This Bob McNally write-up on OutdoorLife is loaded with ALL the details. Few snippets below:
> “I got to a spot where a long, deep eddy of water came off a fast-water stretch and started casting a Hell Hound glide bait [with an 8′ rod, 100-lb braid and a 175-lb wire leader].
> “I finally made a cast almost across the [100′-wide] river to a shallow shelf on the far bank. I started a retrieve, twitching the plug several times. Then I just felt some weight, not a real hard strike. So I set the hook, and I could feel a fish shaking its head.
> “She stayed deep, kind of bull-dogging…in the mid-depths. The water temperature was a cool 44 degrees, and I’m sure that had much to do with her fight.
> “I’ve caught plenty of muskies over 50″ and knew this fish was a heavy one….”
> …scooped up the fish with a large landing net. He knew right away that it was a giant, and wanted to measure it, but didn’t have a tape or measuring board so he called for help. King eventually reached a friend who knew several state DNR officers, who were contacted. One said he was on his way to meet King at the river’s edge.
> Meanwhile, King unhooked the muskie, and had it waiting calmly in his huge landing net in the shallows of the Little Kanawha River.
> Aaron Yeager a DNR assistant fish biologist arrived on the scene with a measuring board and a scale. They taped the fish at 55 1/16″ in length, with a 27″ girth. They kept the fish alive and frisky in a specially aerated live tank that Yeager had in his truck. Then they trucked the fish to a certified weigh scale at a feed store in the town of Gassaway, where it was officially weighed at 51 lbs.
> “The fish was in great shape in the oxygenated tank that Yeager had, and it was released unharmed back into the river.
> “I never would have put that fish through this process if the water hadn’t been cold and it was handled well by a fisheries biologist with a highly-aerated tank. This is all about the fish, and I was for sure going to release this great musky alive and well.”