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by Jerry J. Vanis

Call it a burbot, lawyer, eelpout or just plain ugly, but Minnesota has a new state record. Nineteen year old John Galles, South St. Paul, MN.angled his way into the state record books with an eelpout weighing 19.16 pounds., which is about 2/3 of a pound over the old state record of 18.5 pounds.

The fish had an official length of 36.25 inches and a girth of 22.75 inches. Both the old and new record fish came from Lake of the Woods, Baudette,MN. John landed the big fish on Saturday, Feb 18, at about 1:00 P.M., while fishing with his Dad, Pete, and two brothers out of Ken Mark Ke Resort (Baudette, MN. (218) 634-2072).

According to John, the fish’s head barely fit through the 8 inch hole in the ice and as he pulled the fish up, the body filled the hole completely and was a tight squeeze.

The fish was weighed on a certified scale and properly witnessed. DNR officials in Baudette have verified that the fish is a burbot as well as the weight, length and girth. Once the DNR gets all the paperwork in order, young John Galles should go into the official record books with his fish. By the way, not only was this John’s first time fishing Lake of the Woods, but it was the first time he ever caught an eelpout ! He plans on having the fish mounted. Congratulations, John Galles.

Jerry J. Vanis , is an outdoor writer and writes a weekly fishing column , “The Reel Report” for the Baudette Region newspapers. You can reach him at (218) 783-2353 or email [email protected]

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