A Northeast Washington woman landed a giant tiger trout while fishing from the dock near her family cabin on the evening of Aug. 7, which stands to be another world record. Cathy Clegg of Colbert, Washington was soaking nightcrawlers with a spincasting rig on Loon Lake when the 27.42-pound tiger trout hit the bait.
“He got up and pulled me like crazy,” Clegg said F&S, stressing that the fight lasted nearly 10 minutes. “It was a lot of fun, but I was really afraid I was going to lose [the fish]. I was shaking. I was very nervous.”
The impressive catch was caught in a hot spot of tiger trout fishing
Known for its striking colors and voracious feeding habits, the tiger trout is a sterile hybrid produced by crossing a male brook trout with a female brown trout. It is extremely rare for a tiger trout to occur naturally in the wild. Most tiger trout caught by anglers are the result of hatchery hybridization. In Loon Lake, tiger trout are stocked by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) on an annual basis.
“WDFW started planting them about 15 years ago,” Clegg said. “We would catch the little ones. Over the years, my son caught a 10-pounder, then a 12-pounder, and then a 15-pounder. They get bigger every year.”
According to WDFW communications officer Staci Lehman, Loon Lake has produced large numbers of tiger trout in recent years, largely due to the lake’s fertile schools of kokanee, which the tiger trout prey on. In fact, just last year, Clegg’s son, Caylun Peterson, caught the current IGFA world record for tiger trout from Loon Lake. It was 24.49 pounds, just three pounds lighter than his mother’s last catch, which he had netted.
Because of Peterson’s record fish, Clegg knew the drill to get her giant into the record books. They put the fish on ice in a YETI cooler and brought it to a tackle shop in Spokane that had a certified scale. There, a WDFW representative measured the fish and verified its species. According to Northwest Sportsman, Clegg’s grip was 35.5 inches long and 28 ⅛ inches in circumference. Weighing in at 27.42 pounds, she has the potential to set a state and world record. Klegg plans to have the fish mounted by a local taxi driver.