Courtesy Cathy Clegg
The family lodge fishing area on Washington’s 1,100-acre Loon Lake just north of Spokane has once again proven to be a possible state and world record tiger trout hotspot.
Kathy Clegg of Colbert, Washington was soaking Nightcrawler on Aug. 7 when she was hit by a heavy fish and the action quickly turned hot.
“It took off three or four times, screaming and dragging,” she told Nnorthwest athlete. “He jumped out of the water. I never saw it in Long Lake – it looked like salmon [kokanee].
10 minutes later, her son Caylun Peterson caught a giant tiger trout, and soon the oversized world record was Clegg’s.
“I’m shaking,” said the retired computer technician. “silver [kokanees] Will spin and fall off, but not this time. “
On a certified scale, Craig’s Tiger Trout weighs 27.42 pounds, measures 35.5 inches long and measures 28.125 inches in circumference.Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife [WDFW] Biologist Danny Garrett verified the catch and paperwork and forwarded it to officials for state certification.
Surprisingly, Clegg’s son, Caylun Peterson, caught her fish, as Peterson is the current state of tiger trout and the IGFA All-Tackle world record holder. His fish was caught from Loon Lake on June 21 last year, when he used a nightcrawler as Loon Lake bait. Peterson’s trout weighs 24.5 pounds, measures 34.5 inches long, and measures 25 inches in circumference.
His mother’s fish weighed nearly three pounds, easily clinching a new record for Washington State tiger trout, as well as the IGFA All Tackle world record for the species.
When asked if there was a family fishing tournament, Clegg said: “Oh, no. We go hunting, we go fishing, we just do a lot of the outdoors. I go elk hunting with him, help them call in .
“He was really excited about the record. I almost felt bad — not really.”
Tiger trout is a cross between female brown trout and male brook trout. They can occur naturally in the wild, but most tigers are free-range and cannot breed.
Presumably, tigers stocked Long Lake, as well as some other Washington waters, to feed on invasive bait fish. Longhu tigers are thought to grow large and fast because they are voracious predators and feed on the lake’s prolific Kokanee salmon population.
Clegg reports that she has watched the tiger trout in Long Lake grow over the years, with her son catching heavier and heavier fish over time. Clegg stressed that the key to catching tigers is to have enough patience and focus on fishing at dawn and dusk.
Clegg is getting her LP Tiger installed by a taxidermist, and she will come over to drop off her son’s old LP trout mount while picking up Clegg’s fish for a new taxidermy job.
“So we’re going to have two ridiculously huge installation fish,” she said.