As a catch-and-release record, this Idaho northern pike sure put on the pounds!
While ice fishing on Hayden Lake, fisherman Scott Kerns made history. Much to his surprise, he set hook into the largest Idaho northern pike to ever be released in the state. Measuring out to 44 inches long and an estimated 33 pounds, there is little doubt that this is a big fish.
What makes this state record even more impressive is that this pike had actually been caught before. As a matter of fact, it was tagged back in 2015 as part of a state study on Hayden Lake. However, obviously back then the pike was smaller, but it only goes to show what catch and release fishing can do for a sport.
Hopefully, more states will pick up on record catch and release recognition programs soon. These types of initiatives only encourage the release of trophy sized fish. Most truly big fish are spawning females. Keeping them in the water to do their thing is vital to a fishery.
Congrats Mr. Kerns! Hopefully your fish stays in the top spot for a long time to come!