Judy Muszynski of Middlefield reeled in the state's largest channel catfish in 2011.
This weekend, Muszynski will be among nearly sixty anglers honored by the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) at the Fourth Annual Trophy Fish Award Ceremony in Hartford.
The ceremony will take place at 5 p.m. on Saturday, at the Northeast Fishing and Hunting Show in the Connecticut Convention Center.
Muszynski hooked a 26.5" fish along the Connecticut River in Portland in June of last year, earning her the award for the longest channel catfish in the adult catch and release category.
She took home the same award last year after hooking a 28" channel catfish in 2010.
Muszynski has been fishing for catfish for about five years and says she learned some of her techniques from Matthew Schoell, a legendary fisherman known among his peers as "Channel Matt".
Schoell passed away unexpectedly last year at the age of 46.
The Annual Trophy Fish Award Ceremony is a recent addition to the Department’s Trophy Fish Award program which recognizes anglers for catching freshwater and saltwater fish of qualifying size. Anglers complete and submit an affidavit with an attached photo of their catch.
“Fishing in Connecticut in 2011 was truly exceptional, as new state records were set for a total of six species, in three cases breaking records that had stood for twenty-five years or more,” said DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty. “Most notably, these new records include a striped bass that has been confirmed by the International Game Fish Association as a new world record. We are hoping that anglers from around the country will take notice and make Connecticut their fishing vacation destination.”
Attending the ceremony to help recognize Greg Meyerson, the angler who caught the new world record striped bass, will be Jack Vitek from the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). The IGFA, a nonprofit organization committed to game fish conservation, maintains definitive worldwide game fishing records and has certified Myerson’s catch as a new world angling record.
In addition to the six new state record fish (four inland and two marine), there were also ten records set in the marine off-shore, youth, catch-and-release and exotic species categories.
“These many awards demonstrate the excellent fishing opportunities that we have right here in Connecticut,” said Bill Hyatt, chief of DEEP’s Bureau of Natural Resources. “Fishing is a great outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family and it can be done close to home.”
DEEP will also again be recognizing several anglers as “Angler of the Year”, a recognition that went to Middlefield's Harry Barber last year.
“This award is intended to promote the diversity of fishing opportunities found in Connecticut waters and to make anglers aware of some of Connecticut’s less familiar species,” explained Dave Simpson, Director of DEEP’s Marine Fisheries Division.