Alex Porubyanski, of Whiting, Ind. caught a 48 1/2-inch muskie weighing 34 pounds from Wolf Lake on Thursday. . . on spinning gear with 8-pound mono and a small silver spoon. BTW, he's 78.
He sent photos to Indiana biologist Bob Robertson, just in case it is a tiger muskie, in which case it would be an Indiana record. But it sure looks like a pure muskie to me.
Thanks to Sam Noto for the photo taken outside of Mik-Lurch Tackle Outlet in Hammond, Ind. Noto explained,
``The fish was too much for this old timer to handle so I had to help him as you can see, actually the best picture of it is the one with me holding it horizontal, you really get to see truly how big this fish was but he could not hold it up that way.''
But either way, it is a helluva fish and an even better story.
Porubyanski was fishing with the small silver spoon for bass, walleye or ``whatever came along.''
``At first I thought I snagged a carp. But when he came up to the top and swirled, I thought, `That looked like a muskie.' I played him for 15 or 30 minutes. A neighbor asked if I needed a net. He came down with a smaller net. He got half the fish in and I lifted the other half.''
Over the years, he has caught and released some muskies, including a 35-incher. And he's had a number chop him off at Wolf Lake.
``[Fishing] is my pastime,'' he said.
Which gives a lot more meaning when he said, ``This is a once in a lifetime fish.''
``I held my breath for 15 minutes or half an hour. I thought I would never bring him. I thought no way I will never get him in on 8-pound monofilament. . . . I knew he was big. I didn't know how big until got out of the water.''
At the lake, he and the neighbor measured it at 49 inches.
He thought it was a tiger muskie, which would easily be the Indiana record, so he tried to have it weighed on a certified scale at a grocery. They won't do it. So he went to Mik-Lurch, where it was measured at 48 1/2 inches and weighed 34 pounds.
So he wrapped it in three towels borrowed from his daughter [Rose Bandy], who lives nearby. And put it in the freezer at Mik-Lurch. His fish of a lifetime will be mounted.
``Otherwise I didn't know where to put it, it is too big for everywhere,'' he said.
Ray Thompson of the Illini Muskies Alliance sent this on tiger stockings at Wolf Lake: ``Illinois stocked tigers from 87-97. Last I heard, Indiana stocked tigers in 99.''