Officials say the angler is catching fish with “real trophy potential.” It’s a Vermont record
A hunter was in for a surprise when he pulled out a record-breaking toothy predator, Vermont wildlife officials said.
Jeremy Picking, a Pennsylvania angler, went out to Lake Champlain to go night fishing in May, according to a Feb. 5 news release from the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife. While out for a walk, he staggered into a large long-nosed gar, officials said.
Officials said the toothfish weighed 18.6 pounds and was 54.75 inches long.
The catch has now been certified as a state record for longnose gar, officials said.
Because gar records are separated by how the fish was caught—whether by hook and line or bowfishing—the man was still able to set a record even though the weight of his catch was a few ounces lighter than the previous record set on rod and reel. 2007, according to the department.
Pekingese’s catch was about a quarter of an inch longer than the record set in 2007, the department said.
“While fishing remains excellent for traditional sportfish species such as bass, trout, walleye, and pike, there are plenty of other fish that can provide amazing action with potential,” biologist Sean Goode said in the release. Real championship.
Long-nosed gars, named after their long snouts filled with “needle-like teeth,” are predators found in the East Coast and waterways of the Mississippi River Basin, according to the National Aquarium. They eat a range of fish and animals, including frogs, snakes, turtles and small mammals, the nonprofit said.
This species does not usually grow more than 4 to 5 feet tall, making pekingese rare for hunting.
Two other notable fish were submitted for state records in 2023, although they did not claim the title. Vermont officials hailed an 11.86-pound walleye from Lake Champlain and a 25.6-pound trout from Echo Lake as “amazing” catches.
“While Lake Champlain gets most of the attention for Vermont’s lake trout fishing opportunities, many of the inland lakes in Vermont’s northeastern kingdom are real sleepers for big fish,” Judd said.
Wildlife officials like Judd say the success of Vermont anglers can be attributed to improved fish hatcheries in the area and other fishing management strategies in the lakes.
“As a lake fisheries biologist, it is really encouraging to see our hard work and long-term management efforts pay off for anglers,” he said.
Lake Champlain is located between New York and Vermont.
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