Angler Breaks State Record, Helps Capsized Kayaker

state record
Michael Lemanski holds his Michigan state-record cisco. (Photo courtesy of Michigan DNR)

The man broke the Michigan state record for cisco, then reportedly saw something unusual floating in the water.

A Wisconsin angler made two big catches on a June fishing trip to a Michigan lake  —  one that broke a state record and another that may have saved a life.

Michael Lemanski of Florence, Wis., set a state record for cisco (formerly known as lake herring) with the 6.36-pound fish caught June 9 on Lake Ottawa, located in Iron County in the western Upper Peninsula.

On his way back to the boat ramp, he reportedly helped a capsized kayaker and pulled him to safety, according to the Iron Mountain Daily News. Lemanski told the newspaper he saw something floating in the water while motoring in, and turned around to check it out.

He said he found the man clinging to the kayak, and when he couldn't pull the man into his boat, he towed him slowly to shore.

Lemanski told the newspaper he never got the man's name.

Read more from the Iron Mountain Daily News

The state-record catch, which was caught on a homemade jig and measured 21.8 inches, broke a 25-year-old record. The old record — 5.4 pounds and 25 inches long — was caught 1992 in Grand Traverse Bay.

DNR fisheries biologist Jennifer Johnson verified the catch.

"Although this fish was caught in June, we only recently verified it as a state record," Gary Whelan, the DNR's fisheries research manager, said in a news release. "The reason for the delay stemmed from the fact we wanted to ensure this fish was not a hybrid between a cisco and a lake whitefish. These fish look extremely similar so we gathered DNA from the fish to test its compatibility with what we know about cisco. That test, done by Michigan State University, proved to be a match."

To view a current list of Michigan state-record fish, visit

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You


MLF Pros: What's With the Moon?

G&F Online Staff

We're told to pay attention to the lunar phases. What do bass pros think?


How to Fish Bottom Bouncers for Walleye

Mark Sak - May 23, 2019

While misunderstood by some, fishing bottom bouncers can be a very productive technique for...


Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Abu Garcia Virtual Rod with Bluetooth

Pure Fishing's Andrew Wheeler tells Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead all about the brand new Abu Garcia Virtual rod that integrates Bluetooth technology through a free ANGLR smartphone app.

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

Mustad's Inkvader Octopus Live Jig

From big fish to small, just about any saltwater game fish out there will love the new Mustad Inkvader Octopus Live Jig that Mustad's Russ Whisler shows to OSG's Lynn Burkhead.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest. Although...


How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...


Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...

See More Stories

More Other Freshwater


Carp Busting: Quality Gear is Key to Your Best Bowfishing

Tony J. Peterson

Sponsored By
AMS Hooligan Bowfishing
Other Freshwater

American Shad! Facts About 'Poor Man's Tarpon'

David Paul Williams

Understanding shad is key to finding them, no matter which river you're fishing.

Other Freshwater

'One More Cast, Please' Results in Panfish State Record in Wyoming

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 03, 2018

At first, Wyoming angler Chris Castleman thought this state-record green sunfish was a bass.

See More Other Freshwater

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.