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New Minnesota fish record continues state's run on records

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A Minneapolis man is the newest name on the state's list of fishing records.

Chad Wentzel's 4-pound golden redhorse – hooked on May 8 from a bank of the Root River in Fillmore County – was confirmed as a record by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources last week. Wentzel was using a 6-pound test line with a worm, and left the bait on the bottom of the river, the DNR says.

His golden redhorse beat the previous record by one ounce.

County Comparison

Currently, Wentzel's catch is the only record-holder to come from Fillmore County.

Which got us wondering: Want to know which Minnesota county fares the best when it comes to state fishing records?

We took some of the data provided by the DNR and sorted it by county. The clear winner: Cook County, which has seen eight current record-setting fish comes from its lakes – more than twice as many as any other county.

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Goodhue, Itasca and Washington also fare well, with four record-setters apiece.

A Run on Records

The DNR notes that six Minnesota fishing records have been broken in the past 30 months. In addition to the golden redhorse, the recently-broken list includes bowfin, river carpsucker, burbot, shovelnose sturgeon and warmouth.

The DNR has a full list of current Minnesota state fishing records.

Of course, none of that is counting the ones that got away.

The DNR has very strict state record guidelines, which includes filling out an application, weighing and certifying the fish on a certified commercial scale legal for trade (with at least two witnesses), a photograph, and more. So there are times when a fish that could have been a record ends up at the bottom of a lake.

Included on that list is Don Mickel, a fishing guide based out of Bemidji. He caught a record 17.9-pound walleye while fishing the Rainy River in April of 2012. But a couple things got in the way – it was weighed on an unofficial scale, and the walleye was a catch-and-release fish. So no record was set.

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