David Hunsicker was fishing Pennsylvania’s Pohopoco Creek on April 29 when he caught a heavy rainbow trout on a small jig. Hunsicker’s fish reportedly weighed over 15 pounds, which means it might have replaced the state-record rainbow trout that has been on the books for more than 35 years. We’ll never know, though, because he decided not to submit the fish for record consideration.
Hunsicker, who lives in Palmerton, told local news outlet GoErie that he hooked the big trout in one of the creek’s deep holes near a log. Using an ultralight rod and four-pound test line, he said he was lucky to land the rainbow.
“If he would have gotten me stuck on a limb coming down [stream], I would have lost that fish,” Hunsicker said. He explained that he’s caught several big trout from the Pohopoco as well as the other small creeks that connect with Beltzville Lake over the years.
Hunsicker ended up keeping the fish, which he said measured 31 7/8 inches with a 20 1/8-inch girth. It weighed 15 pounds, 11 ounces, according to the hand scale he had with him. That would make it roughly five ounces heavier than the standing Pennsylvania state-record rainbow, caught from Jordan Creek in 1986 by angler Dennis Clouse.
“It would have surpassed the record,” Hunsicker said, adding that he didn’t have enough time to take the fish in for official measurements.
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Hunsicker explained that he decided not to bring his record-sized rainbow into the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission’s office because he didn’t want to change the dinner plans he had with his family that evening. And since the fish was never officially weighed or measured by the agency, it will never be certified as a record by the state.
Still, he won’t forget that fish anytime soon. The large trout is now being mounted at his taxidermist, according to GoErie.