March 02, 2020
Through the ice.
That's how a trophy lake trout caught while ice fishing late last month reached the New Hampshire fishing record book.
And after Thomas Knight of Meredith, N.H., pulled the monster out of Big Diamond Pond on Feb, 25, he found the fish was arguably one of the most significant state records in New England in years.
Knight's laker weighed 37.65 pounds — more than nine pounds heavier than the previous record — to beat the 62-year-old record.
According to the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, Knight knew the fish had a chance to beat the record so he called state fisheries biologist Andy Schafermeyer for help.
"I'm not sure who was more excited,” Schafermeyer said. “I knew the fish stood a very good chance of breaking the record."
The only problem was finding out how heavy the new record would be. The first certified scale Knight and Schafermeyer found only weighed up to 30 pounds. That actually was good news, because Knight knew the previous record was 28 pounds, and that his catch exceeded 30 pounds.
They finally found a larger scale at a package distribution center and learned the final tally.
The state record was the first in New Hampshire since Michael Steffen’s caught a 1-pound, 1.76-ounce record pumpkinseed on Jan. 7, 2017.
“Most state records, when bested, are done so by only a few ounces. Knight’s fish shattered the old record by over 9 pounds. This fish is now the largest lake trout caught in all of New England. I’m glad he got it, this couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,” said Schafermeyer, who estimated the fish was between 50 and 60 years old.