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 EXHIBIT: FRANK MUNDUS COLLECTION

For over 50 years Frank Mundus chartered his boat Cricket II catching some of the largest sharks ever recorded, off Montauk where he grew up. His vessel often had a multi-season wait list for a chance to catch the giant sharks he'd dubbed "Monster Fish". His largest monster, a Great White Shark weighing 3,427 pounds, still remains the largest fish ever caught by rod and reel. His colorful reputation made him an instant inspiration for the infamous shark fisherman known as Quint in the film Jaws (1975). In the years before his passing, Frank Mundus came to realize that sharks were disappearing from his fishing grounds, and had a change of heart. He began to advocate for catch & release tournament methods, as well as lend his experience in the early development of tracking technology, data reporting, as well as improved fishing gear that was safer for the shark. Mundus is considered to be the first to make and deploy circle hooks (a modification of the traditional "J" hook), which will more reliably catch a shark in the corner of the mouth for easier (and safer) removal. His famous boat, Cricket II, has been restored and reinstated by a non-profit in New Bern, NC now used as a rehabilitation fishing charter for US veterans.    


SELECTIONS FROM THE FRANK MUNDUS COLLECTION - LIVING SHARKS MUSEUM


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CIRCLE HOOKS

Having been employing them since the 1970’s, Frank Mundus proved that the circle hook was a reliable way to catch a shark that could be safely released alive without becoming gut-hooked. The hook sets in the corner of the shark’s jaw and can be easily removed onboard the vessel. Later in life, Mundus advocated for circle hooks to be used in all Shark Fishing Tournaments.

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MONSTER FISHING CIRCLE HOOKS

FROM THE VESSEL CRICKET II

Acquired by Chris Kiszka, First Mate aboard Cricket II

Private Collection - Keith M. Cowley

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FIGHTING BELT

This fighting belt belonged to Frank Mundus and was used aboard his boat Cricket II. Worn like a vest, the two clips would hook into the eyelets of his big game saltwater fishing reel, a Penn “Senator” 14/0, or 16/0, working as a brace in tandem with the boat’s mounted fighting chair. Strapped in, he was ready for any monster ahead.

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FRANK MUNDUS’ FIGHTING BELT

FROM THE VESSEL CRICKET II

Acquired by Chris Kiszka, First Mate aboard Cricket II

Private Collection - Keith M. Cowley

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LIFEBUOY RING

This lifebuoy, or life-ring, came off of the vessel Cricket II when Frank Mundus retired. After over 50 years of sold-out shark charters, Captain Frank began to realize that there were far less sharks in the waters since he began “Monster Fishing”, and instead continued his work in conservation.

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ORIGINAL LIFEBUOY - LIFE-SAVING RING

FROM THE VESSEL CRICKET II

Acquired by Chris Kiszka, First Mate aboard Cricket II

Private Collection - Keith M. Cowley

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MONSTER SHIRT

Originally worn by Captain Frank Mundus himself, this actual shirt was his personal attire for photos and publicity events. When he retired from his vessel Cricket II, he autographed the shirt as a gift to his first mate and pro collector Chris Kiszka. The illustration on the shirt was designed by famed Montauk comic artist Frank Borth III, who also had whimsically illustrated books by Frank Mundus.

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SIGNED T-SHIRT WORN BY FRANK MUNDUS

FROM THE VESSEL CRICKET II

Acquired by Chris Kiszka, First Mate aboard Cricket II

Private Collection - Keith M. Cowley

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FIGHTING CHAIR

This original set of chair backs belonged to Frank Mundus’ personal fighting chair aboard his vessel Cricket II. The metal back was bolted in the rear back position of the chair, while the wooden front panel was siliconed to the front for added comfort. Both panels were signed by Frank Mundus and given to pro collector and first mate Chris Kiszka upon retirement from over 50 years of Monster Fishing.

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ROCK-AWAY FIGHTING CHAIR BACKS

FROM THE VESSEL CRICKET II

Acquired by Chris Kiszka, First Mate aboard Cricket II

Private Collection - Keith M. Cowley

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CRICKET II SIGN

As seen in legendary photos of some of Frank Mundus’ earliest record catches, this is his personal sign that would accompany many publicity events. Most famously this sign can be seen along with the 3,000 pound Great White Shark caught on June 1, 1960 off Amagansett, depicted in Mundus’ autobiography Fifty Years A Hooker.

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CAUGHT ON CRICKET II PUBLICITY SIGN

FROM FRANK MUNDUS PERSONAL COLLECTION

Acquired by Chris Kiszka, First Mate aboard Cricket II

Private Collection - Keith M. Cowley

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CRICKET II CHARTER

Printed after the publishing of his book Sportfishing For Sharks, Captain Frank Mundus would pass out this flyer for his charter vessel Cricket II. Boasting his legendary commodity of Monster Fishing, his charter offered the opportunity to catch fish of any size right from the comfort of Montauk, equipped to carry up to 20 passengers.

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ORIGINAL CHARTER BOAT ADVERTISEMENT

FROM THE VESSEL CRICKET II

Acquired by Chris Kiszka, First Mate aboard Cricket II

Private Collection - Keith M. Cowley


MORE TO COME…

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