What may well have been the largest lake trout ever caught in Minnesota is now back in the waters of Lake Superior.
The monster trout was caught by Jordan Korzenowski, the captain and operator of Duluth-based charter boat company FishNorthMN, and angler Steven Gotchie, of Spring Lake, Minnesota.
Using a wire rod with 150 feet of line in 110 feet of water, and a green "squid" lure baited with dead smelt, they hauled in a leviathan measuring 45.5 inches long and with a girth of 30 1/8th inches.
Based on the DNR fish weight calculator, FishNorthMN estimates such a fish would weigh in at 51.6 pounds, easily outstripping the 43 lbs 8 oz. state record for lake trout that has stood since 1955.
We'll never know for sure, because the pair decided to release it back into the waters whence it came.
"We’ve seen a lot of big fish hit the net over the years, but this was truly the fish of a lifetime," FishNorthMN noted on its Facebook post.
Speaking to the Duluth News Tribune, Korzenowski said that Gotchie had to pump and reel for the final 80 feet of line in what was a relentless 20-minute battle.
He says his company encourages anglers to release fish over 30 inches as they're the oldest and best spawners, and in this instance Gotchie agreed to let it go.