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Matthew Swanson’s 45¼- inch northern pike from the Rainy River is Minnesota’s new catch-and-release pike record.

Forum News Service

RAINY RIVER (FNS) — A Woodbury, Minn., angler owns a state record when his 45¼- inch northern pike he caught on the Rainy River earlier this year bested a fish caught just a month ago on Mille Lacs Lake.

Matthew Swanson’s record fish surpasses the first-ever record set in early October, when Maddy Ogg caught and released a 43-½ inch pike from Mille Lacs; however, Swanson reeled in his pike five months earlier, in May. The Department of Natural Resources received Swanson’s application on Oct. 29 and certified the fish soon after.

Swanson was on an annual Rainy River pike fishing trip along the northern border with his dad and brother. Swanson reported that after three days of fishing, he had not landed any large pike, but his dad and brother had caught several over 30 inches. His father fishes spring pike with streamer flies on 30-pound test wire line. Using his dad’s setup, Swanson took a few casts and the water around his fly exploded; he had hooked a big pike.

After a brief fight and some careful netting, Swanson had caught the 45¼- inch northern pike. They handled the large pike carefully to get a couple pictures and a length measurement before releasing the fish.

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