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Woman sets new Maryland fishing record with 32.5-pound muskie

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Posted at 12:29 PM, May 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-11 12:31:03-04

A Washington County woman has set a new muskellunge (muskie) nontidal state fishing record, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said.

Tessa Cosens, 26, caught a 32.5-pound muskie along the upper Potomac River in Washington County Saturday. The fish was a recorded 49 inches long with a 24-inch girth.

Cosens, who is several months pregnant and had been feeling under the weather at the time, is a relative newcomer to muskie fishing, officials said. She was fishing along the riverbank using a 7-foot muskie rod and double-spinner when she snagged her record catch after a 15-minute struggle.

“All the guys around me stopped fishing and looked at me,” Cosens told DNR officials. “There is no other fish that fights like a muskie.”

Muskies are one of the largest freshwater fish in Maryland. Cosens’ catch broke Maryland’s previous record of 31.75 pounds set by Kenneth Files back in 2011.

Cosens is donating a sample of the muskie’s scales and cleithrum--a large bone above the gills--to the Department of Natural Resources for further analysis and to help determine the fish’s age.

The department keeps state records for sport fish in four divisions – Atlantic, Chesapeake, Nontidal and Invasive – and awards anglers who achieve record catches. Fish caught from privately-owned, fee-fishing waters aren’t eligible for record consideration.

Anglers reporting a potential record catch should call 443-569-1381 or 410-260-8325. Fish should be immersed in ice water to preserve its weight until it can be checked, confirmed and certified by department officials.