Species: Great Lakes Muskellunge. Weight: 58.00 lbs. Length: 59 inches. Caught in Lake Bellaire, Antrim County on October 13, 2012 @ 10:30am. Method: Still-fishing with a minnow. Angler: Joseph Seeberger of Portage Mich. Verified by: Patrick Hanchin, Charlevoix Research Station
These guys were out fishing for smallmouth and hooked into this thing. It took Joe 2 hours to reel it in as he was using 8 lb. line for smallmouth, but faced an even bigger hurdle when it came time to land the fish. It took three adults, two nets, two life jackets, and a dock line to get the behemoth into the boat. Once the fish tired, two bass-size nets were used, one at the head and one at the tail, in an attempt to scoop the fish into the boat. “But both nets busted as soon as Chuck and I tried to lift the fish up,” said Orbeck. By this time, another fishing buddy, Derek Barnes, had hopped aboard Seeberger’s boat in an attempt to help land the fish. Now with no usable nets, two life jackets were tied together in an effort to make a cradle. “But they were too buoyant and we couldn’t get them below the surface enough,” Seeberger said. Finally, one of the boat’s dock lines was lassoed around the fish’s head, slid to its middle, and tightened down. With one man grabbing the head, one grasping the tail, and a third pulling up on the line, the fish was brought safely into the boat at 10:30 a.m.
As soon as the crew got the boat out of the water, a county sheriff was waved down, who incidentally measured the monstrous muskie with a crime scene tape. Once the fish was brought to shore, Seeberger drove for an hour in search of a scale. He finally found an industrial-sized certified scale at the Ellsworth Farmer’s Exchange. The fished weighed in at exactly 58 pounds, and measured 59 inches long, with a 29-inch girth.
Get Outdoors Downriver.