The reigning title for the world record Tiger Trout is held by a whopping 24 lb 8 oz specimen! This record-breaking catch was made by angler Caylun Peterson, who reeled in this massive tiger trout using a humble nightcrawler as bait. Peterson’s fishing adventure took place in the picturesque Loon Lake, nestled amidst the breathtaking mountains of North Washington. Known for its abundant tiger trout, Loon Lake has been quite the hotspot for anglers.
The Tale of the Record-Breaking Tiger Trout
Image Source: https://igfa.org/
Caylun Peterson, a regular angler at Loon Lake, embarked on his fishing journey on the cool morning of June 26, 2021. He was out to catch tiger trout, known for their fantastic taste and tough fight. Peterson was equipped with a spinning rod and a nightcrawler, quite a large bait. So, when the giant tiger trout bit, Peterson was sure he had a significant catch on his hands.
The ensuing fight was intense, with the trout pulling drag for several minutes before Peterson could reel it in. The thought of having a record-breaking catch didn’t cross Peterson’s mind initially. He even tried to revive the fish and release it back into the lake. However, the trout didn’t revive, so Peterson decided to keep it.
Word soon spread among Peterson’s fishing buddies about the size of his catch. When he heard that the previous state record tiger trout weighed 18 lbs, Peterson couldn’t contain his excitement. His catch was visibly larger! Following a weigh-in at the Washington Department of Wildlife office in Spokane, it was confirmed that Peterson’s catch weighed 24 pounds and 8 ounces. At that moment, Peterson realized he had caught the largest tiger trout ever recorded by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA).
Unveiling the Tiger Trout
Tiger trout are unique, sterile hybrid fish. They’re produced by crossing a female brown trout with a male brook trout. While this crossbreeding does occur naturally, it’s extremely rare. Nearly all tiger trout are hatched in a hatchery and then released into lakes.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife releases around 10,000 tiger trout into Loon Lake every fall. Since these trout are sterile, they don’t expend energy on spawning and, therefore, can grow to substantial sizes.
Record Tiger Trout Around the World
Lake Michigan, in Wisconsin, USA, held the previous IGFA world record. The record was set in August of 1978 by angler Pete Friedland, who reeled in a 20 lb 13 oz tiger trout.
Across the pond, Duncton Mill Fishery in Sussex, UK, has seen its share of record catches. Angler Luke Butcher holds the record for the largest tiger trout caught on the fly, weighing in at 16 lbs 12 oz.
In Washington State, Fish Lake and Roses Lake are home to a few record-setting catches. Angler Evan Roda broke the 8 lb line class record with a 13 lb 12 oz catch at Fish Lake. At Roses Lake, Kirk Herrin set the 12 lb line class record with a 15 lb 5 oz catch.
Across the globe, in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia, angler Frank Bluch holds three world records for his catches of tiger trout.
So, How to Catch a Big Tiger Trout?
Targeting big tiger trout requires the same tactics as those used for big brown trout or brook trout. These fish feed on small bait fish, large leeches, worms, and more. Using large lures, baits, or flies that resemble these prey and fishing deep can yield good results.
Fishing in the right place is also crucial. The locations we’ve discussed in this article are some of the best spots to try your luck.
For more on the IGFA record, click here.
Congratulations to Caylun Peterson for his record-setting catch! If you’re inspired to try your hand at catching a record-breaking tiger trout, remember to follow Peterson’s example of patience, perseverance, and respect for the fish.
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