‘That’s a Unicorn’: Plymouth Man Lands Record Musky on Lake Mill Lakes


Minneapolis (AP/WCCO) – A Minnesota man took part in his final fishing expedition before freezing on one of the state’s largest lakes, seemingly breaking a 64-year-old state record.

Nolan Sprengeler of Plymouth landed a oyster on Mill Lakes Lake on Monday night, tipping the scales at 55 pounds, 14.8 ounces. The previous Minnesota record for the heaviest musky, 54 pounds, was set in 1957 on Lake Winnibigoshish.

Record Muskie, with Nolan Sprengeler at left. (credit: Jack Skoglund)

Sprengeler and two other friends had to break the ice for about 100 yards to find open water.

“We thought about fishing after Thanksgiving, but given the temperatures we thought we might have better go on Monday night,” Sprengeler said. “We weren’t sure we could land on the lake after that.”

Sprengeler, 27, hooked the fish while casting a large soft-plastic bait onto the rock’s cliff. He said the three of them worked for an hour to revive the fish, but to no avail.

Instead, he eventually moved to a well-known taxidermy in Conover, Wisconsin, where owner Rick Lacks agreed to create a traditional skin mount for the fish and form a mold from it so that replicas could be reproduced in such a way that Lax’s father helped the pioneer.

Officials with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources say all necessary paperwork appears to be in order, including witnesses and notarized signatures. Sprengeler awaits on paperwork confirming Minnesota state records.

“It’s still real,” said Sprengeler, who weighed the fish at the UPS store. “I spent so much time going to this fish with my friends, and just the last day, the last hour like that, Thanksgiving, all these phone calls.”

Sprengeler says that the importance of achievement is not yet completely understated.

“It’s a unicorn,” said Thomas Allen, digital content manager for In-Fisherman Magazine. “It’s a fish I don’t think anyone has seen on a million met.”

Sprengeler says he and his friends have been aiming for years to catch record-setting fish. He says he still wants to set the record for catching and releasing fish in more professional volley tournaments.

The official world record recognized by most organizations is Louis Spray’s 69-pound, 11-ounce musky caught on the Chippewa Flowage in northwestern Wisconsin in 1949.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)