CANTON, Ill. — Jeff Kolodzinski is attempting to break a record he set on Lake Minnetonka in 2011, when he caught 2,143 fish in 24 hours.
He began fishing at 12 p.m. on Sept. 4 and will continue fishing non-stop until 12 p.m. on Sept. 5. A live broadcast of the record-setting attempt is on his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MarathonManFishing/.
He’s fishing at Giant Goose Ranch, a recreational area in central Illinois that contains dozens of old mine pits that have been transformed into productive fisheries.
Kolodzinski is a veteran competition angler and represented the U.S. seven times at the World Championship of Freshwater Fishing. He also works as the fishing brand manager for Johnson Outdoors, manufacturers of Minn Kota trolling motors and Humminbird fish finders.
Kolodzinski said he cares less about setting a new record than introducing people to fishing and providing financial support to Fishing For Life, which pairs mentors with children in military families. Fishing and other outdoor activities are used to teach life skills and build lasting relationships.
“We hope to raise money to fund the Next GEN program,” he added. “Along the way, I think we can show people how great the sport of fishing really is. It’s been a huge part of my life, and I want to share it.”
When he set the record in 2011, he averaged more than 89 fish per hour. That works out to 1.48 fish per minute, but he thinks he can do better.
“I think I can average two per minute if conditions are right,” Kolodzinski said. “If I can just be more efficient with handling and unhooking the fish, I think I can get close to 3,000 in 24 hours. Insane, I know!”
Kolodzinski is using a 10-foot pole, 10 feet of fluorocarbon line, a small barbless hook, a small float and live bait. Most of the fish he is catching are panfish — bluegill, crappie and perch.