Ryan Stochl caught and released this 50 3/4-inch muskie on Oct. 30 on the Fox Chain O’ Lakes.
The fish, with a girth of 23 inches, would have weighed 37.33 pounds by one formula, according to DNR fish biologist Frank Jakubicek.
That would have put it in the company of the current state record, a 38.5-pound fish caught in central Illinois from the Kaskaskia River in 2002.
“I knew it would be close, but I didn’t want to risk it dying, and then it not being a record,” Stochl said. “It just wasn’t worth it.”