World-record muskie? It’s reportedly back out there, in Mille Lacs

Mille Lacs Band DNR Aquaculture Biologist Keith Wiggins-Kegg holds a potential record-setting muskie caught during recent electrofishing activities on the lake. (Courtesy of the Mille Lacs Band DNR)

While engaged in spring electrofishing activities for walleye, Mille Lacs Band DNR Aquaculture Biologist Keith Wiggins-Kegg and an electroshocking team found a giant muskie was also within the shockwaves.

“We were not looking for muskie,” Wiggins-Kegg said in a Mille Lacs Band news release. “That wasn’t our objective.”

Wiggins-Kegg saw the giant fish surface, and he and the team immediately boated the fish. A length measurement was taken and they quickly snapped a couple of photos before releasing the muskie, watching as it swam away safely.

The muskie measured 61-1/2 inches. The world record for a hooked muskie is 60-1/4 inches, caught in Hayward, Wis., in 1949. The Minnesota record for muskie is 56-7/8 inches, caught on Pelican Lake in 2016. The state record for muskie using a fly rod is 57 inches, caught on Mille Lacs Lake in 2015.

The team knew this fish was unusually large – even for a muskie. Their adrenaline was running high, but the main objective was to release what they speculated as a female back to the water.

“We didn’t have a large enough scale on board to weigh that big of a fish,” said Carl Klimah, Mille Lacs Band DNR fisheries manager. “A fish like this can weigh between 55 and 75 pounds, but we will never know for sure. We can say that it was huge fish and hope that someone catches it again so we know.”

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