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Sportsman Shares Whopper Of A Fish Story


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Sportsman shares whopper of a fish story

Appleton, N.Y. — The biggest king salmon Maury Clark ever caught was a 35-pounder.

On Friday, the sportsman almost topped that, catching a king salmon, by hand, in the ditch in front of his house, about 8 miles from Lake Ontario.

His wife, Darlene, saw the determined, but misguided creature when she went out for the mail. “That was something. I wasn’t going to go in there,” she said. “I went hysterical in the house.”

“She was shocked,” Maury said. “She couldn’t believe there was that big of fish in your yard. It was amazing.”

Maury was wearing camouflaged sweat pants and slippers when he rushed outside.

“Being a license holder, I caught it by hand, jumped in the ditch and grabbed it,” Maury said. “When you catch them in a boat you tire them out. I’m 6-foot tall and weigh 230 pounds and that fish jerked me around pretty good. People stopped and couldn’t believe I was getting a salmon out of the ditch.”

Darlene took a picture on a camera phone and Maury released the fish back into the ditch. “I practice catch-and-release. Then it headed south (away from the lake) toward Ridge Road. It went upstream to spawn. He had quite an ambition to find a female friend.”

According to longtime outdoor writer Joe Ognibene, the rain fooled the fish. The Chinook likely entered Red Creek and found the ditch and decided to go upstream.

“It was so confused after being caught by hand, people talking about him and taking a picture of him with a cell phone, that he didn’t know where he was,” Ognibene joked.

Clark noted that the ditch in front of his house had been cleaned out last summer and now flows cleanly. “It’s fairly deep, deeper than normal, but water is running.”

Other kings went up the creek and into ditches, Clark said. He spotted three more salmon on Bishop Road on Monday. “With all the rain, they’re all over up here,” he said. “They’re thinking there’s more water than there really is.”

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