Record Musky

  • April 4, 2018 at 1:03 pm #2568'Tim Crews

    Here is one list I found for record musky and tiger musky, state by state/province by province where records exist, that I found on the internet. I don’t know how accurate or up to date they are.



    A couple things jumped out at me perusing these lists. One, the biggest on the list was Art Lawton’s 69 lb-15 oz, 64-1/2″ fish and, two, the WI record holder’s name is unknown. So I checked into it and here’s what I found out:

    The world record musky was held by Louis Spray, a 69 lb-11 oz fishy caught from the Chipster back in ’49 until Artie caught that biggun that was recognized by Field & Stream (the record keeping grand pooba’s of the time) as the new world record until 1992 when it was DQ’d because some guy named Dettloff, who apparently had nothing better to do with his life but to research the validity of this catch, convinced the National Freshwater Fish Hall of Fame and International Game Fish Association (IGFA) that Mr. Lawton was a big, fat liar. Yet it remains on this list I found.

    Enter a guy named Larry Ramsell, who has a hard on for Art Lawton. Apparently Larry also had nothing better to do with his life than devote his latter years trying to pass off Detloff’s research and findings as kaka. I guess it beats binge watching Games of Thrones and watching reruns of Musky Hunter on WFN on those cold winter nights? Larry publishes a book on musky history that includes his case for keeping his idols record in tact. See for 146 pages of stuff that leads to his conclusion that Lawton’s record should stand.

    Not sure what the world record is, who holds it, and who is responsible for determining these trivial matters, and I don’t really care, but I find it all kind of interesting.

    Regarding the Tiger Musky records, the Illinios record was from a private pond. This doesn’t seem right to me so I am going to dedicate the rest of my life or until Season 8 of Game of Thrones starts up again, whichever comes first, trying to disqualify this fish as the rightful IL record. Surely this record fish was a pet specially fed to get it to record weight.


    • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by Tim Crews.
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  • April 5, 2018 at 6:57 pm #2580'ToddM

    Tim, you decided to jump off into the deep end of the pool i see.  Lawton and Spray records are are fake.   The WRMA proved spray and johnson records were false.  Detloff owns a resort on the chip,  debunked the lawton record, was the president of the hayward hall of fame and reaffirmed the hayward records.  It has been debated to nauseam, the false records will forever stand.  The ifga wanted nothing to do with the evidence regarding the johnson record but uzed detloffs evidence to dethrone the lawton fish. There is a ton more to this story. Some of it ugly and some of it directed at FRV.  Since then, ramsell has changed his stance and is on the right side of history.


    The list is old.  The illinois record is now from the shelbyville spillway, not shabbona.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by ToddM.
  • April 5, 2018 at 8:41 pm #2582'Tim Crews

    I did read about Detloff’s ties to the Chip and get that he had motive to DQ the St. Lawrence fish to keep bragging rights in Hayward, but wasn’t aware the Chip record was BS also.  I knew there was a lot of controversy about the Musky record years ago but never got  the details.  Thanks for straightening me out and FYI I was pushed into the deep end with a cinder block tied to my ankle by my parents when they were teaching me to swim when I was 7 years old. Luckily I am good at untying knots (as well as a avoiding trains while on the tracks that my dad always made me go play on).

  • April 7, 2018 at 9:53 am #2589'Tim Crews

    I came across something called the Modern Day Muskellunge World Record Program (MDMWRP) founded by Larry Ramsell. This organization is the self proclaimed verifier and keeper of modern day musky records. The current record musky is a 58 lb., 58″ fish caught on live bait by a guy fishing for smallmouth bass with his 2 buddies on Lake Bellaire in Michigan.

    If Larry can do it, so can I. I have started a not for profit organization called Really Earned Association of Musky Records  (REAMR). Here are the rules:

    1. Fish shall be caught casting artificial lures on open water. Sonar transducers are not considered artificial bait.
    2. Angler shall be targeting musky.
    3. Angler shall be controlling boat.
    4. Angler shall not be guided by a professional, amateur or friend.
    5. Fish shall be hooked, fought, netted, unhooked, measured, weighed, photographed and released by the same person, preferably the person making claim of record to the Board of Reamr’s.
    6. Angler must submit to a lie detector test and the scale used to weigh the fish shall be calibrated by a laboratory that is accredited by a nationally recognized organization such as ACLASS or A2LA. Angler’s caught fibbing or using out of spec weight measurement devices shall be sentenced to 10 years of trolling.

    Good luck!

  • May 21, 2018 at 8:16 am #2732'hebeda

    Just to add fuel to the world record musky discussion, I know a guy whose father was there when Spray allegedly brought in his fish.  The father, who has long since passed, said the fish was all of 69 pounds………just thought I would add this to the thread.

  • August 29, 2018 at 11:14 am #2878'peteb

    I don’t know about the past records, especially from the Hayward area. There are many stories about Spray’s fish including that it was caught by someone else who gave or sold it to Spray in the Moccasin Bar. The whole story is fascinating. Ask Spence Petros about it, sometime.

    Because many of the old records do not hold up to modern scrutiny, in about 2006 Larry Ramsell came up with the idea of no longer questioning those records since they couldn’t be proven away. (Around this same time, another effort was made by a member of FRV who formed a group to examine those old records. This group eventually issued a report saying modern analytical techniques could not verify those records.) Larry suggested he would head a committee to start keeping records of current catches. MI sanctioned his idea and a committee of several seasoned muskie people crafted a set of very stringent rules and considerations. The committee chairmen is Larry Ramsell and the members include past presidents of MI, fisheries professionals and similar volunteers. As with the ILDNR, any committee can only consider fish that are submitted. We know that in recent years, a number fish have been caught that have exceeded the 58″ fish most recently recognized by MDMWRP as the largest. Some of them have been out of season (an important consideration), some not caught on hook and line, and, while reported in the press,  none of these have been submitted to with the necessary documentation.

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