As Bruce Sederberg reeled in his latest catch on Ontario’s White Otter Lake in January, he had a feeling this fish might be different.
He knew what it felt like to catch 15- to 20-pound lake trout, and the fish on his line was putting up an unusually serious fight. After 45 minutes, the trout that surfaced was world-record size. It was 46 inches long and likely weighed more than 40 pounds.
To remove the fish from the ice, Sederberg and his nephew Bryan Sederberg had to expand the hole via two 7-inch holes in the ice (anglers regularly make these holes in the ice just in case they hook a large trout). Still, it was a tight fit for the massive fish.
The men had no tape measurer, so they laid the fish in the snow, made marks by its nose and tail, and took a few photos. When they were done, they carefully put the fish back in the hole, moved it back and forth to move water through its gills and watched it swim away. They later measured the size of the fish based on their marks.
Sederberg submitted the measurements and photos to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisconsin. On Feb. 8, the organization confirmed Sederberg's trout as the largest ever caught in ice fishing catch-and-release. The previous record was 44 inches.
To see photos of the trout, check out the article from the Duluth News Tribune.