Stillwater angler sets catch-and-release sturgeon record

(Minnesota DNR)

An angler from Stillwater has set a new record for lake sturgeon in the Minnesota DNR‘s catch-and-release category.

Jack Burke and fishing buddy Michael Orgas were recently on a lake sturgeon fishing trip to remember. Fishing on the Rainy River in Koochiching County, the duo was having good success fishing for Minnesota’s biggest fish, landing 20 in three days, including six lake sturgeon over 60 inches before hooking into the new state record – a 73-inch sturgeon.

It beats the previous record by 3 inches – set by two separate anglers on the same day in April 2017.

“We had been having some great action and knew there were big fish in the Rainy River,” Burke said. “This particular fish took about 45 minutes to reel in. When we got it closer to the boat it blew some bubbles and came to the top; I knew it was a huge fish.”

Burke caught the fish on May 4, around 11 a.m., using a muskie rod with 80-pound braided line rigged with a circle hook and night crawlers. The fish measures 30 inches in girth.

There are two types of Minnesota state records: one for catching and keeping the biggest fish in each species based on certified weight, and the other for the length of a caught-and-released muskellunge, northern pike, lake sturgeon or flathead catfish. Find current records and guidelines at

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