Have you ever seen a lake trout this big before? This monster of a fish was caught by Barry Larson, a native of Duluth, while on a trip to Atikokan, Ontario. According to the Duluth News Tribune, Larson hooked the near-record lake trout while ice fishing with friends on Clearwater West Lake late last month.
“It was such an awesome and strong fish. It was kind of a thrill,” Larson told the Tribune. “We could see it circling through the ice. It looked like a monster.”
It was as big as a monster too. Larson and his friends weighed the massive fish at 38 pounds on a certified scale. It measured 45.5 inches long and 28 inches in girth. By all accounts, it was the largest lake trout that any of the anglers had ever seen.
The region has a reputation for massive lake trout. According to the Fresh Water Hall of Fame, Clearwater West Lake held the world record lake trout for decades with a 44-incher being caught in 1920. That record was finally beaten in 2013 when another Minnesota angler, Bruce Sederberg, caught a 46-inch long, 44-pound lake trout from White Otter Lake, which adjoins Clearwater West Lake. Although Sederberg ultimately released his fish, the Fresh Water Hall of Fame still awarded him the record.
“Even knowing it might be a world record, I knew I had to release this fish,” Sederberg told OutdoorHub three years ago, adding that the fight with the large trout was akin to reeling in a rock.
Larson could sympathize with that statement. The angler said that last month’s fight with the fish was one of the strongest—and best—fights he ever had. Larson’s fish narrowly measured beneath the kept record for lake trout, which is 40 pounds even.