August 03, 2011
New Guinness Record: 2,649 Fish in 24 Hrs
Could you fish for 24 straight hours? Would you do it if it meant making money for your favorite charity and maybe getting in the Guinness Book of World Records?
If your name was Jeff Kolodzinski, your answers would be yes. He did all of that last year, and just recently broke his own marathon fish-catching record again. Here are the numbers:
2010: 2,143 fish = 89.3 fish per hour = 1.5 fish per minute.
2011: 2,649 fish = 110.38 fish per hour = 1.84 fish per minute.
That's a lot of fish. And he did it fishing off a marina dock on Minnesota's Lake Minnetonka with a cane pole, a bobber and live bait. Here's a quick Q&A with Kolodzinski, who also is vice president of marketing at live-bait gear manufacturer Frabill.
OC: What prompted you to set the record in 2010 in the first place?
Kolodzinski: "It was just unbroken ground, an opportunity to climb a mountain nobody's ever climbed before. I'd been doing the 24-hour [charity Fish-A-Thon] marathon for eight years, and was getting a big number of fish. A couple years ago someone said, 'That has to be like a world record.' We checked and couldn't find anything in Guinness about it, so we set off to establish [a record]."
OC: How confident were you that you could break your own record?
Kolodzinski: "I thought there was a 70 percent chance, but to do that I needed really good weather and not a lot of predators: When pike and muskies come through, it shuts everything down for half an hour. I thought 70 percent was reasonable. Once you get above a couple thousand fish in 24 hours, so many things can slow you down rather than speed you up."
OC: You used some pretty simple gear to accomplish this feat. Was that intentional?
Kolodzinski: "Yes. I did it on tackle that anyone can use. I had a 10-foot cane pole, 10 feet of line, a float, a hook and live bait. And if I didn't use live bait, there's no way I would've caught that many fish – and Frabill obviously makes live bait solutions. The moral is if you're a single mom or dad, you don't need a boat, motor and everything like that. You just need a license, some bait on a hook and you can catch them. So I hope it helps promote the sport of fishing."
OC: Will there be another record attempt next year, and if so do you think it's possible to catch more than two fish per minute?
Kolodzinski: "I walked into this year feeling pretty confident I could beat the record from last year if the weather was good and everything. The number I had in my head was 2,500 – that's what I was shooting for and planning for. This year, 2,649 was the final number, and I had a bad half hour at one point and spent another half an hour talking to reporters. So I think I can go more than two fish a minute. I'll go on record that I'll shoot for 3,000 next year, a crazy high number."
OC: You did this to benefit Fishing For Life. Why that particular charity?
Kolodzinski: "They're a grassroots group, a bunch of volunteers working hard, and there are thousands of kids that go fishing because of this program. They have raised I think about a quarter-million dollars, and that goes to baseball parks, after-school programs, books and a ton of fishing programs. They're just doing it right."