Sweet Mother of Mercy
As a lifetime resident of New Hampshire with a fishing blog, I feel it is my civic duty to write a blog on this. While it’s “bassinwithburg” not “laketroutingwithburg”, this man deserves a dedicated blog post. This thing is an absolute behemoth. It’s wildly concerning that I’m swimming in the same depths that this monster is in. For christ’s sake this looks like something Jeremy Wade would tease for his newest season of River Monsters.
Thomas Knight, a resident of Meredith, New Hampshire hauled this thing out of the ice around two weeks ago, February 25th, 2020. The fish officially weighed in at 37.65 pounds. For you dimension fisherman out there; over 40 inches in length and a 27 inch girth. You can read the NH Fish & Game report here. But I wanted to write this blog to highlight the significance of this catch and so more people would understand how unbelievable this accomplishment really is.
Fish Are Getting Smaller
A study done by the brainiacs studying Environmental Studies at Yale in 2017 has told us that climate change is a real bastard for the fishing industry as a whole. Basically, to dumb it up a bit for the average folk (like myself), fish are cold blooded. Which means they are unable to regulate their own body temps. So global warming = warmer waters, warmer waters = faster metabolism, faster metabolism = need for more oxygen. When fish do not have enough oxygen they are do not grow to their size potential they are capable of. Due to climate change, most fish will reach a plateau where their habitat does not contain the oxygen levels necessary for them to keep growing in a healthy manner. This means they will stay at their maximum weight capacity instead when they have the genetic potential to become a true specimen.
So with that fact alone, even breaking a state record, or breaking any record even by a couple of ounces is an impressive feat. But Knight looked our state record in the eyes and pissed all over its face. This fish SHATTERED the New Hampshire state record by OVER 9 POUNDS. Are you out of your mind??? Our last state record laker was recorded in 1958. I don’t know if you’re well read about climate change but there was a hell of a lot more oxygen in the water back than there is right now. This fish is now the largest recorded laker in all of New England.
Actually Breaking the Record
I think it’s a common misconception for a lot of fisherman that if you simply catch a big enough fish then you can break the record no problem. In reality, catching the trophy fish of a lifetime is just the beginning in the process to getting a state record broken. First of all, recording the dimensions of the fish must be done following very specific protocol that varies state-to-state, and all measurements must be recorded on certified equipment.
In addition, two witnesses must be present during the casting, hooking, catching, and handling of the fish, as well as during the measurement process. Video footage of the entire process must be shot as well in order to ensure the process was followed correctly. From there, you need to contact someone important immediately. Typically a Fish & Game Officer, but it also could be a biologist or a police officer.
They will also be required to sign off on your catch. All of this needs to be done while keeping the fish alive in time for the Fish & Game officer to show up.
Needless to say, you’re not going to slip and fall into a state record fish. You need to have all hands on deck ready to go in order for you to cement your name in history.
Congrats to a Legend
So if catching a freshwater fish large enough to take down your family pet or a moderately-sized child wasn’t impressive enough for you, the effort, planning, and commitment that it took to make this man’s dream come true is something everyone can admire.
I can’t seem to confirm this for sure, but my sources are telling me he was out there on the ice a few days prior in the same location hunting for his trophy and only missed the record by a couple pounds. While I couldn’t imagine the mixed emotions that would come with catching a fish that size and having it run just short of a state record, I’m sure looking back on it now he can be glad that fish was undersized. Who knows, if he had broken the record the first time, he might not’ve gone back out and dismantled the state record only two days later. I for one, am thankful he did just that.
So a big congratulations is in order for Thomas and a huge shoutout to everyone that made this man’s dream come true. And shoutout to Mr. Knight’s significant other. I’m sure she wasn’t ecstatic about her husband hanging a mammoth lake trout in her living room. But I assure you Mrs. Knight, a stuffed fish skin can really add to the overall feng shui of the room. And while I wish King Thomas would’ve went with the replica mount as opposed to skin mounting a potentially 50-60 year old fish, I also firmly believe you have the right to do whatever you want when you catch a fish that size.
So with that being said, you won’t hear another peep about it from me Tom. Unfortunately, now we have to mourn the loss of another great laker this year. But hey, better to have loved and lost I guess. Here’s to you, King Tom, thank you for everything you’ve done.