Mom, daughter team up to catch 49-pound lake trout
Sam Cook Duluth News Tribune
Published Sunday, August 24, 2008
For picture: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/articl ... oor%20news
Ontario’s Lake Nipigon is known for giving up an occasional big lake trout, and this summer it was Jeanne Fairbanks’ and Birdie Neuenschwander’s turn. The Hibbing mother and daughter — Birdie’s the mom, Jeanne the daughter — teamed up to catch a 49.4-pound lake trout on the morning of July 16. They were fishing with their husbands, Paul Fairbanks and Dale Neuenschwander.
The fish hit at 26 feet over 250 feet of water, Paul Fairbanks said. It was Birdie’s turn to take the trolling rod, and her daughter helped muscle the fish to the boat for the next 45 minutes.
“They’d get it up, and it would go back to the bottom,” Paul Fairbanks said. “When we got it in the net, I thought, ‘Is this really what I think it is?’”
The couples have been fishing Lake Nipigon for 12 years, and had never caught a lake trout close to that size.
“It was one of those deals you dream of when you’re out fishing,” Paul Fairbanks said.
They caught the fish on a Silver Streak spoon, lime green in color. Overall, fishing was slow during the trip, Paul Fairbanks said. In three days, the party caught a total of seven trout.
Such a fish is rare, even by Lake Nipigon standards, said Norma Cox of the Hook Shop in Beardmore, Ontario, near the eastern shore of Lake Nipigon.
“Maybe once every three years you get a 50-pounder,” Cox said. “The last one was four years ago.”
The largest lake trout Cox has seen was a 60-pounder from Lake Nipigon, five or six years ago, she said. And a commercial fisherman accidentally caught a 60-pound lake trout in his net seven or eight years ago.
Several 35 pounders have been caught this summer, Cox said. The Ontario lake trout record is 63.12 pounds, caught in 1952 on Lake Superior.
Lake Nipigon is about 100 miles north and east of Thunder Bay.
Sam Cook, news tribune outdoors writer