A cross between a chinook and a pink salmon is called a pinook salmon, and the Wisconsin state record has just been broken.
Late last month Cody Krueger and Mike Homan of Shawano, Wisconsin were fishing off of Door County when they hooked a beautiful pinook salmon. What’s a pinook, you might ask? It is a cross between a chinook salmon and a pink salmon.
The pair were fishing the Kewaunee/Door County Salmon Tournament and were trolling outside of Washington Island when the fish hit.
Krueger recounted the catch, “The fish fought great but we both knew it wasn’t going to be a tournament winner. When it came up 15 yards behind the boat its back was so bright blue with both assumed rainbow (trout).”
“It had the blue of a rainbow, but the head of a salmon,” Krueger said of the unusual fish. “The jaw was starting to hook and it was forming a small hump on its back that caused me to start to think pink, and the tail had beautiful elongated almost oval spots that reminded me of a pink.”
The anglers sent a photo to the phone of reporter Kevin Naze. They thought it might be a pink salmon. Naze had experience with pinook salmon – he had actually handled the previous two state records – and he identified the salmon for Krueger. “My money was on pinook,” said Naze, “and I told him so.”
The fish weighed in at just over nine pounds, besting the previous record of 8 pounds, 5.4 ounces by a healthy half-pound.
The pinook succumbed to a meat rig on a wire diver in around 150 feet of water.
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