A Minnesota teenager caught the new northern pike state record several months ago, but his fish is now recognized as the one to beat in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Matthew Swanson is the new holder of the Minnesota northern pike state record, with a beastly 45.25-inch pike. Swanson actually caught his fish May 6, but he didn't submit his application to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources until fairly recently.
The DNR received Swanson's paperwork Oct. 29 and certified his pike as the new catch-and-release record soon after.
The Woodbury angler was fly fishing northern Minnesota's Rainy River with his father and brother. After three days of watching his dad and brother catch several sizeable pike, Swanson borrowed his dad's rod and hooked the big northern after just a few casts.
Fishing a streamer fly on 30-pound wire, the water exploded and the fight was on. After a brief fight Swanson landed big northern pike. The anglers measured the fish and took some photos before carefully releasing it back into the river.
"Because this was to-date my first and only pike on a fly, it was a very memorable experience," Swanson told the Minnesota DNR.
His pike beat the current Minnesota catch and release record set only a month prior to Swanson's certification. Maddy Ogg reeled in a 43.5-inch pike from Mille Lacs Lake in early October.
According to the DNR, "There are two kinds of Minnesota state records: one for catching and keeping the biggest fish in each species based on certified weight; and the other for the length of a caught and released muskellunge, northern pike, lake sturgeon or flathead catfish."