Red Lake Produces State Record Quillback Carpsucker

Well, yes. The quillback carpsucker is not a household name.

But the 7-pound, 4.5-ounce specimen that guide Tyler Brasel of Waskish, Minn., caught on Sunday while fishing for northern pike on Upper Red Lake is an apparent state record. It breaks the former record of 6 pounds, 14.4 ounces.

Brasel, 24, was fishing with his dad, Steve Brasel, when the fish took a gold saltwater-size Rapala X-Rap, Tyler said.

“I thought it was a pike at first,” Brasel said. “It hit good. But it looked like a football coming in. I thought, ‘What the hell kind of fish is this?'”

Once on board, the Brasels decided the fish was a quillback carpsucker. The species is found in Lake of the Woods and Upper and Lower Red Lakes as well as in southern Minnesota rivers, according to “The Great Minnesota Fish Book,” by Tom Dickson.

The Brasels tried several times to revive and release the fish, but it died, Steve Brasel said. So, they put it in their live well. After they got home, they decided to weigh it at Westwind Resort. Tyler looked up the state record and realized he might have broken it. Monday morning, they weighed it on an official scale at the U.S. Post Office in Washkish, where it weighed 7 pounds, 4.5 ounces.

Brasel has mixed emotions about the record.

“I think it’s pretty cool I get my name in the record book,” he said. “I would be a lot more excited if it were a walleye or a northern pike or a species you’re trying to catch.”