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More Muskie Fishing -> Muskie Biology -> More Spray records coffin nails
 
Message Subject: More Spray records coffin nails
Larry Ramsell
Posted 3/1/2017 1:00 PM (#851655)
Subject: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 1024


Location: Hayward, Wisconsin
Yet More Nails in the Coffin of Louie Spray’s
World Record Muskie Claims
by Larry Ramsell, Muskie Historian

On Wednesday, January 25, 2017, I had the opportunity to sit down with a long-time Sawyer County, Wisconsin resident and learn more details behind the claim of one of Louie Spray’s world record muskies, specifically the one that started his chain of claims of having caught three world record muskies; a 59-pound 8-ounce fish from Grindstone Lake at Hayward, Wisconsin in 1939.

This gentleman wishes for now to remain unnamed and his wish is understandable. I have from him an affidavit, so you will just have to accept that for now. I know him to be an honest and upstanding person and have no reason to believe his story to be other than the truth.

The following information has been known by this gentleman since June 21st, (6:30 a.m.), 1992, when he personally did an interview with life-long Winter resident, one Mr. Paul Petit, recently deceased when in his 90’s. Mr. Petit was known in the Winter area as a person who lived off the land and was quite prolific at capturing fish and game.

This gentleman had heard by the grapevine that Petit had been involved in the capture of one of Spray’s claimed record muskies and set out to find out the story from Petit himself. The interview took place at a Winter cafe and was observed by two other Winter residents who shall remain nameless for now as well. Petit was 74 at the time of that interview.

The interviewer began the interview notes he took in 1992, as follows: “Paul, for most of my muskie days, 25 years (as of 1992), I’ve heard all the controversy surrounding Louie Spray’s world record muskie catches. I’ve heard Louie caught all of them legally, to none of them (were) caught legally. Much speculation still surrounds these catches. To help cut down on speculation I went right to the source of a man claiming to know the real story of Spray’s first big fish – the 1939 – 59” – 59 ½ pound fish.

“I wanted to hear the story from life-long Winter, Wis. resident Paul Petit. Paul a true Northwood’s ‘character’ himself has hunted, fished, and trapped every conceivable square acre of Northwest Wisconsin’s Sawyer County and surrounding areas.”

Following is that interview:

Interviewer: “Paul there is still much controversy surrounding the world record muskie catches of Louie Spray. A couple of times during the past 25 years you’ve told me about how ticked off you still are because Louie didn’t pay you for his first record muskie claim. Would you elaborate on your story?”

Paul Petit: “Well sure, it was 1939 or 1940 (actually it was 1939 when Spray registered his first world record claim…LR) I was working in the shipyard in Duluth during the week. On weekends, we’d come home (Winter, Wis.). A lot of the time we’d go down to the ‘fish refuge’ (closed all year at the Winter Dam on the Chippewa River) and catch fish, big muskies and walleyes – nothing to it, just loaded with fish. Well, we got a hold of a big muskie.

“Louie (who lived in the area at that time) had always told us he’d pay good money for a real big one. So, we (Paul and his brother) gave it to him and a couple of days later he produces the big muskie. He never paid what he said he would. He lied to me and I never did it for him again (although Paul’s brother did – Louie’s claimed 1940 world record!). I’m still ticked off about him not paying!”

Interviewer: How did you catch that big one?”

Petit: “We fished for them, Pikie Minnow.”

Interviewer: “You didn’t net the dam with commercial nets?”

Petit: “No, we just fished for ‘um. They were just thick in there then. Ya know we thought the supply was endless. Heck, we ate ‘um, gave ‘um to hungry people ya know.”

Interviewer: “Paul, what about Louie’s two record muskies after that? Did you have anything to do with those two?”

Petit: “No – no way! Louie screwed me once, not again. Other people got ‘um for Louie.”

Interviewer: “You mean someone gave Louie the fish or sold ‘um to him – he didn’t catch the fish?”

Petit: “No – no way. Louie knew he needed real long fish to get the weight up there.”
Interviewer: “What do you mean?”

