Minnesota: First Muskie Catch-and-Release Record Set

First state muskie catch-and-release record set; flathead mark bested record catch and release muskie

It may be called "the fish of 10,000 casts" but on June 25 it took five casts for an angler to set Minnesota's first catch-and-release state record for muskellunge.

Andrew Slette of Hawley was fishing with a top-water lure when he hooked the huge muskie that measured 56-7/8 inches long with an estimated girth of 25-1/2 inches on Pelican Lake in Otter Tail County. Fishing with him was Josh Karch, who not only witnessed the record, but also himself caught and released a 52-inch muskie and one smaller muskie that day.

"We now have our first muskie catch-and-release state record, and it certainly sounds like it came out of a memorable day of fishing for both these anglers," said Mike Kurre, who manages the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' record fish program.

Flathead catfish record broken
The catch-and-release flathead catfish record was also broken in June.

Jacob Robinson of Shakopee caught and released a big cat that measured 49 inches long and had a girth of 32-1/2 inches. It was 2 inches longer than the previous record. Robinson landed the fish at 3 p.m., June 7, while fishing from the shore of the Minnesota River in Scott County using a live bullhead and 100-pound test line.

Robinson's line has broken off after hooking at least three other fish that he considered being in the same class as the one he landed.

Anglers can set state records for certified weight for most fish species, or catch-and-release length for muskie, lake sturgeon and flathead catfish. Guidelines differ for each type of record and application forms are available at www.mndnr.gov/recordfish.

In addition to the DNR's record program, anglers have the option to participate in the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame's Master Angler Program, which recognizes 60 fish species. Information about that program is available at www.fishinghalloffamemn.com/master-anglers.