Whole lot of eelpout: Burbot state record is on the books
It's official — a Minnesota resident holds the state record for a fish species with a much maligned appearance and many names including freshwater ling, lawyer, eelpout and burbot.
Brent Getzler of Roosevelt is the new record holder of a 19-pound, 10-ounce burbot taken from the Minnesota waters of Lake of the Woods.
"When photos surfaced of this huge pout, it certainly got people talking," said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "As the reaction to this record shows, burbot have has a certain charm despite the eely looks — and at 19 pounds, what a fish."
The fish was 33 inches long with a belly full of girth at 23-7/8 inches. Getzler caught it while fishing for walleyes with an orange jigging spoon tipped with a minnow on Dec. 19.
"Brent, along with his buddies, Rob Anderson and Chad Thompson, thought he was battling a monster walleye and they were recording the three minute fight. But after realizing it was a 'just a pout' they quit filming," Kurre said. "Little did they know the burbot was a state record, until they got it on a scale."
Anglers can set state records for certified weight for most fish species, or catch-and-release length for muskellunge, lake sturgeon and flathead catfish. Guidelines differ for each type of record and application forms are available at www.mndnr.gov/recordfish.
In addition to the DNR's state record fish program, anglers have the option to participate in the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame's Master Angler Program, which recognizes 60 fish species. Information about that program is available at www.fishinghalloffamemn.com/master-anglers.