Mobsters, Arson, and Photogrammetry: The World Record Muskie Conspiracy Theories

Mobsters, Arson, and Photogrammetry: The World Record Muskie Conspiracy Theories
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Louie Spray of Wisconsin caught three world-record muskies during his time.

His feat is written in stone, so it must be fact, right?

If you want that rock-solid proof, visit the Greenwood Cemetery in Hayward, Wisconsin and look up the burial site for Louis Bolser Spray, Feb. 21, 1900 — Nov. 19, 1984. Then walk to Block 9 and read his granite tombstone:

  “HERE LIES THE REMAINS OF
  LOUIE SPRAY
  THREE RECORD MUSKIES
  IN HIS DAY.”

Spray’s biggest muskie—69 pounds, 11 ounces—holds the “All Tackle” muskellunge record in the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, which is also located in Hayward. The FWFHF’s record book says Spray caught the fish Oct. 20, 1949, on the 15,300-acre Chippewa Flowage15 miles east of town. Spray previously held or claimed world records for muskies in 1939 with a 59.5-pound fish and in 1940 with a 61-pound, 13-ounce fish.

Records kept by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources also list Spray’s 1949 muskie as the state-record, and…

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