A 68-year-old lifelong angler caught a brown trout that weighed in at 20 pounds and nine ounces, setting a Pennsylvania record, according to the state Fish and Boat Commission.
The trout was 33.75 inches long, with a girth of just over 21 inches. It was caught in Lake Erie on Aug. 8 by Robert Ferraro of Erie.
“It was a huge thrill to catch such a big fish, but we didn’t know exactly what it was at first,” Ferraro told the commission. “We knew if it was a brown trout, it had a great chance to be a record.”
Ferraro said he and friends left Walnut Creek Marina, just off the lake, in the early morning to begin their fishing trip. The group was using a 9-foot rod with a spoon lure when they got a hit about 8:30 a.m., he said.
The trout, hooked at a depth of more than 50 feet, eventually surfaced and fought for 10 minutes before it was netted.
Back at the marina, commission biologist Mark Haffley identified it as a brown trout. “It’s exciting to see a fish like this, a large female, which we estimate to be at least 6 or 7 years old,” Haffley said.
The fish was weighed on a certified scale with witnesses, and was found to have exceeded the previous record set in 2000.
State record fish are judged by weight.
“There are absolutely more fish like this out there,” said Ferraro. “I really hope it gives other people some motivation to get out and catch them.”
Since 2009, Lake Erie has been stocked regularly with fingerling brown trout by the commission.