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Jack Burke of Stillwater, Minn., holds the record-breaking lake sturgeon he caught May 4 on Rainy River.

STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) — An eastern Minnesota man has set a state catch-and-release record by hooking a more than 6-foot-long sturgeon on the Rainy River.

The state Department of Natural Resources announced this week that Jack Burke’s May 4 catch set a new state record.

Burke had been fishing with his friend Michael Orgas. The duo had caught 20 fish over three days before the record-breaking catch.

“We had been having some great action and knew there were big fish in the Rainy River,” Burke said in a statement. “This particular fish took about 45 minutes to reel in. When we got it closer to the boat it blew some bubbles and came to the top; I knew it was a huge fish!”

Burke used a muskie rod and an 80-pound braided line with a circle hook and crawlers to catch the fish. The fish was 30 inches in girth.

The previous record was set in April 2017 by two separate anglers who caught 70-inch sturgeons on the same day.

The state keeps records based on length for the catch and release of muskellunge, northern pike, lake sturgeon or flathead catfish. Records for fish that are caught and kept are based on weight.

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