An Arkansas angler fishing from shore because his waders were frozen has caught one of the largest brown trout ever landed, a behemoth weighing 38 pounds, 7 ounces.
Calvin Johnston was braving snow and 17-degree temperatures on a recent excursion when the giant trout struck. "I knew immediately when I saw the fish it was a monster," he told KCTV.
It's the largest brown trout ever caught from the White River and only a few pounds shy of the world record: a 42-pound, 1-ounce brown trout caught off New Zealand in 2013.
Remarkably, it's only the third-largest brown trout caught in Arkansas, the largest being a 40.4-pounder caught from the Little Red River in 1992.
Johnston, 38, who is from Kansas, had been fishing with his brother and some buddies, with no real luck, earlier the same day. They went back to their hotel rooms to rest, but at about 5 p.m. Johnston went back to the river alone.
His waders were frozen so he merely walked the bank, casting a small trout-imitation lure near a rock outcropping that provided fish protection from the current.
"I threw the bait there once or twice, and all of a sudden she just hit the bait," Johnston told the Baxter Bulletin. "I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is a good bite.’ "
When he saw the massive trout swirl, he yelled for assistance. But none came.
"I thought holy cow, this is a monster, I need some help," Johnston recalled. "So I started calling for my brother. Later I found out he heard me, but he said, 'I'm not going down there, it's cold, he ain't got no fish.’ What a brother, right?"
Johnston, who now displays one of his trout images as his Facebook cover photo, planned to have his prize mounted by a taxidermist.
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