Illinois angler hooks state record with 'beautiful' burbot fish

The fish has been described as 'poor man's lobster'

It’s always a great feeling to start strong.

An Illinois angler recently hooked a record-breaking fish, an extra-special achievement as it marked the first time the fisherman has caught this kind of specimen.

Luc van Brenk confirmed to Fox News that he caught his first ever burbot fish during a fishing trip to Diversey Harbor with his friend, Thomas Krysciak, on Wednesday. The fish reportedly edged out the previous record holder by about five ounces.

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Before catching the fish, the two anglers agreed that if they caught a burbot fish, they would cook it up and eat it. According to van Brenk, he’s never eaten this type of fish before but his friend described it as “poor man’s lobster," as it's cooked the same way and is apparently very tasty.

With a little bit of teamwork, as van Brenk reeled it in and Krysciak netted it, the men decided to take it nearby Park Bait Co. in Montrose Harbor to be weighed. According to van Brenk, the shop was very excited to weigh its first possible record-breaker.

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The fish weighed in at about 9 pounds, 11 ounces; the previous record was reportedly caught in 2018 and weighed about 9 pounds, 6 ounces. In a fun twist of fate, van Brenk says that one of his friends previously held the record for burbot, but had lost it to the 2018 catch.

Park Bait Co. posted pictures of the fish to its Facebook page, calling the new record catch a "beautiful" fish, at 9.68 lbs. and 31 and a half inches long.

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A biologist from the Illinois Department of Resources has since signed off the fish, according to van Brenk, and the paperwork has been filled out. Now, he awaits official confirmation for his prize catch.

As far as eating the fish is concerned, the angler decided to mount it instead. This means that van Brenk holds the record for a fish that he’s never had the chance to eat.

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