An angler caught a muskellunge weighing 55 pounds, 14 ounces, from Mille Lacs Lake that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has certified as a weight-based state record. The previous record was a 54-pound muskie caught from Lake Winnibigoshish in 1957. Although news of the fish has spread quickly in the news and social media, a record is not official until the certification process is complete.
Nolan Sprengeler caught the muskie on Nov. 22, with friends Kevin Kray and Zack Skoglund. Their plan was to fish the afternoon until after moonrise, which was about 8 p.m. After some delay due to low water and frozen water at accesses, they eventually broke some ice to get Sprengeler’s boat in the water after sunset.
“On our last spot of the evening at about 9 p.m., I felt a tap on the end of my line. I fought the fish to the boat and Kevin Kray netted it for me. The fish measured 57.75 inches by 29 inches,” Sprengeler said. “After trying to revive the fish for about an hour we realized she wasn’t going to make it. We made the decision to bring the fish in to get weighed on a certified scale.”
Sprengeler brought the fish to be weighed on a certified scale with witnesses the next morning, had it identified at a DNR Fisheries office, and then dropped off his catch with a taxidermist.
The DNR announces new state records in news releases, on social media and on the DNR website. Find current records and guidelines for each type of state record at mndnr.gov/recordfish.