For the second time in three years, a new state record Great Lakes muskellunge(musky) has been caught in Antrim County, Michigan. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources(DNR) today confirmed the catch of a record-breaking 58 pound musky on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012.
The musky was caught by Joseph Seeberger of Portage, Mich. on October 13, 2012, while fishing on Lake Bellaire in Antrim County. The 58 pound fish, measured 59 inches long and had a girth of 29 inches. Seeberger was fishing for bass with a minnow when the fish struck. It took nearly two hours to land, requiring the help of two friends.
The record catch was verified by Patrick Hanchin, a DNR fisheries biologist at the Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station and Conservation Officer Steve Speigl.
“This fish shows that Michigan waters are capable of producing huge fish,” said Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter. “Great waters coupled with appropriate management strategies can result in even more record fish.”
The previous state-record Great Lakes muskellunge was caught by Kyle Anderson of Rapid City, Mich., on Torch Lake in Antrim County on Sept. 27, 2009. That musky weighed 50.5 pounds and measured 56.13 inches.
An important tip to anyone chasing a possible state record: State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight (based on a certified scale) and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist. Michigan DNR also runs a Master Angler program with divisions for "Catch and Keep" and "Catch and Release." Catch and Keep entries are recognized by weight, while Catch and Release entries are recorded in terms of length only, along with good quality color photographs of the angler with the fish at time of catch.
If you catch a fish that's worthy of submission to the Master Angler Catch and Release program (rules and mimimum length requirements are available here), be sure to have your camera ready for one or two quick pictures. Keep your trophy catch in the water until ready for pictures, and then put the "grip and grin" on them. Any fish larger than panfish-size should be supported as fully as possible when lifted from the water, i.e. no lip hoisting or lifting large specimens by a gill cover. Get the shot composed, take a few pictures and then revive the fish and release it to fight another day. Your fellow anglers will thank you for it.
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