DETROIT (WWJ) – The Department of Natural Resources says a 58-pound Great Lakes muskellunge caught in Antrim County has broken the state record.
The fish was caught by Joseph Seeberger of Portage on Lake Bellaire in Antrim County around 10:30 a.m. last Saturday.
The fish weighed 58 pounds, measured 59 inches long and had a girth of 29 inches.
Seeberger was actually bass fishing with a minnow at the time when he caught the fish. It took nearly two hours to land and required the help of his brother Chuck and friends Jason Orbeck and Derek Barnes, all of Battle Creek.
“It looked like a big log coming out of the water when I first saw the fish. I think we all were all just waiting for the line to break at anytime,” Barnes told the Detroit Free Press. “Once the fish was in the boat, many high fives, some ‘holy cows,’ and I am sure a swear word or two.”
The record was verified by Patrick Hanchin, a DNR fisheries biologist at the Charlevoix Fisheries Research Station and Conservation Officer Steve Speigl.
The previous state-record Great Lakes muskellunge was caught by Kyle Anderson of Rapid City on Torch Lake in Antrim County on Sept. 27, 2009. That fish weighed 50.5 pounds and measured 56.13 inches.
“This fish shows that Michigan waters are capable of producing huge fish,” Fisheries Division Chief Jim Dexter said in a statement. “Great waters coupled with appropriate management strategies can result in even more record fish.”
State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.
For more information about fishing in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/fishing.