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Monster Michigan Chinook Salmon Breaks State Record

Caught in Lake Michigan, the nearly 50-pound chinook beat a 43-year-old record.

Monster Michigan Chinook Salmon Breaks State Record

Posing with the new state-record Chinook salmon, caught Aug. 7, 2021, are Capt. Bobby Sullivan of Icebreaker Charters; Luis Ricardo Hernandez Martinez, of Ortonville, who caught the fish; Jay Wesley, Lake Michigan Basin coordinator with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources; and Scott Heintzelman, the DNR's Central Lake Michigan Management Unit supervisor. (Photo courtesy Michigan DNR)

Michigan has a new state fishing record for chinook salmon after a successful outing on Lake Michigan Saturday morning resulted in a trophy fish that eclipsed a 43-year-old record by nearly two pounds.


Luis Ricardo Hernandez Martinez, of Ortonville, Mich., boated the 47.86-pound chinook salmon early Saturday morning while troll-fishing with Capt. Bobby Sullivan of Icebreaker Charters on Lake Michigan near Ludington, according to Michigan DNR.


The previous record, caught in 1978 by Ray Essex of Grand Rapids in the Grand River, weighed 46.06 pounds and measured 43.5 inches long. Martinez's record measured 47.5 inches.

The new record was caught on a Moonshine Raspberry Carbon Spoon, the DNR reported.

"I never expected a catch like this would happen," Martinez said in a DNR news release. "It's possible for anyone if I can do it! I would like to extend a great 'thank you' to Capt. Bobby, as it was he who made this catch possible for me."

GAF-Mich-Record-Chinook
Close-up of new Michigan-record Chinook salmon. Note: the scale pictured in this photo is from a local bait shop; the weight shown here is not the official weight. The official weight was 47.86 pounds. (Photo courtesy of Michigan DNR)

"Luis did an amazing job, executing perfectly everything I asked him to do in order to bring this fish in," Sullivan added.




The state record salmon was verified by Jay Wesley, Lake Michigan Basin coordinator with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, with Scott Heintzelman, the DNR's Central Lake Michigan Management Unit supervisor, also present.


It is the first state record broken this summer in Michigan.

See more Michigan state records

GAF-Mich-Record-Chinook
Close-up view of the Moonshine Raspberry Carbon Spoon lure used to catch the state-record Chinook salmon on Lake Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Michigan DNR)

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