I'd like to tell all of you young muskie fishermen out there that its not a good idea to read fishing magazines or watch fishing shows if you want to get a realistic idea of how big the muskies that are caught are.
I heard this quote once and it makes all the sense in the world:
"All magazines are pictures of things that you can't have."
I bring this up because of how often I hear that someone new to the sport catches a nice fish and then grossly overestimates its weight because everything that he has heard about fish weight is wildly inaccurate.
I often hear that someone I know has caught, say, a 45" muskie. This is a good fish and one to be proud of. They then want to guess the weight and invariably guess somewhere around 25 pounds for that fish. Here we have a case of a guy catching a fish to be proud of and he's led to believe that it weighs ten pounds more than it actually does. And he'll be disappointed if he hears how much it actually weighs. Rather than being proud, he ends up disappointed because he has been misled by the fishing media.
Another area for size questions is how amazing it is that many people who are prominent in the sport catch lots of 50 inch muskies and how few 48" or 49" they catch. This is easily researched in the Muskies, Inc. website, and its amazing how all of these guys have caught all of their fish on the far right side of a natural curve. Many of them catch lots of 50"s but don't seem to need to sort through the 50 or so 45"-49" fish that the rest of us do in order to catch a 50". I wonder how they do it.
One more area for concern is that if you look at the pictures of the 50 pound fish that are caught most do not even compare to my dad's 47 pound fish. They must have gotten poor pictures.
The moral of this story is that if you see an estimated weight next to a picture a fish, or an estimated weight table, understand that those are the weights of fish that have not been weighed in actuality.