So the question has been risen more and more, when will the record be broken and what does it take to beat the 54 pounder??? It almost seems inevitable that this is the season that somebody will break the 51 year old record for the biggest muskie ever caught in Minnesota. It has been talked about for the last few seasons, and has probably been caught as well, just never kept. The size of fish have never been what they are today, and there are legitamate state records swimming around in a few of our lakes. Not that this is at all a secret to many of you, but Lake Mille Lacs is my number one choice for giving up the record. In fact, I would actually be surprised if somebody doesn't break the record this season from that lake. I personally have landed a fish out of there that possibly broke the record (forgot the scale), but I give it a solid 52 pounder (not incher), which is just 2 pounds shy of the mark. The funny thing about it is that I saw a few other fish last fall that were even larger than the behemouth that I did land.
As the size and frequency of these fish are being caught, one has to sit back and really understand just how big that fish needs to be to shatter the record. Before I caught the huge fish last fall, I had hauled in literally hundreds of big muskies. I would catch a nice 52 or 53 inch fish and say, well, that must be 40 to 45 pounds. Wow was I wrong! Yes I was catching big fish, and some of them were definitely in the 40 pound class, but I wasn't quite aware of the size of a fish in the 50 pound class. Let's just say that I couldn't lift the darn beasts when I tried to take pictures with them. It was far more of a struggle than I had imagined, and while I see a ton of pictures come in to me, most of them are guessing about 10 to 15 pounds high on the size of their fish. It is fun to catch a huge fish, but even though we catch a fish that looks huge, we might be wrong to say that just because it was 50 inches long and somebody's biggest fish ever, that it was a 50 pounder. Unless you are an extreme body builder, it just isn't feasible to hold something that heavy and odd shaped out away from your body. The dead weight of something so fat and heavy makes it hard to lift and hold, which you can tell in several pictures. I'm not putting anybody's fish down, because I think that every muskie is absolutely amazing and I love congratulating everybody on their catch, however I will say that the camera angles and such have made fish size hard to judge.
I really had an eye opener to what the state record fish consists of. Many other muskie fisherman have as well, and its only a matter of days before it happens, and trust me, it will happen soon. The condition of our lakes are possibly the best that they will ever be. The intense stocking efforts in our state have given us fish that people from all over the country come for. The lure of the state record is dangling in front of us all, and it sure is fun catching those 25 - 40 pounders with regularity. The above pictures are a perfect example of what is almost common in our state. A good fishing buddy of mine named Muskie Mike (Tengwall) had a night to remember last week. While out with a couple of fishing buddies, they landed a 51, 52, and 53.5 inchers, and boy did these fish have the girth. This is almost rare to see such girth at this time of the year, but solid thick fish with 26 inches of girth and that length get you in the high 40's for pounds. The 52 incher was the largest weighing 46 pounds. The 53.5 incher was next at 44 pounds, and the 51 wasn't weighed, but less girthy and in the upper 30's. Girth on these fish are what makes them incredible, and to get into the mid 40 pound range, you need a fish with a 25+ girth. I'm not talking about a two pound fish hanging in their bellies, i'm talking about solid girth from head to toe. You can find these fish on lakes that have tullibee and whitefish. This forage is what makes them fatten up. I look at the Tullibee as a Big Mac, compared to a bullhead (muskies favorite non tullibee snack) which must be like a healthy choice meal. The lakes with these forage will surely produce the fish with a big enough girth and mass to break the record. This will likely happen this fall when the muskies put on their fall feedbag. Tullibees spawn in the fall when the water temps drop into the high 30's. The muskies follow them up and literally gordge on them putting on an additional 10 to 15 pounds. That is why it just blows me away to hear about 46 pounders being caught in July.
That fish will be caught this fall without a doubt, the only question that remains...who will be the guy to keep it???