In June, Indiana’s youngest charter boat captain shattered the state lake trout record by “accidentally” catching a fish that was older than he is.
Tyler Kreighbaum, 25, owner of Tightline Fishing Charters in Michigan City, caught the fish in Lake Michigan on Saturday, June 11. It measured 44 inches long and weighed 37.55 pounds, beating the previous state record by about 8 pounds.
Biologists estimate the fish was born in the late 1970s because of a clipped fin. In the 1970s, four rounds of lake trout stockings took place in southern Lake Michigan, and all those fish had that fin clipped.
The average lake trout caught in southern Lake Michigan is 8 to 10 years old and weighs 7.5 to 8 pounds, according to Ben Dickinson, assistant Lake Michigan fisheries biologist for the DNR.
Lake trout are native to Lake Michigan. The previous state record was a 29 pound, 4 oz. fish caught by Harold Rodriguez in Lake Michigan in 1993. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service stocks lake trout in southern Lake Michigan every year.
Lake Michigan fisheries biologist Brian Breidert said the current weather pattern of south winds has resulted in colder water temperatures and good fishing near shore.
When winds blow from the south, it pushes warm water farther into the lake and allows cold water to fill in. That means conditions are conducive to fishing for salmon, steelhead, and lake trout near shore.
Tyler Kreighbaum’s charter website is www.tightlinefish.com.
source: Indiana Department of Natural Resources