SI Vault
May 30, 1955
Heavyweight perspectives, Williams vs. Snead Leadfoot Trophy, Schweinberger's vaccination, Muskellunge psychology, Model basin at work
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May 30, 1955

Events & Discoveries

Heavyweight perspectives, Williams vs. Snead Leadfoot Trophy, Schweinberger's vaccination, Muskellunge psychology, Model basin at work

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"No, Max," he said, "I got no papers at all. Why would I have papers?"

Morlock shook his head sadly.

"Schweinberger," he said, "don't you know we are crossing into New Jersey? The border police will want to see vaccination papers."

This made sense to a young man raised in a country divided into east and west zones. So, at Morlock's suggestion, the car was stopped briefly and then went on again through the tunnel into New Jersey—with Schweinberger hidden in the luggage compartment, safe from the prying eyes of the border police.


Fishing for muskellunge is a sport that tests lines, hooks, lures, leaders, baits and the tender, undulating minds of muskie fishermen, who live in a half-world of hope and despair, knowing well that nothing they can do will move the muskie to strike until he is damn good and ready to strike. A muskie is a fish which gets its fun out of following lures and baits, looking at them, sneering at them but scarcely ever striking at them. He is caught usually when he opens his mouth to yawn at the boredom of it all and a gang hook happens to fall in.

Two continuing studies, at least, are about to be resumed in an effort to discover the thought processes of muskies and muskie fishermen. So far, neither has had much success. There may, in fact, be nothing there to discover.

One study, undertaken by Doug Bournique of Milwaukee, examined the whims of members of the Muskie Club of Wisconsin, where the season of legalized futility opens May 21. Begun two years ago, the study discloses that the club members average 14 days a year fishing for muskies; half like artificial lures, half live bait; the artificials faithful prefer bucktails, piky minnows and Suick baits in that order; most prefer a cloudy day; most prefer 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; most think September 15 to October 15 is the best season; none will tell where he fishes.

Club President Bournique, having learned mostly that his organization is a house divided against itself on the issue of artificials vs. baits, will lead his 232 members to Lac Butte des Morts (in central Wisconsin) in June for some amateur research into what kills muskies.

But this has been attempted over the past four years at Syd Doolittle's resort near Boulder Junction. In that time 465 muskies have been brought in there. The Doolittle record shows they hit 157 bucktails, 71 jointed plugs, 33 feathered spoons, 11 surface plugs, 20 miscellaneous lures, and that 173 were taken on live bait.

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