Minnesota's catch-and-release record program just got a little more interesting.
Very recently, Minnesota started a catch-and-release record program to highlight trophy-sized fish that are let go, instead of being kept for the certification process. The first fish on this list were the mighty muskie, lake sturgeon and the flathead catfish. Now, northern pike are on the list, too.
Weight measurements aren't kept for this division, only verifiable lengths via angler submitted photos.
"Catch-and-release fishing remains a time-honored tradition and when anglers release these large fish they give others the chance to catch them later," said Mike Kurre, the DNR program coordinator. "These catch-and-release records have really caught on and now we're adding northern pike into the mix. Photos of these fish have ramped up awareness of Minnesota as a go-to state for trophy fish."
In order to qualify, Minnesota anglers must catch a trophy-quality northern pike and get pictures of it next to a measuring tape. From there, angers must also provide a second picture with the same fish. After that, they can submit photos to the Minnesota DNR for consideration. For right now, the first qualifying northern pike over 40 inches will take the top spot.
However, as someone who knows the kind of fishing Minnesota has, I wouldn't expect that number to last long.