Maryland Angler Catches Huge Muskie in First State Record of 2022

by Amy Myers
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This Maryland angler probably had to rest his arms after wrangling in this monster muskellunge, otherwise known as a muskie.

Yesterday the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed that Hagerstown native Kyle Mullenix broke the state’s nontidal state record for muskie with his 33-pound catch.

On Facebook, the department commemorated Mullenix’s catch with a post of the angler and the muskie.

“NEW FISHING RECORD: Washington County Angler Catches Record Muskellunge. At 33 Pounds, Muskie Beats 2017 Record!” the department wrote. “The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed a Washington County man has set a new nontidal state record for muskellunge. Kyle Mullenix of Hagerstown caught the 33-pound, 49-inch long record muskie on March 2 along the banks of the upper Potomac River. Regarded as the ‘fish of ten thousand casts,’ muskies are the largest freshwater fish in Maryland and among the most difficult to catch.”

Mullenix didn’t have to travel far for this trophy fish. As a Western Maryland resident, the Potomac is practically in his backyard. But that doesn’t make catching muskies any easier. As the DNR stated, muskies aren’t an easy cast-and-reel kind of fish. With flat heads and elongated bodies, wrestling with these fish will leave anyone exhausted. And even after the battle, very few anglers actually come away with the trophy.

“He put up a good fight, but we didn’t think it was that big until it was on the bank,” Mullenix told DNR. “Things don’t always go as planned, but now life has gotten a lot better.” 

Maryland Angler Beats out Fellow Washington County Native’s Muskie Record

Prior to Mullenix’s recent catch, 26-year-old Tessa Cosens held the state record. Back in 2017, Cosens caught a 32.5-pound muskie along the banks of the upper Potomac River, not too far from where the current record holder found his own catch.

According to the DNR, Cosens was “a relative newcomer to muskie fishing.” Regardless, she managed to bring in a fish that was 49 inches long with a 24-inch girth.

And that’s not all. Apparently, at the time of the catch, Cosens was several months pregnant and was feeling under the weather. Following a 15-minute struggle, the western Maryland native won the battle and brought home her massive catch.

“All the guys around me stopped fishing and looked at me,” Cosens remembered. “There is no other fish that fights like a muskie.”

While Cosens would be taking the majority of her catch home, she did donate some especially important pieces to the DNR.

“To help determine the age of the fish, Cosens is donating a sample of the muskie’s scales and cleithrum – a large bone above the gills – to the department for further analysis,” the Maryland DNR said.

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