Jamie Pollard, of Hinsdale, MA went ice fishing at Stockbridge Bowl, a lake in the western part of the state. While fishing last Saturday, he caught the massive brown trout after taking 25 minutes to reel it in. In addition, he had to bring the trout in through an only eight-inch hole in the ice, The Berkshire Eagle reported.
The angler intended to release the trout back into the lake. However, he and his friends realized how large the fish was and had a change of plans. He decided to keep the trout to see if it would set a new Massachusetts record for the biggest trout.
Pollard and his friends measured the large trout and came up with a length of 32 inches. Yet the state’s Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (DFW) gave an official measurement of 31 inches. Additionally, the agency reported an official weight of 15-pounds, 13-ounces. Unfortunately, Pollard missed out on the state record by almost four pounds, even though the length of the trout equaled the previous record fish.
Massachusetts’ biggest ever brown trout officially weighed 19-pounds, 10-ounces, according to The Berkshire Eagle report. That particular trout also measured 31-inches long. Therefore, the state’s trout record from 1966 still stands to this day.
On Wednesday, the state DFW posted about Pollard’s catch on the agency’s Facebook account. They congratulated the ice fisherman and called his huge trout “incredible.”
“Congratulations to Jamie Pollard … on this incredible 15 lb. 13 oz. brown trout taken through the ice!” the agency wrote.
“We’re extremely proud of the awesome fish our hatcheries and district staff put out each year,” the DFW added. “Keep sharing your catches with us this winter!”
Dozens of Anglers Rescued While Ice Fishing
Although Jamie Pollard had a successful ice fishing experience this past week, the same can’t be said for dozens of others.
On Tuesday, 26 ice fishermen in Minnesota were rescued after becoming stranded on an ice floe that drifted out into Lake Superior. According to reports, the 26 stranded anglers fished in “individual fish houses” before ice broke loose from the shore. The Duluth Fire Department received notice of the stranded fishermen around 11 a.m. and took action.
The first truck to arrive to the scene rescued three of the anglers. However, it took multiple rescue teams to round up the other 23 ice fishermen. The combined efforts of multiple agencies led to a successful rescue within one hour of emergency calls. In addition, the fire department posted photos and shared details from the scene of the rescue on their official Facebook account.
The rescue in Minnesota came only days after another even bigger group of ice fishermen became stranded on ice floes as well. The U.S. Coast Guard and other local agencies helped rescue 66 ice fishermen who became stranded on ice floes in northeastern Wisconsin.
On Thursday, Feb. 4, emergency workers rescued all 66 anglers from a bay area of Door County. According to the Coast Guard, an oncoming winter storm caused high wind speeds that pushed three ice floes away from shore.
An Associated Press report stated that none of the 66 ice fishermen were injured and everyone returned to land safely. Commander Bryan Swintek, a search and rescue coordinator for Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, touched on the rescue.
“Today’s success is a direct result of effective training and the long-standing and close relationships with our agency partners in the greater Sturgeon Bay Area,” Cmdr. Bryan Swintek said.