MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Anglers looking to catch a record-breaking northern pike in Minnesota now have a new record to beat.

On Monday, the Minnesota DNR says it has confirmed that a northern pike caught by a Woodbury man in May is the state record holder.

According to the DNR, the record surpasses the first ever record set in early October. That’s when Maddy Ogg caught and released a 43.5-inch pike from Mille Lacs.

However, angler Matthew Swanson of Woodbury reeled in his pike five months earlier, in May. The DNR received his application on Oct. 29, and certified the fish soon after.

It was measured at 45.25 inches.

Swanson says he was on an annual Rainy River pike fishing trip with his dad and brother. After three days, he said he had not landed any large pike, while his dad and brother caught several that were over 30 inches.

Swanson’s dad fishes for pike with streamer flies on a 30-pound test wire line. Using his dad’s setup, Swanson took a few casts and the water around his fly “exploded”. He hooked the big pike.

After a brief fight and careful netting, Swanson caught the 45.25-inch northern pike. The fish was released after a couple pictures and a length measurement were taken.

“Because this was to date my first and only pike on a fly, it was a very memorable experience,” Swanson said.

The DNR says a cool spring and fall temperatures made for excellent catch-and-release conditions.

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