OLYMPIA – Kelly Flaherty of Priest River, Idaho, has set a new state record for the largest tiger trout caught in Washington, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed today.
The 53-year-old angler caught the 18.49-pound fish measuring 32.5 inches on Cinco de Mayo, May 5, while bait fishing with a worm and egg at Bonaparte Lake, near Tonasket in Okanogan County.
“The fish skyrocketed out of the water,” said Flaherty, who was fishing from a boat launch. “As soon as I hooked it, I was whooping it up, while a crowd gathered around the whole time.”
Flaherty estimates it took him 15 minutes to land the fish from the time he set the hook until he pulled his prize onto the boat launch without a landing net.
According to WDFW, the new record exceeded the previous record tiger trout record by 3.45 pounds. The previous record was held by Kirk Herrin on a fish caught in Roses Lake, Chelan County in 2012.