Petit: “Well, you can’t get 60+ pounds out of a 51 incher. So if a mid 50-inch fish weighed light, they would grind up some fish, suckers – put a funnel in the muskies mouth and pour enough in to get the weight up where you need it. Record fish could be examined, their stomach opened and no weights or rocks that way. Just ground up fish.”

Interviewer: “You weren’t involved in Louie’s 1949 world record?”

Petit: “No – no I wasn’t. Never again after that first fish!”

Interviewer: “Well Paul, I’d like to hear more stories someday. I wanted to just ask you about Louie’s three world record muskies for now. Thanks.”

Petit: “Ya know Louie was no better fisherman than the next guy.”

Ramsell note: Before Mr. Petit died, I got word to him that I would pay him $1000.00 for an affidavit to back-up this information. He declined. He was proud of the fact that throughout his life he had never been caught violating. When Petit was informed his information wouldn’t be exposed until after he died, he still declined. While he was still peeed at Louie for “stiffing” him $50.00 in 1939, no money at this point was going to get him to confess in writing, his indiscretion in this matter. He and his family knew the truth and that was good enough for him!

To complete the above story, I have reported previously that Mr. Petits’ brother was involved in getting Louie his 1940 “record” fish. Neither Paul nor his brother were involved in getting Spray his 1949 “record’. Professional photogrammetry has, however, proven that Spray’s 1940 and 1949 “records” weren’t nearly the lengths claimed: See: http://www.worldmuskiealliance.com/spray

Photogrammetry has not been done on Spray’s 1939 record claim as there are no photographs extant showing Spray holding that fish! The only known and published photograph of Spray’s 1939 record claim is one taken of Spray’s friend Alton Van Camp shown holding a large muskie (note: Van Camp had caught a 39-pound 14-ounce muskie in 1938) and that photograph was taken from an “extremely” low camera angle assisting in making the fish look as large as Spray claimed!

NOTE: There are two photo's that go with this article which have been sent to Mr. Worrall along with the article to hopefully post to the NEWS section. If he does so, I have asked that he post a link on this thread so that you may view the photos.
Propster
Posted 3/1/2017 5:14 PM (#851702 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 1752


Location: MN
So this entire interview opportunity the interviewer never asked and Petit never told what the true size of the 1939 fish that Petit provided to Spray was?
And I get a kick out of his pride in "not getting caught..."
sworrall
Posted 3/1/2017 10:43 PM (#851737 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails





Location: Rhinelander, Wisconsin
' So if a mid 50-inch fish weighed light, they would grind up some fish, suckers'
Musky_Mo16
Posted 3/1/2017 11:10 PM (#851741 - in reply to #851737)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 674


Location: Apparently where the Muskie aren't
How would they not notice the ground up fish? Muskies don't chew their food.
VMS
Posted 3/2/2017 6:46 AM (#851751 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails





Posts: 2634


Location: Oakdale, Minnesota
My guess is back then, people didn't scrutinize like we are now with these fish, so the stomach contents never were looked at.

A lot has happened since the 40's with recognizing and understanding a general size -vs- weight relationship.

The lack of understanding is still out there today. Just a couple years ago, I was fishing on Lake Minnetonka... Guy is loading up for the day and says he has a 25 pound fish he caught and kept. Being I love seeing nice fish people catch, asked to see it.. Turned out it wasn't even 36" inches, and maybe went 10 pounds....


Steve
dfkiii
Posted 3/2/2017 7:48 AM (#851761 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails





Location: Sawyer County, WI
Come on Larry, you should know by now that use of anonymous sources make the story "fake news".
Larry Ramsell
Posted 3/2/2017 8:02 AM (#851763 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 1024


Location: Hayward, Wisconsin
Propster: It was Louie that figured out the weight vs. length needed to achieve his goal. To Petit it was just "another" big muskie. Here is the link to the article with the photo in it: http://muskie.outdoorsfirst.com/articles/03.01.2017/10630/Yet.More....

It should be easy to look at the photo and come to your own conclusion as to the size of the fish.

dfkii: This isn't politics, LOL Besides, the "source" isn't "anonymous", I'm just not saying who the interviewer was. The "actual" source was named and that is the guy that got the fish! That is the important part.


