Perry Pickerign

Perry Pickerign, of North Oaks, caught this giant muskie, estimated at 56-57 inches, while out on Mille Lacs Lake with Muddy Waters Guide Service last weekend near Garrison.

Josh Wetzstein, owner of Muddy Waters Guide Service out of Red Wing, was out on a guided trip on Mille Lacs the weekend of Aug. 29 and 30.

Waves were four to five feet high and seemed to be growing. They were out on a two-day trip staying at Fisher’s Resort on the east side of the lake. On Saturday, the wind picked up, so the group trailered over to the west side to avoid the strong wind.

They estimated they had about a half an hour before the wind would pick up according to weather reports. Wetzstein said they don’t cast and typically troll. While trolling, one of the men in the boat hooked a fish. They fought the beast for about 20-30 minutes while preparing their boat to quickly net it as it’s important to keep fish in the water as much as possible. Pickerign finally pulled the fish in, unhooked it and photographed the massive muskie.

The group headed back the next morning to find much calmer waters, making fishing easier business. This Sunday morning they would hook another monster. Fishing line, an estimated 150 feet according to Wetzstein, ripped away from the boat. The beast stayed on the line, however, as the battle was handed off in about ten minute increments to each of the men in the boat. Another 200 feet of line ripped away.

This fish, whatever it was whether lake sturgeon or a giant muskie, would have its lucky day. Wetzstein said he never felt that kind of power before and felt this one was of record-winning caliber.

More information on the Muddy Waters Guide Service can be found at

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