Angler catches state record fish at spot he once fished with late friend


    It’s good to start the year off with a new record.

    An angler in New Hampshire set a new fishing record earlier this month. According to him, the catch means a lot more than just getting his name in the record books.

    The New Hampshire Fish and Game office announced on Facebook that Gilmanton resident Ryan Scott Ashley had caught a new state record cusk. The fish weighed 12 pounds and measured 35 inches long.

    Ashley spoke with Fox News, explaining that he caught the fish on the northern end of Lake Winnipesaukee in Moultonborough. He referred to that particular location as “Paradise’s Spot.” He explained that it’s named after a friend who recently passed on.

    He explained that Paradise was “my grandfather’s best friend.”

    Ashley explained, “I never got the hunting fish with my grandfather much because he died when I was young. Paul Paradise introduced me to the sport and took me as a kid hunting, trapping and fishing. He was one of the number one trappers in the state of New Hampshire.”

    Ashley said he and Paradise spent a lot of time fishing in that spot, although Ashley says he never saw his friend catch a cusk in that area.

    “We always went for white perch,” he explained. Once in a while, you get some lake trout and some rainbows. Just in the last couple years, I realized it was a really good cusk spot and I started fishing for them there.”

    He continued, “It was emotional experience, something I never thought would happen in that particular spot.” 

    While cusk are considered to be a really tasty fish (Ashley described them as the poor man’s lobster), he won’t be eating this particular fish.

    “I’m having Scott Moore from Scott’s taxidermy mount it and I’m donating the fish to New Hampshire fishing game biologists,” he said.

    Based on recent events, it looks like Paradise’s Spot will continue to be a big part of Ashley’s family.

    “My daughter also caught her first fish ice fishing in the spot on my homemade trap at the age of two,” he said. “Couldn’t thank Paul Paradise enough.”


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