As you all know by now, a new all-tackle world record brown trout was taken in Michigan’s Manistee River in September. The 41-pound, 7-ounce monster was hooked by Tom Healy of Rockford, Michigan and eclipsed the previous mark by nearly a pound and a half.
Now, here’s the story of the record catch…in more detail…from our man at the International Game Fish Association, Pete Johnson:
“On that September morning, Healy was fishing with friend Bob Woodhouse of Grand Rapids, Michigan and guide Tim Roller of Ultimate Outfitters,” says Johnson. “For well over 20 years Healy, a retired construction manager, traveled the two hours to fish for Chinook salmon and steelhead on the Manistee.
“The three men were targeting salmon by drifting the river and casting Rapala crankbaits. Healy was using a #8 silver Shad Rap with a 9’ Cabela’s XML rod and a Cabela’s Prodigy reel filled with 30 lb Power-Pro. They had already hooked two salmon, when about 8 a.m., Healy had a strike he immediately recognized as a sizable fish. Healy said it made a violent first run up-river where it came to the surface and tried to jump but couldn’t because of its immense size.
Hear Joel Shangle’s interview with Tim Roller, the guide who got Healy into his record fish on North West Wild Country Radio.
“Only when the fish came to the net 15 minutes later did they simultaneously realize two things: first, the fish was a whole lot bigger than they had originally thought, and second, it was not a salmon at all, but a brown trout.”
“Its weight bottomed out Healy’s Boga Grip at the maximum 30 lb mark,” says Johnson. “They then estimated it weighed maybe 35 pounds. It measured at 43.75 inches with a girth of 27 inches. Since steelhead are Healy’s passion, he thought it necessary to call brown trout guru and local charter captain Mark Chimura, to help verify the fish. When Chimura learned what they had, he pulled his fishing trip off the river and came with a certified scale to their location.
The fish weighed over 41 pounds. Chimura then called and asked the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to meet them and the fish at his charter business shop in downtown Manistee. When the Michigan conservation officer arrived he in turn called two DNR fish biologists to come and confirm the species and verify its weight, length and girth. Fish scales that were clipped for age determination, later confirmed the fish was six years of age.
“The local TV station came and recorded the weighing of the fish for TV,” Johnson says. “Healy said above and beyond achieving the IGFA All-Tackle record for the biggest brown trout ever landed on rod and reel, he was touched most by the respect the people of Manistee, Michigan gave the fish. Tom recalls standing on the downtown sidewalk, lifting the brown trout up for a period of almost six hours so everyone could pay respects and enjoy the beauty and amazing size of the fish.”