The only thing better than catching a fish is reeling in a record with it.
Two anglers in Michigan recently hooked state records during angling adventures amid the coronavirus health crisis.
“During the first few months of the coronavirus emergency in Michigan, a lot of people turned to the outdoors for exercise, fresh air and a little peace of mind,” the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced on Monday, confirming the news. “For two residents, that included time on the water that led to new state-record fish!”
In two separate excursions, new records have been set for the quillback carpsucker and bigmouth buffalo.
Owen Seay of Big Rapids was baitcasting in the Muskegon River in Mecosta County on April 28 when he hooked a 9 pound, 15-ounce quillback that measured 24.75 inches, the department said. Seay’s catch surpassed the previous record, 8.52-pound catch in 2015.
Weeks later, Garrett Rice of Athens was bowfishing on Lake Erie in Monroe County when he nabbed 33-pound bigmouth buffalo measuring over 3 feet long. Rice’s bigmouth buffalo was larger than the 32-pound record-holder reported in 2019.
Both record catches have since been verified by the DNR – though the ongoing outbreak slowed down the process.
“Verification of state records usually happens quickly after a catch but has been delayed due to COVID-19 public health and safety restrictions. These two records were recorded remotely on certified scales, then frozen, and later verified in person,” the department explained.
To reel in an angling record in the Great Lake state, state-record fish are recognized by weight only. A fish must exceed the current cap for a state-record weight, with identification further verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.