Edited by Larry Ramsell 3/2/2017 8:05 AM
dfkiii
Posted 3/2/2017 8:14 AM (#851766 - in reply to #851763)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails





Location: Sawyer County, WI
Larry Ramsell - 3/2/2017 8:02 AM
dfkii: This isn't politics, LOL Besides, the "source" isn't "anonymous", I'm just not saying who the interviewer was. The "actual" source was named and that is the guy that got the fish! That is the important part.


Oh, so it's heresay then. That makes it better.

Additionally, if you consider why a specific few of our neighbors have supported Louie's bogus records, it's all about politics.
Larry Ramsell
Posted 3/2/2017 8:33 AM (#851772 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 1024


Location: Hayward, Wisconsin
No dfkii, it wasn't "hearsay". It was a formal interview with the person that actually caught the fish and related same in front of witnesses. What is it about that that you don't understand?
btfish
Posted 3/2/2017 9:17 AM (#851775 - in reply to #851772)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 378


Location: With my son on the water
I actually hate these type of stories by people going on a mission to disprove this or that, as this is becoming the culture of guys in the sport. Nobody ever believes anybody anymore. Catching one big muskie is a great accomplishment that most muskie fishermen never accomplish, and for those that consistently get them good going. (Class of their own)

Now if a guy posts a nice fish nobody buys him a beer and he may get 1 reply saying good job, 9 replies saying I don't believe you, and 1000 jealous other guys.

I am one of those guys that has caught more than my share of big fish in my life time and still do, but I don't post it anymore. I have busted my butt to catch those fish putting in countless hours and spent lots of money traveling. I never have heard it face to face but I can just imagine what people have said about me, so be it. Then we wonder why some the guys who I classify as gods of the sport don't say much?

Sorry for the rant.
esoxaddict
Posted 3/2/2017 9:47 AM (#851782 - in reply to #851775)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails





Posts: 6763


I think it's obvious to anyone with a few oz of shyt between their ears that if those lakes were capable of turning out fish like that, more than once, we'd be seeing fish of that quality being caught there today. Between increased size limits, creel limits, and the popularity of catch and release fishing it only stands to reason that the quality and size structure of the fish is better today than it's ever been in the past. With the advancements in gear and technology, and the wealth of media that allows us to learn about our quarry, we're also a lot better at finding them and catching them.

That aside, what we have here is far more simple than just lying about the size. Someone ELSE caught the fish. Spray bought it. What happened afterwards doesn't really matter.

dfkiii
Posted 3/2/2017 9:49 AM (#851783 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails





Location: Sawyer County, WI
Hearsay: A statement made out of court that is offered in court as evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted.

Since you seem to enjoy holding "court" on this topic every now and again (and occasionally playing the role of both judge and jury) the information (edivence ?) you have provided is indeed hearsay. I didn't say that it isn't credible, nor did I state that it doesn't help you further prove a point that you've long since proven.

Your sharp response, however, does seem to indicate some bitterness about the reality that many people in our great country fall victim to alternative facts. Fake photos, fake taxidermy, fake news, it's all the same. Who gains from all of the nonsense ? Follow the money and you'll find out.

In the end, people will still frequent the FWFHOF and a certain resort on the Chippewa Flowage. I don't think we need an affidavit to know what those two parties to the discussion think about it, just listen to the cash register ring.
Glaucus_
Posted 3/2/2017 9:59 AM (#851785 - in reply to #851783)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 94


This topic really isn't discussed enough.
sworrall
Posted 3/2/2017 10:06 AM (#851786 - in reply to #851775)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails





Location: Rhinelander, Wisconsin
btfish - 3/2/2017 9:17 AM

I actually hate these type of stories by people going on a mission to disprove this or that, as this is becoming the culture of guys in the sport. Nobody ever believes anybody anymore. Catching one big muskie is a great accomplishment that most muskie fishermen never accomplish, and for those that consistently get them good going. (Class of their own)

Now if a guy posts a nice fish nobody buys him a beer and he may get 1 reply saying good job, 9 replies saying I don't believe you, and 1000 jealous other guys.

