A Yorkton fisherman brought a world record lake trout up through the ice at Clearwater Lake, MB. in April.
The Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame located in Wisconsin sent out a release recently confirming Brent Danylko set the record with his April 11 catch of a 44-inch trout, beating the old mark of 42 inches for a lake trout caught while ice fishing.
Danylko said he was at the lake for the annual Bill Bannock Classic Ice Fishing Derby, although the record trout was actually caught the day after the tournament was complete.
"He (Bannock) used to be an old trapper up there," said the Yorkton fisherman, who added this year the event attracted some 14,000 competitors. He went with a group of eight and the best any of them achieved in the actual event was 34th.
The tournament has thousands of dollars in prizes, so catching the big fish a day late was a bittersweet occurrence. While it gets Danylko's name in the record book, he missed out on the Derby's $21,000 first prize. Smiling he said he was "not that lucky. Not this year."
Danylko said when he fishes, he is after big fish, and that generally means traveling to find water where he anticipates the big ones are.
"You generally go to big water for big fish," he said. "You don't fish Good Spirit and expect big fish."In the case of Clearwater Lake, Danylko said it is a massive body of water.
"It's roughly 10-by-10-miles. It's a big body of water," he said, adding in summer the lake demands respect because of its size. "You've sure got to be careful in a boat because it can get very rough (if a wind comes up)."
Danylko said he knew there was potential for a big trout where he was.
"Big fish were known to be in that area," he said.
In Saskatchewan, Danylko said one of his favourite fishing spots is Tobin Lake, another large body of water.
It is from the waters of Tobin Danylko believes the fish he covets most will be pulled, a world record Walleye.
"I still think the world record is going to come from there for walleye. It's just a great fishing lake," he offered.
The current record walleye is a 37-inch monster pulled from Hawk Lake in Ontario.
In terms of big fish, the recent lake trout becomes Danylko's sixth recognized by the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame, adding he has applied for some 20.
In making application, Danylko said the Hall of Fame had stringent guidelines, including photographic evidence of fish caught and released as the trout was, an affidavit signed by a witness, and in the case of most fish samples of the line used for testing.
Past records confirmed for Danylko have been a sauger caught at Tobin Lake in 2001, a channel cat fish from the Red River in 2001, a rock bass out of Lake of the Prairies in 2003, a quillback carp sucker, again from Tobin in 2004, and a splake from Laurie Lake on Manitoba in 2004. Only the bass was kept."Ninety per cent of my fish are released," said Danylko.
Danylko said the lake trout is his favourite record catch "so far". The reason being, "we don't have big lake trout in this area. You have to travel a good distance to get it."
Danylko used to participate in the walleye tournament tour, but said he had trimmed back his fishing, although he remains an avid big fish hunter.
"I try to get out once in a while," he said, adding he plans two, or three big trips a year, such as the ice fishing derby at The Pas, a catfish trip to the Red River in July, and a week on Tobin in the late fall.