31 pounds 3 ounces! Caught August 14 2004 At Olcott N.Y.

Photo will be posted here on Friday August 20 2004

Here's the story!

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Record Steelhead Caught
Story by Bill Hilts Jr.

             Rob Wilson of Tallmadge, Ohio was trolling out of Olcott, NY on August 14, 2004 when the fish of a lifetime hit his Pirate 55 spoon – a 31 pound, three ounce steelhead trout that stretched the tape to 39 inches long. The girth of the fish was 26 inches. The fish is now the new state record, shattering the previous mark set by Gerald Szmania by five pounds, four ounces! Szamania caught his 26 pound, 15 ounce fish while trolling off Point Breeze on May 22, 1985.

            Wilson ’s prize catch is an exclamation point on how good the fishing has been this year on Lake Ontario . Salmon fishing is the best it’s been in 15 years and the trout fishing – well, no one’s really been fishing for trout, the salmon has been the good. In the meantime, fish like Wilson ’s continue to swim out in the lake looking for someone to catch them – just in time for the Lake Ontario Counties Trout and Salmon Derby set for August 20 thru September 6.

            Wilson was fishing 12 to 14 miles out of Olcott with his father, Robert and Tom Briggs of Kent , OH around 7:30 a.m. when the behemoth hit their Pirate 55 watermelon with gold fleck spoon offering. It immediately stripped off about 300 yards of line from their Daiwa 47LC and tried to jump free. This was not a day that the fish would win, however. Twenty minutes later, they netted the trophy fish and put it in their cooler – thinking it was a salmon. After they caught a couple more fish, they inspected their big catch more closely and realized that it was a steelhead. They still didn’t understand what they had, however.

            After weighing the fish in The Slippery Sinker in Olcott, the first weight that registered was 31 pounds, four ounces. It had lost weight from the initial hand scale Rob had used, with 31 pounds, seven ounces the first weight – taken six hours earlier when they were on the boat. When it was recorded as an official weight with a witness from DEC, the fish weighed 31 pounds 3 ounces. When they were told it wasn’t a record, the fish almost made it to the fish cleaning table. Instead, Capt.Bob Cinelli of Olcott intercepted them and the fish was rescued before it found its way into a baggie.

            What an excellent way to lead into the Fall LOC Derby. The only thing that could have been better was if the fish was actually caught by a registered angler in the derby! Last year’s winner, Mike Loya of Ohio , set the pace with a 33 pound king, also caught out of Olcott, to win the check for $20,000. First place in each of the specie categories (steelhead, lake trout, brown trout and salmon) will be worth $2,500.

            For more information on the LOC Derby, call toll-free at (888) REEL-2-IN or visit their website at

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