Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Vermilion angler lands new state record muskie

Giant fish has special meaning to Iowa man who had just lost a close friend

Posted 10/23/19

LAKE VERMILION— An Iowa angler has set Minnesota’s new state catch-and-release record for muskie, with a fish he caught here back in August.

Corey Kitzmann, of Davenport, was fishing on his …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Vermilion angler lands new state record muskie

Giant fish has special meaning to Iowa man who had just lost a close friend

Posted

LAKE VERMILION— An Iowa angler has set Minnesota’s new state catch-and-release record for muskie, with a fish he caught here back in August.

Corey Kitzmann, of Davenport, was fishing on his own when he hooked what he called a “true giant,” measuring in at 57-1/4 inches. That topped the old record, a 56-7/8-inch fish caught on Pelican Lake in Otter Tail County in 2016. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources certified Kitzmann’s new record on Oct. 11.

It was a remarkable day for Kitzmann for more reasons than one. Kitzmann said he was alone at his family’s cabin on Lake Vermilion on Aug. 6, tying a new bucktail musky lure, when he received a phone call than stunned him— one of his best friends had just passed away from a medical condition at age 40.

With no one to share his grief, Kitzmann went fishing.

“I worked my way through my favorite milk run of spots with my newly tied bucktail, thinking about all the ways my buddy had impacted my life and the memories we had shared together,” Kitzmann said. “I’m not sure there is a better place in the entire world to reflect on life than in a boat on Lake Vermilion.”

After a couple hours with no action, he pulled up to one of his favorite spots that had been hot earlier in the week, fishing with his bucktail and 80-pound line.

“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,” he said.

The fish made a couple of trips around the boat, under the trolling motor, and even gave a jump or two. Kitzmann grabbed his net and managed to make a successful scoop to net the fish and haul it into the boat.

A nearby boater and his family had been watching the fight unfold and Kitzmann waved his arms asking for help. A man pulled up, jumped in his boat and was able to take photos and assist with the release.

After a few photos, Kitzmann got the fish back in the water, supported its belly and watched the fish swim out of sight. He described what followed as two hours of floating aimlessly across the lake making phone calls to family and friends, including his dad who had gotten him into muskie fishing when he was 8 years old.

“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,” Kitzmann said.

The DNR announces new state records in news releases, on social media and on the DNR website. 

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment