Mark Mosby went looking for flathead catfish last month on the St. Croix River near Stillwater. He caught one roughly the size of a 9-year-old boy.
He and the fish are now in Minnesota's record books.
Mosby of St. Anthony caught, measured and released the new record flathead catfish Aug. 2. It measured 52.5 inches long with a girth of 32 inches the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reported. The fish's length broke the record for flathead catfish in the DNR's catch-and-release category.
"Mosby, who describes himself as an occasional angler, said his fishing partner made sure his fishing gear was ready for a battle as they were targeting big flathead catfish known to inhabit this stretch of the river," the DNR said, noting he used an 80 pound braided line with a 40 pound monofilament leader.
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Mosby praised fishing partner John Kaiser for his knot-tying ability, adding: "The flathead put up a great 15 minute fight right up until he got to the boat, and the knots held true."
Although weight is not required for the catch-and-release record, the fish was estimated to weigh about 70 to 80 pounds, based on length and girth. The current record for certified weight of a caught-and-kept flathead is 70 pounds.
Minnesota maintains records for catching and keeping the biggest fish in each species based on certified weight and on the length of a caught and released muskellunge, lake sturgeon or flathead catfish.