I am one of those guys that has caught more than my share of big fish in my life time and still do, but I don't post it anymore. I have busted my butt to catch those fish putting in countless hours and spent lots of money traveling. I never have heard it face to face but I can just imagine what people have said about me, so be it. Then we wonder why some the guys who I classify as gods of the sport don't say much?

Sorry for the rant.


In this case it's not just 'a big fish', it's the standing world record. It's important to many anglers who enjoy the sport and want to know the potential of the fish they pursue know what the real and attainable record weight is.

Unfortunately, the culture back then allowed for some fairly aberrant behavior. It's been business interests and politics that have kept these fish in the record books, and that's unfortunate.

The rest of your rant is just a bit overblown...but you make a reasonable point about muskie anglers second guessing fish images and claims. It's usually a couple, though, and almost always the same guys.

The rest of us like seeing big fish pictures and reading the story. And the rest of us is a really...really big audience, largely silent.
fins355
Posted 3/2/2017 10:32 AM (#851795 - in reply to #851786)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 270


X2...I for one enjoy ALL of the info on these past records. Such as they are....
FlyPiker
Posted 3/2/2017 10:45 AM (#851796 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 227


Oi, honestly, don't actually care about the world record or anything like that. I do find it cool to hear the stories and learn a little bit about the culture of fishing during this, and other, time periods. It's interesting that on one hand you had a guy that was obsessed with having his name in the record books. On the other, you have a dude who seems like he liked to fish, but thought of it as a utilitarian endeavor - and also thought of himself as a rum runner of natural resources. I found it to be an entertaining and informative read, thanks for posting Larry. Keep up the good work and searching for the truth.
Larry Ramsell
Posted 3/2/2017 11:07 AM (#851799 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 1024


Location: Hayward, Wisconsin
dfkii: AGREE on "follow the money!! Well stated, sorry for my "sharpness"!

Fly Piker: Thanks, will do!
muskidiem
Posted 3/2/2017 11:07 AM (#851800 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 171


would somebody please just catch a freak of a fish this year and measure it right, weigh it right, be honest and believable, with several witnesses, while being videotaped and photo'd by multiple world renowned photographers, with an attorney present, and use a notarized stamp on its tail? Anything else?
I like the story, I kinda like the debate. Hopeful our sport can someday have a clean, undeniable world record.
0723
Posted 3/2/2017 11:17 AM (#851801 - in reply to #851796)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails





Posts: 2769


If this gets overturned I might need my uncle Larry to go after the 13 lb Illinois Largemouth Bass record which might have come from a Florida vacation a week before.First the fish weren't that big,now someone else catches them, and stuffs them with fish guts to get the record weight?The stories just never end at the Chip.Great publicity / legend lore for Big Chip once again.

Edited by 0723 3/2/2017 11:26 AM
followking
Posted 3/2/2017 12:12 PM (#851812 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 13


Can we please just let this go? It was a long time ago. This latest "development" is nothing more than hearsay from a long, long time ago. Believe it or don't but it's time to move on.
Jerry Newman
Posted 3/2/2017 12:21 PM (#851814 - in reply to #851801)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Location: 31

After researching and listening to hearsay (as well hearing part of this story from Paul Pettit himself in person). I'd theorize that Paul Pettit did in fact obtain the fish for the mount that Louie used for the taxidermy end of the 1939 record. I would also theorize that Louie submitted a picture of a different fish that he obtained from his friend Alton VanCamp to use for the Field & Stream contest requirement.  

In a nutshell; the 1939 record was not nearly as large as claimed, Louie did not catch the fish used for the Frankenstein mount, and he never even touched the fish in the picture that Alton VanCamp is holding. Other than that, it's a solid record... LOL.

I think Larry is on the right track here because I've long thought that the most direct way to expose Louie would be with the 1939 fish because it was his first attempt, and therefore he would have made the most mistakes with it. When I began my initial research, I started out by looking through the local 1938 newspapers for a picture of Alton VanCamp holding the 1939 record in 1938… find that picture Larry and it's game over!

