiny and the musky world is a strange and wonderful place with both strange and wonderful people.
Some people fish for the pure joy of fishing. They are the lucky ones. To want to put this fish back and to care only for the well being of the fish is the highest tribute that can be paid to a muskellunge, to a river, and to nature. It is model behaviour. It is role model behaviour.
To my friend who caught this fish I say to you ‘it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy’. Congratulations and we are all so happy for you.
PS I wish you tight lines, and warm clothes, see you on the water.