A 64-Year Minnesota Muskie Record Has Officially Been Broke
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has officially certified a new weight-based muskie record.
According to the Minnesota DNR, Nolan Sprengeler caught the muskie on November 22nd, with friends Kevin Kray and Zack Skoglund. The three were fishing on Mille Lacs Lake when Sprengeler caught the 55-pound 14-ounce muskie.
The three anglers were planning on fishing from the afternoon until after the moonrise, which was about 8 p.m., but they were delayed due to some low water and frozen water access.
“On our last spot of the evening at about 9 p.m., I felt a tap on the end of my line. I fought the fish to the boat and Kevin Kray netted it for me. The fish measured 57.75 inches by 29 inches,” Sprengeler said. “After trying to revive the fish for about an hour we realized she wasn’t going to make it. We made the decision to bring the fish in to get weighed on a certified scale.”
The previous record was a 54-pound muskie caught on Lake Winnibigoshish in 1957.
Sprengeler brought the fish to be weighed on a certified scale with witnesses the next morning, according to the Minnesota DNR. It was identified at a DNR Fisheries office and then Sprengeler dropped off his catch with a taxidermist.
The Second Minnesota State-Record Muskie Caught This Year
Sprengeler's catch was the second state-record muskie caught this year. In September, the Minnesota DNR certified a 57 1/4 inch Muskie caught on July 23rd on Lake Vermillion by Todd Kirby of Hudson, Wisconsin. This fish tied the previous state record that was also caught on Lake Vermillion.
Kirby said to the DNR that had fished the lake a handful of times and was familiar with small pockets that Muskie seem to inhabit.
“That Friday night we were up against the weather. There was a huge storm front moving through creating extremely unstable conditions. The humidity was high, and storm clouds were building. It was one of those nights that the fish seemed to be super active, our boat had multiple chases, one resulting in a 48 inch fish in the net — at that time my personal best,” Kirby said.
The group continued fishing on that July night and eventually, a large 'thud' hit Kirby's line when his bait was no more than 15 yards from the boat. Kirby compared it to reeling in a large moving log.
“My bait just so happened to be the one that she ate, but that whole night couldn’t have been possible without the help of John Gavic and Will Gavic. Muskie fishing is a team effort, and when you have a good team on your side, landing a fish of that caliber creates a memory of a lifetime,” Kirby said.
You can read more on Kirby's catch, and how a 15-year old reeled in a state-record northern pike this summer here.