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Muskie Show: First thoughts on MacNair

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Asking for a show of hands, Dale MacNair wondered how many in the audience would have kept his fish.

This is not an insignificant question. He probably caught and released the world record muskie on the St. Lawrence River on Nov. 28.


That's him immediately behind the mount of the fish. St. Lawrence big-fish specialist Sal Rotolo is in full view. The mount drew a steady stream of onlookers at Rick Lax Reproductions booth at the Chicago Muskie Show at Harper College in Palatine.

At first, Friday night, only a couple hands went up (mine was one of them) to signify they would have kept it. Then a more truthfully more hands went up. MacNair emphatically would not have kept the fish.

Boy, I don't know. I fully understand the push and pull that Larry Ramsell laid out on that question during his interview session with MacNair.

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Dale, I was at the show as well on Friday night and was at this presentation. To put it as nicely as possible, if you were the balding man sitting a few rows in front of us towards the back center, I missed out on introducing myself because you ran out of there in a hurry! Bummer!

I was one of the few who didn't raise his hand when MacNair posed the question "Would you keep it?"

I guess there's both pros and cons to this one. The bad thing is that the record is still in question. But the good is the promotion of conservation, C&R, and ethical choice as evidenced with the man and his catch.

There's more than a few records still swimming out there..... I won't complain! :)


That was me. I was taking notes during the questions, and making brief descriptions of each person who asked a question. And that is how I would have described myself in shorthand, bald guy with glasses. Well, maybe ruggedly handsome bald guy with glasses.

More seriously, I enjoyed how the basic question--keep a world record or release--of the ethos of muskie fishing was laid out. I doubt that anybody changed sides, but that is probably just the nature of muskie fishermen.

Lets face it, very few people would release a fish like that regardless of the show of hands. I am all about catch and release but really????/Did you see the location of John Detloff's booth? They moved him to the far corner way out of sight where people could not find him along with Pastikas Bait Shop. I wish someone would end the big Louie Spray farce once and for all. Keep the big one and lets be done with it!

Truth be told, everyone is entitled to some luck now and then. Dale is a rookie in his second season of musky fishing. Under his belt, the number is beyond me, but doubtfully pushes a dozen fish. . . One happened to be huge. I just can't devote too much credit to a fish caught by a guy who was getting guided by a professional and was trolling.

No doubt, it takes skill to reel it in and it's a beautiful fish, but I can't see the point in signing autographs on his picture and handing them out at the musky shows. . . What's that worth? That's like asking a guy who somehow stepped out of the crowd at a baseball game and hit a grandslam for his autograph.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 10, 2009 9:51 PM.

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