There are coincidences, and then there are coincidences almost too good to believe. On May 8, 2014, Chad Wentzel landed a state record golden redhorse from the Root River in Fillmore County. Exactly one year later, Wentzel caught yet another record golden redhorse from the same river, beating his personal—and statewide—best by one ounce.
“May 8 is turning into a red-letter date for angler Chad Wentzel,” the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) remarked in a recent press release.
According to the DNR, Wentzel used eight-pound test line and worms to lure in the four-pound, one-ounce fish. The golden redhorse was later weighed and certified by a state biologist, earning Wentzel another entry in the record books.
There is a chance that Wentzel’s fish may have even tied the world record. The International Game Fish Association lists the world record as another four-pound, one-ounce fish. That specimen was taken by Richard Faler in Pennsylvania’s French Creek back in 1997.
Perhaps even more surprising, Wentzel came very close to snagging the record three times in a row on the same day. The angler previously caught and released another record redhorse—weighing three pounds and 11 ounces—in 2012. That catch came on May 12, missing his current anniversary by just a few days.
Nonetheless, the DNR highlighted Wentzel’s catch as an example of the state’s excellent fishery.
“Wentzel fishes with a group of fellow anglers who target all sorts of fish beyond walleye, bass and panfish,” said Mike Kurre, who coordinates the state record fish program for the DNR. “Indeed, there are many types of fish to catch in Minnesota. We keep state records on five types of redhorse alone, and in all there are state records for 62 species of fish.”
Image courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources