Minnesota DNR certifies new catch-and-release northern pike record, muskie tie

The Minnesota DNR has certified a new catch-and-release northern pike record and muskie tie. Both fish were caught this summer.

Fifteen-year-old Brecken Kobylecky, from Geneva, Ill., is the new northern pike record holder, according to the DNR. He caught a 46 ¼-inch fish on June 19 at Basswood Lake while fishing with a fishing guide at the end of their day.

They took photos of the monster fish and measured it before putting it back in the lake.

"We hooked onto a huge pike that was barely hooked, and could hardly land it due to the sheer size and weight of the fish," Kobylecky said. "The whole experience went by in a flash but it was an experience of a lifetime I’ll never forget."

The DNR says the previous record for a catch-and-release northern pike was set in 2018 on Rainy River with a 45 ¼-inch fish, one inch shorter than Kobylecky’s pike.

Todd Kirby, of Hudson, Wis., tied the state record for a catch-and-release muskie on Lake Vermillion on July 23. His fish clocked in at 57 ¼ inches. The previous muskie catch of the same size was made in 2019 at the same lake.

Kirby says he reeled in the huge muskie at 10:30 p.m. on a Friday night with high humidity as a storm front was moving in.

You can check out all of the DNR’s recorded state fishing records here.