Idaho angler lands record mackinaw trout, then sets it free

Idaho angler lands record mackinaw trout, then sets it free


Idaho angler lands record mackinaw trout, then sets it free

An Idaho angler has set a state record by catching a mackinaw trout measuring 41.5 inches and weighing an estimated 30-plus pounds.

The mackinaw was so voracious that it had a smaller lake trout in its jaws when it was reeled to the surface.

Dylan Smith, of Boise, was fishing earlier this month at Payette Lake when hooked the behemoth.

Dylan Smith poses with record mackinaw trout. Photo courtesy of Dylan Smith

“When I set the hook on that fish, it didn’t budge at all,” Smith told the Idaho Statesman. “We started realizing pretty quickly that this wasn’t a normal fish.”

The mackinaw was measured, photographed and released, and the record stands in Idaho’s relatively new catch-and-release category, designed to encourage conservation. It beats the previous record by nearly two inches.

RELATED: Angler lands giant bluefin tuna with antique fishing gear

For the sake of comparison, the state weight record for a fish that was killed stands at 57.5 pounds. That mackinaw was caught at Priest Lake in 1971.

Smith told the Statesman that he had previously released a smaller lake trout, and believes that fish was attacked by the giant mackinaw before it struck Smith’s lure.

Mackinaws, often referred to simply as lake trout, are actually a type of freshwater char. The fish reside in deep-water lakes in North America.

Mackinaws are non-native to Payette Lake and their presence is somewhat controversial because the fish have diminished the kokanee fishery.

Kokanees, a landlocked form of sockeye salmon, are much smaller and fall prey to the lake trout.

–Image showing Dylan Smith with record mackinaw trout is courtesy of Dylan Smith

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