Duluth angler catches giant trout on Lake Superior
A longtime Lake Superior troller has caught what is believed to be the largest "lean" lake trout taken at the Duluth end of Lake Superior.
Fishing from his wife's cousin's boat on Sunday afternoon, Tim Jezierski caught a lake trout that was 45¾ inches long and 31 inches in girth. Jezierski of Duluth kept the fish after a long and hard fight, but he couldn't weigh it.
Don Schreiner, Department of Natural Resources area fisheries supervisor at French River, estimates the weight of the fish at between 35 and 40 pounds. It was a "lean" lake trout, not the much fatter, deep-water siscowet trout.
Jezierski, 62, was fishing seven miles out of the Superior Entry in Wisconsin water, trolling over 105 feet of water.
The fish hit a black and purple Bomber minnow imitation trolled on the surface 250 feet behind the boat with no weight, Jezierski said.
"It headed right for the bottom," he said.
Fellow anglers Jack and Mike Janousek cleared one side of the boat so Jezierski could fight the fish. "After about 15 minutes, it surfaced," Jezierski said. "At that time, it looked 6 feet long to us."
The fish stayed deep until the very end of the fight, he said.
The anglers put the fish on a hand-held scale that bottomed out at 28 pounds. They left the water at 5:30 p.m. and didn't take the trout to be weighed. Grocery-store scales are too small to support a trout of that size, Jezierski said.
"And it was Sunday night on a holiday weekend. I didn't figure any butchers [who have larger scales] would be at work," he said.
Length-girth ratios would have put the trout's weight near 50 pounds, but Jezierski is sure it didn't weigh that much.
"I think it would have been 40 anyhow," he said.
"That's the largest lean lake trout I've seen down on this end [of Lake Superior]," the DNR's Schreiner said.
The Minnesota record for lake trout is 43 pounds, 8 ounces, caught in Cook County waters of Lake Superior in 1955. Wisconsin's lake trout record is 47 pounds even, taken in Lake Superior near Bayfield in 1946.
Some of the largest lake trout taken near Isle Royale in the past 30 years were about 50 pounds. Isle Royale is in Michigan waters.
Jezierski's fish would have been at least 30 years old and possibly as old as 50, Schreiner said.
Jezierski plans to have it mounted.