An otherwise normal fishing trip on the Schuylkill River resulted in a viral photo for a Montgomery County man after he reeled in a river monster close to 4 feet long.
In 17 years of fishing, 20-year-old Kevin Rodenbaugh never caught a muskellunge fish, or muskie, of any size. In fact, he spent most of a fateful mid-July morning fishing with a pole that was too light to reel in such a beast.
After noticing a smaller muskie swimming along the Norristown section of the Schuylkill River, however, Rodenbaugh decided to switch bait in an attempt to lure it in.
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Around 11 a.m., Rodenbaugh felt a strong resistance on the other end of his pole.
"I thought I got it stuck in the ground until I saw the reel start coming in," Rodenbaugh told NBC10.
After a 20-minute fight, he and his friend were able to pull in the creature, which Rodenbaugh estimated weighed between 30 and 40 pounds.
"We had to pull it in from its tail because its head was too far away from the boat," Rodenbaugh added.
Muskies are primarily located in the northern and northeastern parts of the United States. However, they are one of the more uncommon freshwater fish in the entire country.
Although this particular catch didn’t weigh in to the size of a catfish he caught last year, it was easily the longest fish he ever caught and just 9 inches shy of the Pennsylvania state record.
After pulling out the camera for a quick photo shoot, Rodenbaugh released the muskie back into the river.