Mom Catches New Biggest Tiger Trout, Topping Son’s Record

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A Northeast Washington woman caught the new pending state and world record tiger trout, topping the high mark her son set just last year at the same lake – and by almost 3 pounds!

Cathy Clegg of Colbert was plunking nightcrawlers off the beach at the family’s Loon Lake cabin yesterday evening when the 27.42-pound hybrid bit and the battle was on.

0 Mom Catches New Biggest Tiger Trout, Topping Son’s Record
CATHY CLEGG AND HER PENDING WASHINGTON STATE RECORD TIGER TROUT. (VIA WDFW)

“It took off three or four times – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz,” she said, making the sound of a screaming drag.

“He jumped out of the water. I’d never seen that in Loon Lake – it looked like a salmon,” Clegg added.

After 10 minutes, son Caylun Peterson slipped the net under the tiger trout and the fish was Clegg’s.

“I was shaking,” she recalls. “Silvers will spin and come off, but not this time.”

While the record isn’t official yet, WDFW biologist Danny Garrett today certified the catch and forwarded paperwork up the ladder. He said Clegg’s fish was 35 1/2 inches long and has a girth of 26 1/8 inches.

Image 3 Mom Catches New Biggest Tiger Trout, Topping Son’s Record
WDFW BIOLOGIST DANNY GARRET TAKES A GIRTH MEASUREMENT ON CLEGG’S TIGER. (WDFW(

Clegg, a retired computer server tech, says she spends all summer at Loon Lake and was specifically targeting tigers last night.

Tigers are a sterile cross between male brook and female brown trout planted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at select lakes. They’re known for putting all their energy into eating.

“A few years ago my son caught a 10, then a 12, then 15. They’re growing,” Clegg said.

WDFW district fisheries biologist Bill Baker in Colville says it’s likely that Loon’s tigers are eating kokanee – what Clegg and many other anglers call “silvers” – to grow so big.

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The secret to catching them is patience, says Clegg.

“I just literally let it sit a long time,” she says of her bait and line.

She also focuses her fishing early in the morning and in the evening.

It was June 26, 2021 that her son caught the Washington and world record tiger, a 24-pound 8-ouncer.

Record Tiger Trout Mom Catches New Biggest Tiger Trout, Topping Son’s Record
CAYLUN PETERSON HOLDS HIS THEN-STATE RECORD TIGER TROUT, A 24.49-POUNDER HE CAUGHT AT LOON LAKE, WHERE HE’S BEEN FISHING SINCE HE WAS A KID. (WDFW)

Asked if there was any friendly family fishing competition between them, Clegg said, “Oh, no. We go hunting together, we go fishing together, we just do a lot of outdoors stuff. I go elk hunting with him and help call them in.”

“He’s really excited with the record,” Clegg says. “I almost feel bad – not really.”

She says that as she reeled her fish in, her granddaughter can be heard on video saying, “I think we got another world record!”

Clegg’s fish was weighed early Monday afternoon on a certified scale at the Michlitch Company in Spokane (full disclosure, a Northwest Sportsman advertiser).

In Oregon in 2016, state managers stocked Diamond Lake with tiger trout to deal with invasive tui chub and golden shiners. The hybrids have been released in several dozen Washingtons lakes, mostly east of the Cascades in Chelan, Okanogan, Stevens, Pend Oreille and Spokane Counties.

Clegg says she plans on having her fish mounted and serendipitously, the family’s taxidermist will soon be swinging by with Peterson’s finished mount and picking up hers.

“So we’ll have two ridiculously huge mounted fish,” she says.

Image 3 copy Mom Catches New Biggest Tiger Trout, Topping Son’s Record
ANOTHER VIEW OF CLEGG’S FISH AS WDFW BIOLOGIST GARRETT TAKES MEASUREMENTS. (WDFW)

Correction, 4:35 p.m., August 9, 2022: The girth of Cathy Clegg’s record tiger trout was initially misreported as 28 1/8 inches. It was in fact 26 1/8 inches.

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Sean Campbell’s love for hunting and outdoor life is credited to his dad who constantly thrilled him with exciting cowboy stories. His current chief commitment involves guiding aspiring gun handlers on firearm safety and shooting tactics at the NRA education and training department. When not with students, expect to find him either at his gunsmithing workshop, in the woods hunting, on the lake fishing, on nature photoshoots, or with his wife and kid in Maverick, Texas. Read more >>