Spray's World Record Muskie Stands

The National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame will not disqualify Louis Spray's world record muskellunge that was challenged by a group of Wisconsin and Illinois businessmen.

The group, calling itself the World Record Muskie Alliance had submitted some photographic analyses that purported to show that Spray's muskie was ten inches shorter than the recorded 63 ½ inches that Spray's 69 lb., 11 oz. fish measured when caught in 1949.

According to a detail report on the hall of fame's web site ( http://www.freshwater-fishing.org/spray/ ), the record keepers submitted their numerous photos of the Spray fish to various photo analysts who say the fish had to be at least 63 inches.

Besides the photo evidence, hall researchers interviewed several eyewitnesses who saw the fish shortly after it was brought into Herman's Landing on the Chippewa Flowage. The witnesses agreed the fish was freshly caught.

"In retrospect, Louie Spray's world record musky is likely the most scrutinized musky ever caught. Some may never want to believe in the musky and, perhaps, that goes with the territory whenever one talks about such a fantastic accomplishment or happening. However, the fact remains that Louie Spray's 1949 world record musky is exceptionally well documented and the NFWFHF is confident that the fish was as big as claimed," concluded the hall of fame document.

Former hall of fame historian Larry Ramsell who said he resigned when he discovered Spray's fish would not be disqualified. Ramsell was widely quoted as saying: "Every single member of the hall of fame board is a local (Hayward) businessman who has a vested interest in keeping that record were it's at." Ramsell says the group will resubmit their evidence to the hall soon.

On the other hand, another WRMA member, Pete Maina, is a Hayward resident whose personal relationships with local anglers and the hall has been at best strained for years. Maina is a muskie fishing guide in Hayward and a self-promoter who would put Louis Spray's legendary self-promotion to shame.

Gotta love those muskie anglers, eh?

©Copyright. 2005. Donald Lee Jordan