A fly fisherman in Minnesota may have landed a new world record for muskie earlier this week. Robert Hawkins of Lake Elmo announced on Monday that he landed a 57-inch muskellunge from Lake Mille Lacs, the first time he had been to that particular lake.
The monster fish was estimated to weigh around 50 pounds, and is a strong contender for the International Game Fish Association’s (IGFA) world record for length. Length records are generally recognized by IGFA for fish that have been released alive.
“I didn’t see the fish take the fly,’’ Hawkins told the Star Tribune. “But when I felt her hit, I had a pretty good strip-set, I thought. Then, when I saw her turn sideways, I knew she was the biggest muskie I’d ever hooked.’’
Hawkins, who owns his own fly shop, was fishing with two friends of his at the time. The pair had invited him to the lake after days without catching a fish, and originally expected a relatively calm trip. Instead, Hawkins surprised everyone when he pulled the massive muskie out of the water. The angler said it took longer to tie the fly used to catch the fish than to reel in the muskie itself.
“Honest to God truth from hook [set] to into the net—18 seconds,” he told GrindTV. “Those big, big, giant muskies like that just don’t really [fight]. If that had been a 48-inch fish, it would have been a whole different thing.”
You can watch a video of the catch below:
Catching The New Pending Fly World-Record MuskieBy now, a lot of you have seen the photo of our boy Robert Hawkins of Bob Mitchell’s Fly Shop and his pending new fly world-record 57-inch muskie. But you ain’t seen the video. Exclusive as exclusive gets right here. – JC
Posted by Hook Shots on Wednesday, November 11, 2015
The massive fish may not have put up much of a battle, but it now has a chance of knocking out the current world record. According to IGFA, the current length record for muskie is held by a 52-inch fish caught by Mark Carlson from Quebec’s St. Lawrence River in 2013. Hawkins will now have to send in an application to the record-keeping organization to certify his catch. The angler says he will think about getting the fish recognized but also admitted that getting a record did not hold much interest for him.
What did matter was releasing the fish safely. Doing so disqualified Hawkins from making a claim on the state record, which is longer than the world record at 56 inches.
“It looks like the word is out that I caught a giant! Yep! I caught a massive fish,” Hawkins wrote on Facebook.
“This would not have happened without Ben Olsen’s amazing knowledge of lake muskies and Gabe Shubert teaching me the ways of muskie fly fishing,” he added.
Hawkin described the catch as simply “unreal.”
Image from Facebook