Arizona – In the early morning hours of June 22, angler Carl Erickson felt a tug on his line at Woods Canyon Lake near Payson. As he reeled in his catch, he had a hunch that he had hooked something extraordinary. His instincts proved right when his catch, a colossal tiger trout, tipped the scales, shattering the previous state record.
Curt Gill, the Statewide Sportfish Program Manager at the Arizona Game and Fish Department, confirmed the news via email. Erickson had contacted wildlife officials, suspecting that his catch might have set a new record. The tiger trout weighed in at an impressive 5 pounds, 15.4 ounces, and stretched to a length of 23.5 inches.
The previous record was set by another angler at the same lake on December 10. Erickson’s fish outweighed the former record holder by 4 ounces, although it was half an inch shorter.
Erickson’s secret weapon? A crawdad crankbait, a popular type of fishing lure, which proved irresistible to the record-breaking trout.
News of Erickson’s catch spread on social media, with Facebook users expressing awe at the size and beauty of the fish. “Wow, I have never seen a trout that size!” exclaimed one user. Another commented, “That’s a beauty!!! Bet you had fun reeling him in!!!”
Woods Canyon Lake, the site of this record-breaking catch, is nestled about 90 miles northeast of Phoenix. This tranquil lake has now cemented its reputation as a hotspot for record-breaking tiger trout, making it a must-visit destination for ambitious anglers.