UPPER UWCHLAN >> When Emma McBride tossed her small, ultra light fishing pole with an 8-pound test line into Marsh Creek Sunday, she was hoping to catch a few small fish.
But she reeled in the catch of her life, a 15-pound, 34-inch Muskellunge, a large, relatively uncommon freshwater fish native to North America.
“I’ve never caught anything like that and yet I’ve been fishing all my life,” said James McBride, Emma’s father, who was beside her when she reeled the fish in at 10:30 a.m. “She usually catches perches, or sunfish, but nothing like this.”
And Emma got the Muskie, which is the largest member of the pike family, with a small worm attached to the hook of her fishing pole.
“She was pulling with all her might, and I walked up to her and I though her line was snagged,” James said. “And then that thing came out of the water, and all the other fishermen started crowding around. Boats started pulling in. A guy and a lady next to us jumped out of their boat, and ran over with a net and helped to bring it in.”
Best of all, the catch was witnessed by Emma’s grandfather, who saw the catch from start to finish.
“She was so worn out from reeling it in, she said her stomach hurt,” James said. “All the fisherman were high-fiving. Some said they had been fishing for two hours and didn’t’ get a bite.”
Most Anglers seek large Muskies as trophies or for sport. But since the fish wasn’t at least 40 inches, it had to be tossed back in to the water, per Marsh Creek State Park regulations.
James McBride, who works as a maintenance supervisor at DYWIDAG Systems in Toughkenamon, said his daughter has been fishing since age four. She is a true outdoors person, he said, because she loves camping, archery and firearms. She also plays basketball and rides four-wheelers. She lives in East Fallowfield with her father, and in Honey Brook with her mother and attends Twin Valley Middle School.
“This will be a life memory for all of us,” James McBride said. “I can’t be any prouder. I am still beaming.”