State’s first catch-and-release record for pike comes on Mille Lacs

Now that's a pike – as in a state record. Maddy Ogg's beefy 43 1/2-inch fish, caught on Mille Lacs, is the first Minnesota catch-and-release record for the species. (Minnesota DNR)

A 43-1/2 inch pike caught by a member of the Women Anglers of Minnesota, on Lake Mille Lacs, sets the first northern pike state record in the DNR‘s catch-and-release category.

Maddy Ogg caught and released the huge pike Oct. 6 during what she described as a cold and windy day of fishing, the DNR announced in a news release Monday, Oct. 22. She and companions Mike Buckingham and Jenni Buckingham got an early start that morning, soon landing two fish at the same time.

“On the way to the lake that morning, we saw eight bald eagles and shortly after we started fishing, we landed a double – I knew it was going to be a good day of fishing,” Ogg said.

Five hours later, while trolling the edges of plants in 12 feet of water, Maddy had a strike that bent her rod hard. Even though most record-fish stories include a long dramatic battle between fish and angler, fortune was going their way.

“I had to reel fast because the fish swam towards the boat, causing nearly constant slack in the line,” Ogg said.

She landed the pike and now claims the first Minnesota catch-and-release state record for the species. While pike can often be lively once in a boat, in this case, the cool temperatures and calm behavior of Maddy’s pike made for an outstanding catch-and-release scenario, the release said.

There are two kinds 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.

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