Teenage fisherman sets new Chinook salmon record in Michigan

As daylight rose on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan on Saturday, Captain Bobby Sullivan caught a huge chinook salmon for his client, Luis Hernandez Martinez. Hours later, the fish was certified as the new king of state records; officially weighing 47.86 pounds. It is also the largest ever extracted from the five Great Lakes.

Martinez, 19, was with his mother and sister aboard a 28 1/2 foot Baja Cruiser, the IceBreaker II, from Ray’s Auto Marine.

At approximately 6:15 a.m. on August 8, the behemoth struck a Raspberry Carbon Moonshine Lures Magnum spoon, dragged at 2.9 MPH off Big Sable Point, north of Ludington Harbor, Michigan. “The first 20 minutes of the fight were tough,” Martinez said. “My arms were tired and sore. Then after the fish jumped out of the water, it got a little easier. Captain Sullivan noted that it was 7:01 a.m. when the fish were safely in the boat, after a 45-minute standoff.

Record Fish was the angler’s first salmon

“Most of the people I spoke to said they thought the fight would have taken a lot longer,” Martinez said. “I guess he burned out halfway. And once in the boat I thought, Wow, that’s a big deal; it will be a lot of meals. “It was the first salmon for the teenager from Ortonville, Michigan.

Captain Sullivan had previously entered the “Big King Bonanza” with Captain Chuck II in Ludington. It never occurred to him that the fish might be a state record, but he thought it would exceed 30 pounds, which would also put the fish in the “Thirty Pound Club” of the area.

“I had already called Captain Chuck II to let them know that a big fish was coming to them; then we went back to the marina and hung the fish on their scales, ”says Sullivan. “He was reading 47+. I thought it couldn’t be right and I weighted it a second time. Another call was made to notify an area hardware store that a potential state record fish was arriving.

The fish was again weighed at the tackle shop and showed a similar weight. But the two previous scales were not certified by the state. The 47 1/2 inch goliath was then taken to nearby Northside Market for an official weight, and an MDNR biologist was called in to confirm the species. The fish are now heading to the taxidermist for a hide mount and replicas.

Martinez’s fish breaks old record of over a pound

Martinez shows off his record-breaking salmon as it is initially weighed on one of three scales. Photo courtesy of Brian Mulherin

“What really impressed me was how quickly the whole process unfolded, from the MNR response to how the whole community helped and were as enthusiastic as I was,” notes Martinez.

For curious anglers looking to catch their own Monster King, Sullivan would line up the spoon to a depth of about 60 feet above 200 feet of water, using a 45-pound Torpedo weighted steel line and a Sufix. 30-pound test weight. Head of monofilament seat. The platform was pulled behind a Dream Weaver Ninja Speed ​​Planer line planer board. The rest of the gear was an 8-1 / 2 foot Okuma copper line rod and an Okuma Convector CV55L Star Drag reel.

The previous Michigan Chinook was 43.5 inches and weighed 46.6 pounds, caught in 1978 and caught by hooking (legal in some rivers at the time) in the Grand River in Kent County. The largest ever caught in the Great Lakes, according to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, was a 47-inch king weighing 46.38 pounds, caught in Lake Ontario, near Oakville, Ontario.

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