March 23, 2023
Idaho has a new state-record northern pike, and it's a monster. The 40.76-pound northern caught by Thomas Francis at Hayden Lake on March 21, and certified by Idaho Fish and Game, beat a 13-year-old record, the agency said.
Francis' catch measured 49 inches long and 26.5 inches in girth. The previous record, caught in 2010 at Lower Twin Lake, weighed 40.13 pounds. Hayden and Lower Twin lakes are both located in northern Idaho.
"Pike is what I go after all the time. I spend almost everyday fishing for pike. As soon as the ice is off and until it comes back," Francis told Idaho Fish and Game. "When my lure hit the water, I let it sink all the way to the bottom. As soon as my lure hit the bottom, I felt her hit. I fish with 80 pound-test line, and she almost immediately started peeling drag, a lot of it."
The previous record was a bit longer (50.75 inches) than Francis' recent catch, but skinnier with a 22.75-inch girth.
The all-tackle world record recognized by the International Game Fish Association, caught in 1986 at Gertmany's Lake of Grefeern by Lothar Louis weighed 55 pounds, 1 ounce.