An angler released a giant musky of a lifetime back into Lake St. Clair.
Captain Jason Quintano was dumbfounded by the size of an absolute giant musky he recently caught on Michigan's Lake St. Clair. The fish measured a jaw-dropping 57.25 inches in length with a girth of 22.5 inches.
When Quintano returned the beast to the water he set the Michigan Ontario Muskie Club record for the largest musky ever released in the big lake.
"We put her on the bumpboard and I said 'Whoa,'" Quintano told Musky Hunter Magazine.
But when the big musky hit Quintano's Bull Dawg it was almost imperceptible.
"It was just a 'tick' and then it got heavy," Quintano recalled. "I fought her around the outboard and had to free-spool her three or four times. Anytime she was pointed at the boat, she did what she wanted. I brought her to the boat once, but had to free-spool her back out because I could see she had two hooks in her, but she was barely hooked."
Fishing in 18 feet of water, Quintano and fellow anglers Tom Rued and Rob Hummel were following gizzard shad the muskies were feeding on. Hummel netted the big musky, and both he and Quintano thought the fish would go about 53-54 inches. That was until Quintano started lifting the beast out of the net.
Fish of a lifetime
"She just kept coming," he said. "If I had (known the actual size if the fish) I probably would have had a heart attack."
Charter Captain Spencer Berman was fishing nearby and motored over to Quintano's boat to verify the measurements and take photos. After measuring the fish Quintano estimated its weight at between 40 and 42 pounds.
Musky Hunter Magazine interviewed the angler a few days after his record catch and he was still in disbelief.
"It doesn't feel real," he said. "It just hasn't sunk in yet."
Quintano is a long-time musky fishing guide who's caught big fish before, including a 54.75-incher.
He wrote the following on his Facebook page:
"I'm still in disbelief and it really has not sunk in yet but today the muskie gods truly blessed me and my clients. We boated the LSC [Lake St. Clair] length record with a official 57.25" monster!!! She was catch photo released and chasing shad once again."
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