While this fish was not landed on a fly rod, it’s still an incredible catch well worth talking about…
Gayle Gordon and her husband were fishing the legendary annual Chinook run at River’s Inlet in British Columbia when a heavy fish crushed the cut-herring attached to one of their Mooching rigs.
“It was my turn to run the rods while John ran the boat,” Gayle explained to Salmon Trout Steelheader (STS). “We were mooching about 25 feet [down], and when the fish bit, the head shakes were so violent, so strong. Because of the [dark] water color, you can’t see the fish until they break the surface, but I knew that this was something unbelievable!”
The Gordons are experienced anglers and knew they had something big on as the 25-minute fight played out, which attract a flotilla of other boats looking to see what was bending their rod so deeply.
“The people up there are so awesome and very courteous,” she told STS. “Basically, the whole fleet saw us catch it. They made a circle around us and watched—and when we got it, they went nuts. He was brilliant chrome and not a mark on him. What an amazing, amazing fish.”
After netting the fish, the Gordons did what they usually do, and took length and girth measurements prior to releasing the fish. This particular brute measured 55 inches long and 38 inches wide, and depending on which weight formula you prefer, the fish was somewhere in the range of 100 pounds to 122 pounds.
If they had taken the fish in to get weighed, it would have shattered the current IGFA All-Tackle record that stands at 97 lbs. and 4 oz., set by Les Anderson in Alaska’s Kenai River.
To learn more about the incredible catch, check out this article from Salmon Trout Steelheader Magazine.