August 6 ended up being a very good day, at least as far as fishing is concerned, for Corey Kitzmann of Davenport.

That day, Kitzmann was working on a lure in his family's cabin on Lake Vermilion in Minnesota when he learned that one of his best friends had died at the age of 40. Alone, Kitzmann decided to go fishing to deal with his emotions and to reflect on their friendship. That's when his amazing catch happened.

After a couple of hours, Kitzmann hooked a mammoth fish. He told the Minnesota DNR,

When I set the hook, I knew immediately that I had a nice fish on. It wasn’t until the fish made its way to the side of the boat that I realized I had a true giant.

Thankfully, Kitzmann was using an 80-pound fishing line because he'd hooked the gargantuan Muskellunge (Muskie) he's holding in the picture below. It measured 57 1/4 inches, had a girth of 25 1/2 inches, and weighed about 47 pounds. Kitzmann released the fish back into Lake Vermilion. It was certified as a Minnesota state record Monday, October 21, beating out a Muskellunge caught in 2016. That one measured 56 7/8 inches.

After the catch, Kitzmann said,

As the phone calls winded down I couldn’t help but think that one of my best friends, Brian Cronkleton, was looking down on me that day – Aug. 6, 2019, is a day that I’ll certainly never forget.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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