Canadian ice fisherman Sebastien Roy, fishing Lake Simcoe in Ontario, hooked up to what he thought was a big fish, but his friend was a bit skeptical knowing how excited Roy gets when he hooks up.
“So I wasn’t quite sure,” Steve Rowbotham told CTV News. “I was a little hesitant to believe the size of what he said it was, but as soon as it popped its head through the hole I said, ‘Oh my God, that’s a big one.’”
CTV has the story and video of the amazing catch:
“This felt different,” Roy told CTV News. “When you catch a big lake trout or whitefish they head shake a lot, this just felt heavy.”
Once he had it near the hole, Roy could see what was at the end of his line.
“It’s really clear, Lake Simcoe,” he told CBC News. “And the minute I looked down the hole I knew it was a record. It was one of the biggest fish I’ve ever seen swimming around.”
The fish was a burbot, also known as a ling or freshwater cod, and it measured 39 inches in length with a 19-inch girth. With a borrowed scale, the burbot weighed 18.3 pounds.
A quick perusal online revealed the fish could indeed be a provincial record, so they hustled off the ice to weigh the fish on a certified scale. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry determined that the fish weighed 17.9 pounds, which easily surpasses the current record of 15.8 pounds and one that is a pending record of 16.8 pounds.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters are processing the paperwork for the fish to become officially a record. The burbot, meanwhile, is at the taxidermist and will soon be on Roy’s wall.
“For Steve and me, I think the biggest achievement is putting Lake Simcoe on the map and in the record book,” Roy told CTV News.