CHICAGO (CBS) — An Indiana charter boat captain has quite a fish story to tell.
Tyler Kreighbaum said he thought he was hooked on the bottom of Lake Michigan, or had snagged some debris last Saturday when he pulled in a record-breaking trout.
According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Kreighbaum was out on the lake with his wife and five clients of his fishing charter out of Michigan City when he caught the trout.
Kreighbaum said he didn’t recognize its significance; he just thought it was a big fish.
State officials said the trout was 44 inches long and weighed 37 1/2 pounds, beating the previous record by 8 pounds.
The fish is also much older than the 25 year old who caught it. Biologists estimated the fish has been around since the late 1970s, because of a clipped fin. In the 1970s, four rounds of lake trout stockings took place in southern Lake Michigan, and all those fish had a fin clipped. The average Lake Trout caught in southern Lake Michigan is about to 8 to 10 years old, weighing around 7 and half to 8 pounds.
“I was really excited to see a fish that big,” said Ben Dickinson, assistant Lake Michigan fisheries biologist for the DNR. “It blew me away. I hope that this gets more people interested in Lake Michigan. People will see there is a potential to catch such large fish.”