This muskie might have been a world record--- or very close to it. But we'll never know.
The anglers who caught it, Canadians Tom and Tim Berger, photographed, quickly measured it, and released it into Lake Huron's North Channel on the Ontario border.
"We've seen and caught a lot of big fish up there, but nothing like this," said Tim.
The monster muskellunge measured 60 inches long, with a girth of 31 inches. To put that into perspective, the International Game Fish Association's all-tackle world record muskie checked in at 67-8 pounds, measuring 60 1/4 inches long and 33 1/2 inches in girth.
“This fish was so thick all the way back to the tail. We couldn’t bend it to get it in the net completely," Tom said.
Often targeting big fish, the two also have caught a 54-inch muskie in Lake St. Clair.
“I’ve caught a lot of muskies. We’ve caught several in the 50-inch range,” Tim said. “I’ve never seen or had one this large up there. It was the fish of a lifetime for us.”
In Minnesota, meanwhile, Robert Hawkins caught a 57-inch muskellunge on a fly last November at Lake Mille Lacs. It also was measured, photographed, and released.
“I didn’t see the fish take the fly,’’ said Hawkins, who owns Bob Mitchell’s Fly Shop in Lake Elmo. “But when I felt her hit, I had a pretty good strip-set, I thought. Then, when I saw her turn sideways, I knew she was the biggest muskie I’d ever hooked.’’