Iowa man breaks Minnesota catch-and-release muskie record

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An angler from Iowa has set the new Minnesota catch-and-release record for muskie.

The huge muskie was snagged by Corey Kitzmann, of Davenport, on Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota this past August, per the DNR.

It measured in at 57 1/4 inches with a 25 1/2 inch girth, weighing around 47 lbs.

That beat the previous record of 56 7/8 inches, which was caught on Pelican Lake in Otter Tail County in 2016.

The catch took on special significance given that he caught the muskie with a bucktail lure he was tying himself while alone at his family's cabin on Vermilion Aug. 6, when he was informed of the death of one of his best friends, Brian Cronkleton, at the age of 40.

"With nobody around to grieve with, Kitzmann went fishing," the DNR said, and with the help of an 80-pound line, pulled in the huge catch.

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“I worked my way through my favorite milk run of spots with my newly tied bucktail, thinking about all the ways my buddy had impacted my life and the memories we had shared together," Kitzmann said.

"I’m not sure there is a better place in the entire world to reflect on life than in a boat on Lake Vermilion."

"When I set the hook, I knew immediately that I had a nice fish on. It wasn’t until the fish made its way to the side of the boat that I realized I had a true giant," he added.

He was able to get it into the boat by himself after a long battle, and fortunately a boater was nearby to help him take a photo and help him release the muskie.

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