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The ‘massive fish’ tales of 2022

  • FISH


From a catch-and-release file cutbow in Henrys Lake to a dramatic state-record catfish saga that might have been written by John Grisham, the previous yr’s record-setting fishing tales was one for the ages. Anglers from each inside and out of doors of Idaho’s borders hoisted up some unbelievable benchmarks throughout 2022 and have photos to point out for it.

In complete, 2022 had 19 new state information, which included 6 licensed weight information, and 13 new catch-and-release information. Making the lower this yr are the next angler trophy tales.

File cutthroat-rainbow hybrid ideas scales (and boat) in Henrys Lake

Over within the japanese a part of the state, Hailey Thomas of Rigby landed a brand new catch-and-release state file from Henrys Lake. On Oct. 4, Thomas reeled in a whopping 36-inch cutbow (rainbow/cutthroat hybrid) trout, breaking the earlier file for cutthroat/rainbow hybrids by 6 inches!

Hailey and her husband, Shane, set out on the lake with their two children, hoping to get pleasure from a day of heat fall climate and hopefully catch a couple of good trout. Regardless of the gorgeous climate, the water was a bit off-color, and fishing was gradual. By mid-afternoon they had been struggling to find fish with only some trout handy. As they raised the anchor to maneuver spots, Hailey connected on a heavy fish.

Henrys Lake in japanese Idaho is legendary for its blue-ribbon trout fishing and is residence to native Yellowstone cutthroat trout, in addition to rainbow/cutthroat hybrid and brook trout.

Fruitland angler will get ‘catfished’

It was the fish story heard throughout the state and possibly even additional. Fruitland angler Paul Newman initially hooked what he and Fish and Recreation biologists thought was a record-setting channel catfish on July 20 from CJ Strike Reservoir. This Snake River impoundment is understood for placing out large channel catfish. Actually, angler Cody Kastner set a brand new certified-weight file channel catfish of 32.9 kilos from the identical reservoir only a month earlier. Newman thought he would have the catch-and-release file locked up with yet one more massive channel cat.

That’s, till one savvy biologist caught their head underneath the ‘official assessment’ hood and famous that it wasn’t actually a channel catfish, however a blue catfish.

The case of mistaken id was a revealing second for each anglers and Fish and Recreation fisheries employees. Blue catfish will be troublesome to tell apart from channel cats, and this 42.5-inch lengthy behemoth swam proper into the state file books because the first-ever Idaho file for blue catfish.

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Angler hooks fish taller than a regulation-size NBA basketball hoop

Whereas CJ Strike Reservoir is a go-to spot for yellow perch, crappie and smallmouth bass (and apparently the sometimes blue catfish), one angler found that the fish tugging on the top of his line on Aug. 5 was not a mere 10- inch crappie, however a 10-foot white sturgeon.

That day, Utah residents Greg and Angie Poulsen broke the beforehand set file again in 2019 after they reeled within the 124-inch lengthy (or 10-foot-4-inch) sturgeon, thus clinching the brand new catch-and-release state file.

Whereas the Snake River round CJ Strike Reservoir has good numbers of sturgeon, fish over 10 toes are exceedingly uncommon, and often solely seen in Hells Canyon.

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Coho you did not

Additional north alongside the banks of the North Fork Clearwater River, Lewiston angler Jerry Smith extra lately added his title to the Idaho state file books when he caught a 30-inch coho salmon on Nov. 13.

Whereas Idaho’s catch-and-release file program has been round since 2016, that is the primary software for an ocean-run coho salmon, setting the stage for future information. Within the fall, the Clearwater River is residence to a number of ocean-run species migrating again to Idaho, together with steelhead, fall-run Chinook salmon and coho salmon.

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Catfish angler breaks his personal file on the Snake River

Jared Holt isn’t any stranger to the Idaho state fish file books. Throughout a fishing journey on July 9, Holt felt a tug on the road and reeled within the largest catch-and-release flathead catfish on state file, a 43-inch lengthy large.

Feeling the combat of a 40-plus inch catfish on the top of his line was not the primary time for Holt, both. The Homedale angler beforehand set the file again in 2020 when he hooked a 42-inch flathead catfish.

Idaho has a number of species of catfish, the commonest of that are channel catfish, brown bullhead and black bullhead. Whereas these species are generally discovered throughout Idaho, flathead catfish are discovered solely within the Snake River, principally in Brownlee Reservoir and upstream of it.

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Small mouth, massive file

One other Lewiston angler wound up getting into the file books this yr when he caught a 23.5-inch smallmouth bass in close by Dworshak Reservoir. After a fast photograph, Travis launched the bass again into the lake that Might tenth, and secured a brand new catch-and-release state file. His trophy bronzeback eclipsed the earlier file of twenty-two.75 inches set by Dustin Shepard solely two years earlier in 2020.

Dworshak Reservoir—fashioned by the North Fork Clearwater River in north central Idaho—has an extended and well-deserved popularity for trophy smallmouth bass. The reservoir has produced the final 2 catch-and-release information, but in addition holds all of the certified-weight information for smallmouth bass since 1982.

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double play

Jon City and his daughter Hayleigh is likely to be thought of frequent fliers in Idaho’s state file fish program. The pair made the file books as soon as once more in 2022, with a duo of Lahontan cutthroat trout.

In early October, they made the journey to Grasmere Reservoir, south of Bruneau in Idaho’s excessive desert, searching for the distinctive trout, solely stocked in a couple of Idaho lakes. Hayleigh landed a 21-inch Lahontan cutthroat, setting an authorized weight file at 3.14 kilos, whereas her dad, Jon, landed a brand new catch-and-release file with a 20-incher.

The 4 subspecies of Idaho’s cutthroat trout had been damaged out as separate file species again in 2016. By the best way, the licensed weight information for Yellowstone and Westslope cutthroat trout are nonetheless open. Most locations are catch-and-release for these species (however not all), so test the laws first earlier than harvesting one.

Deliver your non-game face

One may say 2022 was an excellent yr for non-game species motion too. Whereas they may not make nice desk fare, a number of are native species and nonetheless enjoyable to catch. Dayton Schild took residence the trophy for the most important non-game species with a catch-and-release file frequent carp of 38 inches from American Falls Reservoir.

Kaden Hammer of Idaho Falls made a really sturdy exhibiting with a pair of catch-and-release information for each Northern pikeminnow (27 inches) and Utah chub.

Honorable point out goes to Raiden Schneider for setting Idaho’s smallest certified-weight file with a “giant” 0.08-pound redside shiner — not dangerous for one in every of Idaho’s native minnows.

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