The rod-and-reel world record for lake trout is 72 pounds and was caught in 1995 on Great Bear Lake in Northwest Territories. So it should come as no surprise if the next record laker comes from that same fishery.

And it almost did. Check this out: Members of the Deline First Nation harvested a lake trout from Great Bear Lake that weighed 83 pounds! They were sustenance fishing with a gill net and tried to revive the monster laker, but it was already dead.

We heard about this amazing lake trout from fishing guide Brandon Isaac, who works at Plummer’s Arctic Lodges, which is about 150 miles on the opposite side of Great Bear Lake from the Deline First Nation community. As Brandon writes in his Facebook post: “I’ve been privileged to visit them twice. Amazing people and stewards of the land.”

Brandon continued: “This fish is part of the reason why I love guiding in the arctic. Every morning, every guide launches their boat thinking “today could be the day”. The new world record is cruising around there somewhere. And since we’re a catch & release lodge – the 50 pounder caught 10 years ago is potentially still alive, but 20-30 pounds bigger.”


In another Facebook post, Brandon described the photo below: “The heads on these giant lake trout I’m blessed to chase after as a guide will never cease to blow my mind. Dinosaurs of the arctic. Our lodge is 100% catch & release – this 52 pounder was released to swim again, and be caught again. I’m anxious to get back up there!”

Maybe 2017 will be the year the lake trout world record is broken. And we editors hope it happens in Brandon’s boat!

Image from Brandon Isaac Facebook

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18 thoughts on “83-Pound Lake Trout that Would’ve Smashed the World Record

    1. I do Roger,,only selfish sportsman keep all they catch and don’t think about the future.The medium size fish of any species are the better tasting.

      1. I’d be willing to bet that the big fish killer is from Colorado. This state is becoming a flyfisherman state and if it isn’t a rainbow,brook,brown or cutthroat trout it’s as good as a sucker. It’s a shame but to those of you who love fishing for the fact that your fishing no matter the species and protecting quality fishing for all species thank you

      2. So wonderful to see a true sportsman.
        Trout taste like seaweed. Soak it overnight in milk, and it tastes just, ok. So, you can have your trout, oh wise one.
        Bass​ I excellent, cat is better. Northern is yummy, white delicious meat. There is purity my man, now, shuffle off, and piss off.

      3. Why would it be from Colorado? Lol,,I do love how most people there fish trout, leaves all the bass for me!!

      4. Nice guy. I am not a responsible sportsman?
        These are invasive species where I live. I do appreciate your piasnous.
        I humbly beg forgiveness.

  1. Most if not all of the northern lodges practice catch & release. What are you talking about? A good fishery cannot be maintained unless you do. I have done lots of Lake Trout fishing on Lake Athabaska, releasing many in the 30 to 45 lb. weight range, and know this to be a fact.

      1. Roger: You should have mentioned where you were from and your comment would have been understandable. I’m from NY State and have fished all over here and Canada,where Laker’s are a desirable game fish everywhere and are not invasive.

      2. I think here, they gobble up all the kokanee. so on some lakes, they have made it “unlimited” for how many a person can keep. looks like they want them gone. never got one.

      3. Yes, that has been my experience as well, though I haven’t caught one either, but I do plan on going to some locations this year in the Yellowstone​ stone area that do have them.
        They are voracious, they eat tons of native species here, that’s why they want them gone, it will never happen, but I guess you gotta try.
        I reckon I was mistaken, that everywhere they are disliked.

  2. Love it when the nets get em. Congrats you should be proud! Cmon over to Saginaw bay where they net our walleyes. Maybe you can a record fish there too, stuck in your nets. This archaic way of “harvest” needs to end.

  3. Congrats on a real trophy. Amazing you caught it in a net. Cmon over to Saginaw bay where you can net up a bunch of our walleyes too for sustenance. Hope you mount it!

  4. Could be the world record caught by rod, but the world record is 105 lb, caught by net back in about the 60s or 70s in Lake Athabaska NWT.

  5. Gill nets are designed to kill fish…how exactly were they going to revive it? I hope they all get mercury poisoning…if they actually did eat it and not sell it down at the local bar. Stewards of the land….hahahaha

    1. You realize that the native people respect these fish to a point we cant understand… Fish and game are the livelihood of these tribes and reservations. If big, old, and breeding size fish are netted and still alive. Majority of the first nations, by sheer respect, return healthy fish to spawn for future generations. That fish, being an elder, was most likely mounted, not eaten. Also, lakes like that have so much less mercury, and being predatory fish, don’t accumulate the bio-build up like other fish. Anyway… Nice fish, and respect to the families and tribe that benifit from the fishery that is accessible to them. My wife is full status native, first nations… We live on bay of quinte in mohawk territory but still use rod and reel.. Too many people take advantage of the netting and abuse the fisheries.

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