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Michigan master anglers

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    Michigan master anglers

    Master Anglers hauled in a record number of fish last year, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

    Big fish.

    The Master Angler program, in place since 1973, recognizes large fish caught by recreational anglers and has more than doubled since 2014.

    Last year's haul included two new state records: a 27-pound bigmouth buffalo caught on the River Raisin in Monroe County by Roy Beasley of Madison Heights and a 6.36-pound cisco (formerly known as lake herring) caught in Lake Ottawa in Iron Countyby Michael Lemanski of Florence, Wis.

    According to the DNR, 2,176 anglers representing 24 states and Canada submitted catches recognized in the program compared to 1,807 Master Angler fish the year before.

    Of the accepted entries, 1,250 were in the catch-and-keep category while 926 were in the catch-and-release category. A total of 266 anglers received certificates for fish placing in the top five for both categories.

    Here is a breakdown of t 2017 entries by species:

    ► 228 bluegill
    ► 121 pumpkinseed sunfish
    ► 118 smallmouth bass
    ► 111 crappie
    ► 95 rainbow trout
    ► 93 freshwater drum
    ► 90 channel catfish
    ► 62 cisco (lake herring)
    ► 59 lake trout
    Dolores Jones caught-and-released this redear sunfish through the ice in 2017 as part of the DNR's Master Angler program (Photo: Michigan Department of Natural Resources)
    Submissions for this year's program already are being accepted, and will be until Jan. 10. To download an application, visit michigan.gov/masterangler.

    Anglers are encouraged to submit applications as they catch their fish, rather than holding applications until year-end.
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