Courtesy of Stuff
A giant brown trout caught by a first-year angler is thought to be the largest caught in Otago's Lake Wanaka.
Emma McIntosh, a Wanaka-based skydive instructor, caught the 12-kilogram fish during a lunchbreak in July.
She was out on her parent's Fish and Cruise boat with her boyfriend, guide Jeno Hezinger, and about to return to shore when she felt a "huge pull" on her line.
"We were in a part of the lake we don't usually fish. I thought I'd hit the bottom," she said.
"I managed to reel it in and when it got close we could see it was pretty decent."
The fish pulled the line out a couple of times before she managed to land it.
"We couldn't believe it. I'd never seen anything that big come out of that lake."
Otago Fish and Game officer Cliff Halford, who has worked in the area since the 1980s, said he had not heard of such a big fish being caught in Lake Wanaka either.
"Every few years someone catches a biggie over 10lb (4.5kg) but not over 10kg," said Halford.
Earlier this year, Stuff reported the world record for a brown trout was 19.1kg –a fish caught in the Mackenzie hydro canals in 2013.
There were reports an even bigger fish was caught in the same area in January, but they were not confirmed.
Records are not kept for individual lakes.
Hezinger said he could not believe the size of the fish McIntosh caught.
"It was caught on a cool overcast day that was going pretty slowly up till that point," he said.
The fish swallowed the lure so there was no way to get it out and back into the water to survive.
"We considered getting it mounted but, as it was in amazing condition for a fish of that size, it ended up feeding us and a lot of our friends for a few days with bright orange flesh and really thick fillets," Hezinger said.
?"Usually, the big ones we catch are old and slow so aren't in that good a condition, but this was one of the healthiest we've ever caught, and definitely the biggest."
McIntosh said they pan fried the fish with heaps of butter.
"[It was] not the healthiest way to eat it but it was really good."
The trout was initially difficult to identify as it was quite silvery and had a pink line down its flanks, but Fish and Game staff had since confirmed it was a large brown jack (male).
McIntosh was fishing an 8.16kg lead line at a depth of about 15 metres when the huge jack ate the traffic light-coloured Tillins? Cobra lure.
13 August 2019