'Monster
Written by Northern Life   
Sunday, 06 November 2005 11:46

An ordinary day on the lake fishing changed into a once-in-a-lifetime experience for two Sudbury anglers recently.  In September, Joanne and Bruce Vendramin were fishing on Lake Huron in MacGregor Bay, somthing he’d done hundreds of times over the years, when line started peeling off one of their fishing rods. Joanne grabbed the rod and immediately felt something hefty on the other end.

At the time they had no idea the fish on the end of the line was a record rainbow trout. (Joanne and Bruce had been focusing on rainbow trout this past summer because the fishing was good and they like the taste of trout.)

"At first, I didn't know what to think," said Joanne. "All I knew was that it was really heavy. We thought it was a lake trout because a rainbow will fight on the surface, but this one stayed down at the bottom."

Joanne and Bruce were using light tackle and six-pound test line, so they could have better fights with the fish. This meant Joanne had to use patience to bring the monster into the boat.

"I let the fish stay down and let the drag do its thing," said Joanne. "I kept the line tight as well. After about eight minutes of fighting, which wasn't much of a fight just a few head shakes, the fish surfaced in front of us."

The couple steered the boat towards the fish to scoop it up.

"It was lying on the surface," said Joanne. "It was exhausted. My husband grabbed a smaller rubber net to get this monster, but it ripped the netting off the rim. We had to grab the actual net...And we just got it over the side of the boat before it broke through the net."

Nonetheless, the fish left the pair almost speechless.

"We were in disbelief a fish could be that big, especially a rainbow," said Joanne. "I was in shock. We couldn't put it back because it looked dead. We didn't know what to do."

Thankfully, the Vendramins had friends fishing near by, who came over and told them to to get the fish weighed.

The couple brought the fish to the post office in Little Current and had it weighed officially, which turned out to be a whopping 40.68 pounds, smashing the old Ontario record for rainbow trout by 11 pounds. The old record had stood since 1975.

"It feels pretty good to set a record," said Joanne. "I would never have caught it without the help of my husband. We have never gone out with the intention of trying to catch a record fish. We go out for the fun and to catch fish to eat."

The big fish has been all over the province since being hoisted from the chilly waters of Lake Huron. First, it went to the MNR office in Espanola for confirmation of species and weight. Then it traveled to Peterborough, by Purolator, to the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) office for more tests. Then it went to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) for further studies. The fish is now in Toronto at Advance Taxidermy for a skin mount and replicas.

This isn't the final stop though, as the fish will then head to the Ontario Out of Doors fishing show in Toronto in February.

It will then go home to the Vendramins, maybe.

"Where it ends up, who knows," said Joanne. "We've been approached by the ROM to have it there. Bass Pro Shops has asked for a mount. We haven't decided where we will hang it."

The fish was caught on an AC Shiner, which was hand-made by a 79-year-old man in Cincinnati. The Vendramins made news in a Cincinnati paper after they contacted the lure's maker and word spread of the record fish.

The Vendramins are waiting to see if the fish breaks the Canadian record.

 
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