Ashland 18-year-old hauls in 28.5-pound muskellunge

Dave Porter says it used to be a little bit tough to convince his wife to rise early and head out fishing.

Zack Porter, 18, of Ashland poses with the 47.5-inch, 28.5-pound muskellunge he caught on Saturday on Glazier Lake in Aroostook County. (Photo courtesy of Dave Porter)

“She usually is an early riser, but not that early,” the Ashland man said with a chuckle. Especially when Porter is planning on heading deep into the woods, like he did two weeks ago on a trip to Glazier Lake.

Glazier Lake, however, intrigued Lisa Porter. Located on the Maine-New Brunswick border about two hours from Ashland, Glazier is home to muskellunge. Big muskellunge.

“She wanted to catch a muskie bad,” Dave Porter said.

Two weeks ago, the Porters headed to Glazier to fish with one of Lisa’s co-workers, and Lisa watched as another angler landed a burly, toothy muskie.

And on Saturday, with another trip to Glazier Lake in the offing, Lisa was raring to go, her husband said.

“She damn near kicked me out of bed at 3:30 to get going,” he said.

Once at the lake, the Porter family — Dave, Lisa, 18-year-old son Zack Porter and Dave’s 12-year-old stepdaughter, Hailey McNally — joined others and started fishing.

Lisa Porter with her first muskie, a 10-pounder that she caught in Glazier Lake on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Dave Porter).

“We had a little flurry there from 10:30 a.m. until noon [as a group],” Dave Porter said. “About five fish [were] caught. Then there was a pretty good lull in the afternoon, though someone nearby caught a 22-pounder.”

The group had a well-defined “batting order” planned out. Lisa got to haul in the first fish, which was a nice 10-pound muskie — her first ever. Hailey got to battle the second, which weighed about eight pounds.

A bit later, after checking his bait and resetting his traps, Dave Porter looked back and saw his first flag was flying.

It was Zack’s turn to tend the trap. Dave was already beside the hole, and wasn’t encouraged. The reel wasn’t turning. The line seemed slack. And when he gave a subtle tug on the line, all he felt was the hefty sucker he was using as bait.

12-year-old Hailey McNally shows off her 8-pound muskie. (Photo courtesy of Dave Porter).

“I said, ‘Zack, let’s give it a minute,’” Dave Porter recounted. “We waited about a minute, and nothing happened. So I said, ‘Zack, give it a hook set and we’ll see what happens.’”

After giving the line a brisk yank to set the hook, Zack learned that there was more than a hefty sucker on the other end of the line.

“He said, ‘Hey dad! It’s a fish!’” Dave Porter said.

About 10 minutes later, Zack Porter brought the fish close to the hole, The muskie’s head filled the 10-inch hole.

“It looked like an alligator head coming up,” Dave Porter said. “It just kept coming and coming and coming out of that hole.”

Zack Porter’s muskie measured 47.5 inches long and weighed 28.57 pounds on a digital scale that the anglers had with them.

Dave Porter thinks the state record is a 33-pounder.

Dave Porter said his son’s fish was 22 inches around and its head was 11 inches from the tip of the nose to the edge of the gill plate.

The family enjoyed part of the fish at dinner on Sunday night, but not before taking plenty of measurements and photos that will be used by a taxidermist to make a fiberglass replica of Zack’s muskie.

As you might expect, everyone’s eager to get back to Glazier Lake to try to find an even bigger muskie.

“We were actually talking about going up there this summer and trying to fish the [Fort Kent International Muskie Derby],” Dave Porter said.

And as you also might expect, Dave Porter doesn’t think he’ll have any trouble convincing his fellow anglers that they ought to wake up early to hit the road.

 

John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.