Muskie Mayhem: “After a few dark splashes, she was in the net!” Wisconsin’s Todd Kirby has officially tied a 2019 mammoth muskie record.
Minnesota’s Lake Vermilion is a hotbed for Muskie anglers, and that’s an understatement. As the state’s Dept. of Natural Resources describes it, Vermilion has become a ‘top Muskie fishing destination.’
The DNR’s most recent certification for a Minnesota state record confirms it, too. Todd Kirby of Hudson, Wisconsin now holds a tie for the largest MN Muskie. How big is his prize? It’s a whopper of a “moving log” at 57 1/4 inches in length.
Kirby originally brought the behemoth in on July 23 via Lake Vermilion. With the DNR’s Wednesday confirmation, the angler now holds a tie with a 2019 Vermilion Muskie of the same length.
“That Friday night we were up against the weather,” Kirby tells the DNR of that fateful night. “There was a huge storm front moving through creating extremely unstable conditions. The humidity was high, and storm clouds were building,” he says.
Muskie prefer cool, overcast climates, so a nighttime storm feels a perfect fit for reeling this monster:
Kirby confirms the ideal conditions, adding that, “It was one of those nights that the fish seemed to be super active. Our boat had multiple chases, one resulting in a 48 inch fish in the net — at that time my personal best,” he continues for the DNR’s press release.
Kirby’s Record Muskie: ‘Everything Just Happened So Fast!’
Kirby brought both skill and experience to his Vermilion adventure. He tells the DNR that he’s fished the lake a few times prior. He’s become familiar with ‘Muskie pockets’ as a result.
That Friday night, the angler says he and his team would fish well into the night. Then, at about 10:30 PM, Kirby hears an enormous thud hit his line. He says his bait was no more than 15 yards out from him.
“I compared it to reeling in a large moving ‘log’ and after a few dark splashes, she was in the net,” Kirby recalls. “Everything just happened so fast!”
Like the Outsider, he is, however, Todd Kirby knows to give credit where credit is due.
“My bait just so happened to be the one that she ate, but that whole night couldn’t have been possible without the help of John Gavic and Will Gavic,” he says of his fishing partners.
As any angler knows, “Muskie fishing is a team effort,” Kirby adds, “and when you have a good team on your side, landing a fish of that caliber creates a memory of a lifetime.”
Both report they believed the giant to be at least 50 inches once it surfaced. But the party still can’t believe their trip resulted in a state record holder.
Well done and a round of Outsider congrats, gents!