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Holy catfish! New catch-and-release records for muskies and catfish

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Minnesota has its first ever record for a catch-and-release muskie.

Minnesota’s first catch-and-release state record for muskellunge was set on June 25 after only five casts,

Andrew Slette of Hawley caught the 56-7/8 inch long muskie on Pelican Lake in Otter Tail County back on June 25 after only five casts, the DNR announced. It had an estimated girth of 25-1/2 inches.

Fishing with him was Josh Karch, who not only witnessed the record, but also nearly missed the record himself when he caught and released a 52-inch muskie.

The catch-and-release records are just a few months old (more about them below), and three fish are eligible: muskies, flathead catfish, and lake sturgeon.

The first ever records for the catfish and sturgeon were recorded back in May – but nobody had sent in a muskie record photo until recently.

The catfish record didn't last long

The catch-and-release record for flathead catfish, set for the first time in May, was then broken in June.

Jacob Robinson of Shakopee caught a catfish measuring 49 inches long with a girth of 32-1/2 inches, 2 inches longer than the previous record.

Catch-and-release records

The DNR announced that they would include catch-and-release records in April for muskies, flathead catfish and lake sturgeon.

To qualify you have to catch it, measure it and take a photograph of the fish, then release it.

The DNR says it created the new records because catch-and-release is becoming more common, and a lot of anglers don’t want to harvest the fish just to try for a record. There are also fewer chances to keep the fish anyway because of new higher minimum length requirements from last year.

You can read more about the DNR’s state record programs here. And here’s the application for submitting a catch-and-release record.

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