When Robb Scott finally landed a 52-pound lake trout on the ice of Lac La Croix he knew it might be one for the record books. Now he hopes conservation officers won't try to throw the book at him.
The Duluth News Tribune reports the giant-sized fish was confiscated from a taxidermist and will be sent back to Ontario, where the Ministry of Natural Resources confirms an investigation is underway. An officer in Canada provided the News Tribune with no details about what is under investigation.
In a story that appeared in Field & Stream Scott recounted his hour-long tug of war with the trout, which was caught on Feb. 8 on the Canadian side of the border lake.
“In the last few minutes, the trout was coming up. I saw that it had shoulders,” Scott said. “It passed (beneath the hole) just like ‘Jaws.’ All I saw was that eye. I said, ‘All bets are off.’”
When the monstrous fish was finally on the ice it was unofficially weighed and measured. The News Tribune says the numbers were 52 pounds 3 ounces, 45 inches long with a girth of 32 inches.
Scott tells the newspaper he then gave a trout that he'd previously caught to his nephew, who was fishing nearby, and kept the trophy fish for himself. Scott's limit under his Ontario license was one fish.
Scott, who owns a resort on Crane Lake, sent the trout to a taxidermist. An officer with the Minnesota DNR later arrived and confiscated it. The DNR is cooperating with Ontario's agency in the investigation. An officer who interviewed Scott tells the News Tribune great care is being taken in transporting the fish back to Ontario.
“Knowing the importance of this fish being a world-record fish, we’re taking the utmost care to keep it in the same shape it was in when Mr. Scott brought it to the taxidermist,” Darrin Kittelson said.
To qualify as a record-breaker the fish would have to be weighed on a certified scale. A 52-pounder would shatter the current record. The News Tribune says the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame puts the ice fishing record for a lake trout caught on a tip up at 29 pounds, 6 ounces. Field & Stream, however, says a 40-pounder was caught in 1987.
The folks at Wide Open Spaces say this has been a big winter for landing monster lake trout. They posted video of the co-hosts of the TV show Jigheads pulling a trout estimated at 40 inches out of Lake Superior.