Giant muskie catch on icy lake may have ‘crushed’ 64-year-old record

·2 min read

A Minnesota angler appears to have broken a 64-year-old state record with the nighttime catch of a nearly 56-pound muskie.

“The rumors are true!” Nolan Sprengeler wrote on Facebook after his catch Monday of a 55-pound, 14.8-ounce muskie at Mille Lacs Lake.

The current record, 54 pounds, was set at Lake Winnibigoshish in 1957.

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Sprengeler, 27, of Minnetonka, told FTW Outdoors that he submitted his record application to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday. As of the time of this post he had not heard back from the agency.

Sprengeler told KARE 11 that he and some buddies were enjoying perhaps the final night of fishing before the lake becomes too ice-covered to fish from a boat. The air temperature was 18 degrees as they broke through ice near the marina to access deeper water.

Sprengeler has been pursuing the catch-and-release record (57-1/4 inches) for weeks. But the muskie he landed Monday, “after a quick battle and a few ridiculous head shakes,” was deep-hooked and not responsive during the release attempt.

“I didn’t realize how giant this fish was until I pulled it out of the net and immediately called Kevin [Kray] over to assist with the buddy pictures,” Sprengeler wrote. “It measured an incredible 57.75” in length with a 29” girth.

“The next hour or so was spent trying to get her to release. Eventually we realized this was not going to happen and made the decision to bring it to a certified scale and crush the Minnesota State Record.”

On Tuesday, the fish was weighed at a UPS Store in Golden Valley.

For the sake of comparison, the International Game Fish Assn. lists as the all-tackle world record a 67-pound, 8-ounce muskie caught at Wisconsin’s Lake Court Oreilles in 1949.

–Top image shows Nolan Sprengeler (left) and Kevin Kray posing with the giant muskie

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