Daum's 50-Pound Muskie Enhances Evans Tradition
Updated: Sep 25, 2019
BY DAVE SHEA
MORRISTOWN - While growing up Christopher Daum of Spencerport, N.Y. spent a great deal of time at a family camp on Black Lake.
The camp, now owned by his mother Donnamae Daum, was purchased in 1976 by her father William Pugh.
While visiting the North Country in the summers Christopher Daum had never fished on the St. Lawrence River and he had never caught a keeper walleye.
On Sunday night Jeremiah Evans of Morristown, son of Donnamae Daum's boyfriend Ned Evans, offered to take Christopher out fishing in a family outing which included Christopher's wife Diane and their son Jeremy.
Diane and Jeremy both caught keeper walleyes and Christopher came in without that elusive first keeper marbleeye.
But he came back with a lifetime fishing highlight of the highest magnitude.
At around 11:45 p.m. Sunday he landed a 50-pound muskelunge on 15-pound test line without a leader on just his fifth trolling pass. The monster muskie spanned 55 inches long and sported a girth of 26 1/2 inches and the catch defied all the odds around muskie fishing.
"We were fishing walleyes so we used a Bandit white walleye lure often referred to as the wonderbread pattern. On the troll before I got caught on bottom and lost the lure. On the second pass I thought I was caught on bottom a again," said Christopher Daum.
"I didn't want to lose the lure so I flipped the bail over to let the line out."
Driving the boat Jeremiah Evans knew that his friend had a fish and wasn't caught on bottom.
"Chris was fishing on the deep side of the boat off the edge of the shoal so I knew he wasn't snagged on bottom and I figured he had a fish."
But no one in the boat expected what took place when Christopher Daum flipped the bail over and starting fighting the fish.
"Jeremiah had the walleye net ready but when the fish came up. We saw it wasn't a walleye and Jeremiah had to scramble to get the muskie net. Then when we saw the size of the fish everyone just went crazy," said Christopher Daum.
"It was just unbelievable and when we netted the fish we saw that it was only hooked by one hook. I was just amazing that we were able to get the fish in. I am getting the fish mounted."
For Jeremiah Evans it was an exciting and very personal experience. His late grandfather was legendary muskie fishing guide Jim Evans who ran the Evans House Bait and Tackle Shop in Morristown for decades.
A picture of Evans standing in front of his shop with a large muskie is engraved on his tombstone.
Many items of Jim Evans' muskie memorabilia are still on display at the shop which now houses Mare's Wares pottery store, studio and school operated by his daughter Mary Anne Evans. The Morristown Museum has an exhibit on Jim Evans and the legacy other muskie fishermen from the Morristown area.
Many of Jim Evans' muskie fishing techniques and secrets were passed on to his son and grandson. Jeremiah Evans spent many evenings on the St. Lawrence River fishing for muskies with his dad and another renown muskie hunter in Jim Franz who has enjoyed muskie catches of 50, 47 and 44 pounds.
In 1990 Jeremiah sat in a special seat in the back of the boat when his dad reeled in a 48-pound 12 ounce muskie with Franz behind the wheel.
"We called it a $13 boat. Franzy drove the boat but I had to run the throttle from the back of the boat. We had a lot of fun in that boat, we caught a lot of muskies," said Ned Evans.
"In 1966 dad guided Chuck Gambino of New York City to a 44-pound muskie and in 1986 he guided Gambino to a 46-pound, 6 ounce muskie. I caught a muskie weighing 48 pounds and 12 ounces in 1990 and now Jeremiah was driving the boat when Chris catches a 50-pounder. With each generation the muskies keep getting bigger."
And a fourth generation is already in place.
Jeremiah's 15-year old son Jeremiah Evans been fishing muskies with his father since he was eight years old with several muskie catches to his credit
"Trenten has a great passion for fishing and hunting and we will get out fish at least once a week now that the fish are biting. The walleyes and and muskies are both biting good. We use the same swim whizzes and other muskie lures that my grandfather and father used and we fish some family spots," said Jeremiah Evans.
"Trenten might be the best fisherman of all of us and it is very lucky. I know that my grandfather is one happy camper today."