Jerry Newman
Posted 3/2/2017 12:32 PM (#851817 - in reply to #851812)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Location: 31

followking - 3/2/2017 12:12 PM Can we please just let this go? It was a long time ago. This latest "development" is nothing more than hearsay from a long, long time ago. Believe it or don't but it's time to move on.

Don't like hearsay… maybe you prefer some fact? Louie claimed to have caught his first record on July 27, 1939, he also claimed to have caught 2 other mid 40lb fish right in the middle of summer that same year. 

Wow, that Louie really got around with a 59 ½, 48 ½, and a 46.3 all caught from different lakes in a one-week span.   

 




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(Louie newspaper (3).jpg)


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(Louie newspaper (4).JPG)



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Attachments Louie newspaper (3).jpg (60KB - 54 downloads)
Attachments Louie newspaper (4).JPG (70KB - 58 downloads)
Jimbo
Posted 3/2/2017 1:03 PM (#851827 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: RE: More Spray records coffin nails





Posts: 194


Pictures don't lie.....do they?
The one on the left is 17 lbs heavier than the one on the right?
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.


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(larry2.jpg)



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Attachments larry2.jpg (46KB - 56 downloads)
0723
Posted 3/2/2017 1:04 PM (#851828 - in reply to #851817)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails





Posts: 2769


I've heard it all now .The haters are trying to Drew Peterson poor old deceased Louis Spray with the hearsay law.To bad the record wasn't in Illinois .Louie's kinfolk would be in jail for his past actions .Seriously ,someone already won the chicken dinner when they said let it go .Find a hobby,I know maybe try fishing.Good luck this season .
Larry Ramsell
Posted 3/2/2017 1:23 PM (#851840 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 1024


Location: Hayward, Wisconsin
Muskidiem: We do have a legitimate World Record (Modern). See: http://www.modernmuskierecords.org/
Jerry Newman
Posted 3/2/2017 1:56 PM (#851843 - in reply to #851828)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Location: 31

0723 - 3/2/2017 1:04 PM Find a hobby,I know maybe try fishing.Good luck this season .

I think Larry already has a hobby… he's our muskie historian.

Here's his 4th claimed 40lber from the summer of 1939. 

 




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(Louie lie (1).jpg)



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Attachments Louie lie (1).jpg (23KB - 54 downloads)
0723
Posted 3/2/2017 2:03 PM (#851847 - in reply to #851840)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails





Posts: 2769


Larry Ramsell - 3/2/2017 1:23 PM

Muskidiem: We do have a legitimate World Record (Modern). See: http://www.modernmuskierecords.org/
No offense but thats like the Champion of the Cfl«wrma»vs the Nfl«fresh water hall of fame».No comparison .Good luck ,love your big fish pictures and stories you share with us here

Edited by 0723 3/2/2017 2:05 PM
ToddM
Posted 3/2/2017 2:31 PM (#851859 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails





Posts: 14060


Location: oswego, il
I find it funny when people say let it go. What about the lawton fish? Why is it the only one allowed to be discredited? Why cant the st Lawrence tourism bureaus promote a record fish to increase business? Oh yeah a chip resort owner and former hall of fame president discredited the fish.

One thing is for sure, it is a mute point, the hall has reaffirmed the records and put new rules in place to thwart another attempt at challenging it.

As far as people posting fish pics and people bashing it, this is an apples and oranges comparison. Those people dont care about those records, they dont believe them. Current big fish hurt their egos, they dont like seeing fish as big or bigger than they are catching.

Edited by ToddM 3/2/2017 2:32 PM
North of 8
Posted 3/2/2017 2:45 PM (#851867 - in reply to #851655)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails




Posts: 1512


I do find it interesting that the hearsay comes from an admitted poacher and that is what the guy was if he was knowingly fishing in an area that was closed to fishing year round as the story states. But then maybe it goes back to "it takes a crook to catch a crook". Sort of like letting a small time drug dealer go to get his supplier. But, the guy is a still a poacher.
Pointerpride102
Posted 3/2/2017 3:01 PM (#851876 - in reply to #851801)
Subject: Re: More Spray records coffin nails





Posts: 13627


Location: The desert
I'll reserve judgement until Reelwise weighs in with his evolutionary evidence.....
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