State Record Chinook Salmon
Michigan DNR

Michigan Teen Breaks State's 43-Year-Old Chinook Salmon Record

Teenager breaks 43-year-old chinook salmon record.

Michigan's chinook salmon record has been seemingly etched in stone for the last 43 years, appearing unbeatable to all challengers. That is until Luis Ricardo Hernandez Martinez came along this past Saturday and re-wrote the Michigan fishing history books.

That is because the 19-year-old managed to land a new state record on his first salmon fishing trip ever while fishing with his family and Icebreaker Charters near Ludington on August 7.

The huge fish measured 47.5 inches long and tipped the scales at 47.86 pounds, eclipsing the old record of 46.06 pounds set by Ray Essex back in 1978.

State Record Chinook Salmon

The Associated Press reports Martinez battled the fish for about 30 minutes after hooking it on a moonshine raspberry spoon. He was fishing with his stepdad, mother, and sister at the time. The size of the fish he was battling was not obvious to the teen until they got the lunker to the boat and the captain and his family got excited.

"They were all screaming, and I was like: 'What did I do?'" Martinez told reporters.

News of the big catch spread fast, and a crowd was gathered to greet the lucky angler when they arrived back at the docks in Ludington. The catch was certified by Michigan Department of Natural Resources Lake Michigan basin coordinator Jay Wesley, who dropped everything else he was doing that morning to go see the fish and certify it as a new state record. Michigan DNR Central Lake Michigan Management Unit Supervisor Scott Heintzelman was also on hand to confirm the huge catch.

"I never expected a catch like this would happen," Martinez said in a Michigan DNR press release. "It's possible for anyone if I can do it! I would like to extend a great 'thank you' to Capt. Bobby, as it was he who made this catch possible for me."

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