WoW! I fish for one eleven hour day and I miss more activity in that time that the site has ever had. In fact there are five members on-line right now and it's almost 11PM.
It's too bad that some of the posts are trying to cast a shadow over what is without a doubt a 50" musky caught from our beloved Niagara. Cullen's fish is glorious! It is a cause for celebration! It gives me hope. It motivates me to fish better, longer and harder. It strengthens my resolve to be ready when my next monster hits. It shows that there are big fish to be caught and that is wonderful news after a summer of mostly small fish caught. Congratulations again Cullen!
I fish a lot. It seems like every time I'm out I run into you or John Pensyl on the water. Good things happen to those that fish hard. Ask Dave Martin sometime.
The fish is at an angle on the board and it would surely make the big 5-0 if it wasn't. Even if it didn’t reach to 50”, so what, who cares? Fifty is a big number in the musky world. Anglers devote their lives to achieving that number. They become obsessed with it. I was motivated by the big 5-0 when I first started fishing. Marc Arena changed that for me. A big fish is a big fish. You have to remember it is just a number. Who in the Club wouldn't be thrilled to catch a 49"? Why do we get so hung up on one or a half-inch? Why is a 50" so much better than a 49"? It's just an inch.
I don't know Cullen very well. We've talked fishing a few times at cook-outs and such and my impression of him is that he a dedicated musky guy who fishes whenever and wherever he can. He seems to care about the fish and he doesn't seem like a BSer. I can spot a musky BSer a mile away with my eyes closed and my face pointed in the opposite direction. I can smell them. Cullen, in my opinion, is not one of their ranks. This wasn't a tournament fish, and his first 50" caught with Larry is his Top Ten fish (so far, I wouldn't be surprised if he caught a bigger one this year). Why would you quibble about a measurement?
The quick release of the fish is the most important aspect of any catch, not the money shot picture. I wouldn't have even bothered to take a picture on the board. If Dan Steele (or any member for that member) called it at 50", that's good enough for me. Cullen's fish doesn't rook anyone out of any money and it doesn't bump anyone out of the Top Ten.
There has always been jealousy in musky fishing. It's the reason why so many huge fish, fish of a lifetime for most anglers, have been exaggerated and falsified to attain nothing more than status. Chest thumping is not something that I encourage amongst members even though I have been guilty of this in the past. You have to remember there is always someone coming up in the ranks, which is good. Without an influx of new members, the Club will eventually fail. I would hate to think that anglers thinking of joining our club would shy away because of finger pointing on our site, but I’ll address that in a few paragraphs. After all one of these new guys might be my replacement.
It's about the fish and the fishery now. Not who is the top dog on the water. When a new angler joins the club and does very well, I think some members get jealous. Cullen and John are having a great season and they are catching and seeing a lot of big fish. Celebrate that! If they are popping fish left and right it's a good thing provided they release them well. It means the fishery is improving. Cullen's 50" is a wonderful fish, just as it would have been if it was 48", 49", 49.5", 49.75", etc. It means there are still whoppers to be caught in our little strait.
As far as pinching the tails goes, I’ll leave the decision up to the angler. I don’t do it, chiefly because I never have. The DEC does and they encourage the practice in the Angler Diary Study booklets, “Tail should be pinched to achieve maximum length.” With the exception of tournaments, fish I measure are never on the board for more than a second or two. Get the measurement (if you want to) and get the beast back in the water as fast as you can.
Adam in his last post said he would end the accusations and bickering. No offense Adam, but I'll end it. It’s all our Web site, but it’s my baby. I have deleted a few posts from this thread and will continue to do so if these types of posts persist. As the site creator and administrator, I will not tolerate personal attacks, innuendo and swearing on this site, ever. I would have deleted these posts earlier, but like I said in my first sentence, I was fishing. After all, it is November. It's what we're supposed to do.