Record Trout Hits Snag
Angler's 52-pounder taken in International fishing incident
Rob Scott poses with his 52-pound lake trout that is the focal point of an international investigation. (Courtesy Rob Scott)
Rob Scott got caught up in the excitement of catching a potential world record lake trout, and he is now caught up in an international fishing incident.
The 65-year-old retired U.S. Navy veteran from Crane Lake, Minn., needed an hour to haul in the behemoth from the Ontario waters of Lac La Croix. His 52-pound, 3-ounce lake trout that would whip the current record caught by tip-up was taken by snowmobile back across the U.S. border.
Working with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has since confiscated Scott’s catch from a taxidermy shop. How that came about is nearly as remarkable as the catch.
Scott caught the trout while ice fishing Feb. 8. He had a valid license to take one fish. Problem was when the news of the big catch hit. MNR officers recalled checking Scott that day and he had a 4-pound lake trout sitting on the ice.
Scott told the Minnesota Star Tribune that he knew he could only keep one fish, and since has been very forthright in explaining the situation.
“It wasn’t illegal for me to keep fishing after I caught the first trout,” he told the newspaper. “But when I caught the bigger fish, with the adrenaline and everything I had going, and the fact that it wasn’t going to survive if I released it, I figured if I gave the smaller fish away, that would be OK.”
So he gave it to his nephew fishing nearby. Ontario fishing regulations, which say a catch limit includes “fish that are not immediately released and any fish eaten or given away,” show Scott was in the wrong.
The incident remains under investigation by the Ontario MNR, and Minnesota officials aren’t offering much info other than they are taking great care of the once-in-a-lifetime catch.
One has to feel for Scott, who said he isn’t trying to hide anything and has had a potential record slip through his hands. He could also face fines and license revocation.
The current ice fishing world record for a tip-up-caught lake trout is a 1996 catch of 29-6 in Vermont’s Willoughby Lake, the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wis., says.