Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The 589 Pound Musky from 1878

I guess THAT got your attention! A funny blurb from the journal The Chicago Field from 1878 entitled "A String of Fish" references what has to be the largest muskellenuge ever claimed to be caught in history:

A Montreal correspondent sends us this clipping and asks if it can be credited:

Mr. Charles Lechay, of Gananoque, Ont., an oarsman, had a most desperate encounter with a maskinonge on Monday on the river, a little below Granite Island. When Mr. Lechay gaffed the monster he made straight at him, breaking his leg and frightfully lacerating his arm, and his clothers were literally torn off him; and had it not been for the timely assistance of Mr. Frank Lolond (another oarsman) the fish would have killed him. The monster measured 11 feet 8 inches, and weighs 589 pounds.

The response from the journal was precious:

Yes; we should think the story substantially true. We never before heard of a "maskinonge" 118 yards long and weighing 589 tons. But then everyone knoes that there are bigger fish about Gananoque than were ever caught anywhere else. It is remarkable tha the fish should have swallowed the two men and the boats, but the very fact that the oarsmen made faces at the monster may account for this mad freak...the Ganonque "maskinonge" [is] a most dangerous beast.

Fascinating to see that fish tales were around at the dawn of the modern era of sport fishing!

--Dr. Todd

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