For the second time in less than two weeks, Twin Cities anglers have landed whopper muskies while on Bde Maka Ska.
Josh Dufresne was fishing on the lake Wednesday when he caught a 51-inch muskie.
“That’s one big fish!” the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board said in a posting on the agency’s Facebook page that include three photos documenting the catch.
Dufresne, of Minneapolis, placed the fish next to a ruler built into his boat to determine its length, then released it back into the lake.
Widely used conversion charts conservatively assign Dufresne’s catch at 35 to 40 pounds.
“It was very fat,” said Dufresne, who used a Bull Dawg lure to attract the fish. “It certainly felt like it lifting it in and out of the boat.”
Dufresne, 50, said he didn’t bring his muskie net “and had to land it with a Boga Grip — a tool that can grab the lower lip of toothy fish. … My main concern was getting it back in the water quickly.”
Another angler had a near-identical experience at Bde Maka Ska on Oct 23. Julian Glenn, of Minneapolis, was fishing for bass with a Z-Man ChatterBait, and not much was biting when he felt unusual weight on his line, the 18-year-old Holy Angels High School senior said. He thought he had snagged on something.
A several-minute fight to land the behemoth ensued, which Glenn said “was crazy. ... The whole thing was crazy.”
Fishing partner Luke Gilbertson netted the fish, and their tape measure stretched out to 50 inches. Glenn said his arms shook while he held the muskie for a trophy shot before releasing it back into the lake.
Could it be that the two anglers caught the same muskie?
“I don’t think it’s the same fish,” said Dufresne, after reviewing photos of Glenn’s catch. “It has a dark mark on the belly on the port side of the fish. This was absent on my fish.”
While impressive, especially for an urban lake, the two recent catches come up short of the state record for muskie. Corey Kitzmann of Davenport, Iowa, landed a 57¼-inch behemoth with an estimated weight of 47 pounds while fishing Lake Vermilion in St. Louis County on Aug. 6, 2019.