There is a new world record for a fish you may not have heard of… because it’s a hybrid between two more commonly known fish.
Brown trout, rainbow trout, and brook trout are all somewhat commonly known species and they are regularly targeted by anglers in the United States. But when you mix a brown trout and brook trout, you get what’s known as a tiger trout.
While brown and brook trout are theoretically capable of breeding in the wild, the vast majority of tiger trout are synthetically hybridized and raised in fish hatcheries before being released into the wild. Like many hybrid fish, tiger trout are sterile and do not reproduce.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) stocks a variety of fish in Loon Lake, including about 10,000 tiger trout every autumn.
A tiger trout caught by a fisherman in Washington state at the end of June is now the pending world record for the species. It’s the second world record for a hybrid fish caught this year. Earlier this summer a Texas man caught a new world record mean mouth bass, which is a mix between a largemouth and small mouth bass.
According to Outdoor Life, the new world record tiger trout tipped the scales at a whopping 24-pounds 4.9-ounces. The fish was caught by Caylun Peterson in Loon Lake, Washington, about 30 miles north of Spokane.
The new record eclipsed the previous record by about 6 pounds.
Peterson has been fishing in Loon Lake since he was a kid, and typically targets trout because they fight hard and taste great. As far as the bait he used to hook the monster tiger trout, he kept it simple using a simple nightcrawler and typical spinning tackle.
He planned on throwing the fish back into the water, but the trout was so exhausted from the fight that it expired. While he knew the fish was big, he didn’t expect it to be the state record until some friends and family told him how much the existing record for the species weighed.
“I hooked into that thing and he pulled drag for quite a while before it stopped.
Honestly, I was ecstatic, but tried to let it go because I was thinking in my head that if this thing is this big now, in a year it might be a record.
Well, it turned out it was a record anyway. I said, ‘You gotta be kidding me, I know this thing is over 18 pounds!”
The WDFW has confirmed the fish as the new state record, but Peterson’s tiger trout also is a potential world record for the species, too.
The previous world record for the species is 20-pounds, 13-ounces. It was caught from Lake Michigan in 1978.