Is it The New Muskie Capital of The World?
Less than three weeks after a 57-inch muskie estimated to weigh more than 50 pounds was caught by a fly fisherman on Mille Lacs Lake, Dominic Hoyos of Stillwater, Minn., hauled in a muskie there November 26 that weighed an estimated 61 pounds!
Robert Hawkins caught and released his 57-incher on November 9 and it was 26-1/2 inches around and estimated to weigh more than 50 pounds. Hoyos’ fish was 55 inches long and had a girth of 30 inches! After taking pictures and measuring the fish, he released it.
The certified world-record muskie is a 58-pounder caught in Michigan in October, 2013.
Hoyos was fishing with his buddy Dean Block when the big fish hit, according to the Star Tribune.
Block said he and Hoyos were dialed into a day-long pattern of trolling in 18- to 20-feet of water away from “community spots” where other muskie stalwarts fished. They missed on two big fish, according to the Star Tribune, so they kept to their plan of following congregations of ciscoes (also known as tullibees) near shallow, underwater rock shores where the forage fish had been spawning.
At 12:35 p.m. on the day of a full moon, the “clicker’’ sounded on Hoyos’ line, according to the Star Tribune. His heart raced as the heaviness increased. The “Queen” was hooked, but swimming in tandem with the boat, behind the stern. Now she raced ahead and Hoyos stiffened his rod to turn her back.
“When she realized she was hooked, she put on a show,” Hoyos said. “She got real aggressive.”
But within about 10 minutes, she was netted beside the boat.
“This fish was just obese,” he said.
The 2015 muskie season ended Tuesday and will reopen June 4. The Minnesota state record for a muskie is a 54-pounder that was 56 inches long and had a girth of 27-3/4 inches caught on Lake Winnibigoshigh in 1957. To be a record fish in Minnesota, one of the requirements is for the fish to be weighed on a state certified scale, which means it would have to be dead.
Mille Lacs, the second largest lake in Minnesota, is about 100 miles north of the Twin Cities near Garrison.
This news comes at a time the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is considering stocking more lakes with muskies and is asking for public comment on the matter. Click here to comment on the lakes up for discussion for stocking.
(Top photo courtesy of Dominic Hoyos)