When Michael Korek went fishing last week, he had no idea he would be the catch of a decade.
While out on the Arrow Lake, he snagged a three foot, 21-1/2 pound bull trout, one of the largest anyone has caught on the lake in many years.
“It took a little bit, but we brought him in, and netted him, and took him home,” he said. “I’ve got some 19s and some 14s (pound), but that’s the biggest fish that I’ve ever caught here.”
Another surprising factor with the catch was that it wasn’t caught using a down rigger.
A down rigger brings your line down 40 feet with a big weight on it, which enables the hook to sink down farther.
While Korek was pleased with size of the fish, so was Glen Olson, who weighs the fish after they’ve been caught.
“That is an exceptionally big fish caught in this lake,” he said. “Most of them average five, six, seven, maybe up to ten pounds. Anything over ten pounds is a really good fish.”
Olson said he was pleased to see there are still some big bull trout in the lake. The last time he saw a fish this size was about ten years ago.
After it was weighed, Olson took samples from its stomach and sent them to the Fish and Wildlife branch in Nelson.
There, the samples will be dissected and researchers will be able to find out how old the fish was, what it was eating, and see if it had any diseases that could be problematic to marine life in the area.
Olsen does a census for Fish and Wildlife five days of the month. It gives them an idea of what’s happening to local fish.
With the catch of such a large bull trout, it could be a sign things are changing out on the water.
“I think it will probably draw in more people to fish our lakes,” said Olsen. “Being a bull trout, 21 pounds, that is a big fish, but if it would have been a 21 pound rainbow, I think more people would come to fish.”
Korek feels that while there is a chance another large fish could be caught on the lake, which would be very nice to see, sometimes, it’s just the luck of the draw.
“That 21-1/2 pounder was a rarity,” said Korek. “I’m an ok fisherman. It was my turn.”