Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Voices from the Past: Two Pike, One Cast (1894)

The following blurb comes from the 09 August 1894 Elizabethtown (NY) Post and details an interesting catch--but the "greatest feat ever recorded in the history of angling?" Hardly. Note that the author refers to "pickerel," which was a catch-all term for both true pickerel, northern pike, and muskellunge well into the twentieth century.

Mr. Bishop Makes A Record

Yesterday while S.P. Avery, Jr. of New York, and B. Bishop of New Russia, were fishing off Button Bay, Lake Champlain, the former accomplished an unusual feat. Mr. Avery was fishing with a 7 1/2 oz. fly rod, common trout line, single gut leader and hook baited with a minnow. Suddenly the minnow was taken in by a pike weight about 1/2 of a pound. As he was drawing the pike along towards the boat he felt a sudden and heavy jerk on the line and immediately the pike went down and out of sight. Mr. Avery let out 150 feet of line and after "playing" for an hour succeeded in bringing in a wonderful haul. It appears that when he had the pike near the boat a large pickerel discovered the precious morsel and undertood to devour it and in so doing wound the gut leader around under his gills in such a way as to securely fasten himself, and after diving and plunging for an hour gave up the battle. Last evening Mr. Bishop had the pike and pickerel on exhibition in front of the post office in this village. The pike weighed nearly 1/2 lbs. and bore the marks of the pickerel's teeth where he has shut on. The pickerel weighed 10 1/2 lbs. Taken all we consider this one of the greatest feats ever recorded in the history of angling.

-- Dr. Todd

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