The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is reporting a new state record musky, which was caught by a 12-year-old West Virginia angler.
The 31.75-pound musky was caught in the Potomac River on April 14 by Kenneth Files III of Falling Waters, West Virginia. Kenneth was fishing with his father, Kenneth Files Jr., and caught the fish with a jig and large white plastic grub.
The fish measured 45 inches long with a 24-inch girth. The DNR said the record fish is a female estimated to be 11 years old. The previous record weighed 28 pounds, 1/4-ounce, and was caught in 2004 by Matt Beal from the Upper Potomac.
On the day the new record was caught, the Files went to fish below Dam No. 4 and found the river in flood stage and the banks and property adjacent to the river wet with flowing waters. Undaunted, Kenneth spotted an eddy and began to fish the stained waters. Soon the musky took the bait and the battle commenced. Files eventually steered the fish into shallow water.
The Files registered the catch and after getting an approximate weight, it appeared the fish could be a Maryland record. They iced the fish until they could get it to a state-certified scale, according to the DNR. It was weighed at a local feed and grain store.
John Mullican, a biologist with the Maryland DNR, said muskies are gaining in popularity with anglers. “The waters of the upper Potomac River support a vibrant, self-sustaining musky fishery,” he said in a DNR news release.