The world record Tiger Trout is 24 lb 8 oz. It was caught by angler Caylun Peterson using a nightcrawler in Loon Lake, Washington, USA.
Loon Lake, featured on the map below, is set in the stunning mountains of North Washington and is home to some massive tiger trout, as you can see from Peterson’s tiger trout.
The Story Behind The IGFA World Record Tiger Trout
The way Peterson’s tiger trout came to be landed is a great fishing tale, as most record fish stories are.
Caylun Peterson was a regular angler at Loon Lake and he arrived on that cool morning of the 26-Jun-2021 with the intention of targeting tiger trout since they taste great and fight hard too.
Image Source: https://igfa.org/
He was rigged up with a spinning rod and a whole nightcrawler, which is a big bait, so when the monster tiger trout ate the bait, he knew it was a big fish. Once hooked, the record tiger trout pulled drag for quite a while and he landed it some minutes after.
The thought that the tiger trout was a new record fish didn’t even enter Peterson’s mind and he actually spent quite a while trying to revive the fish and release it so it could grow even bigger. But, the tiger trout wouldn’t revive so he decided to keep it.
The angler then heard from his buddies that the state record tiger trout caught was 18 lbs at which point Caylun got very excited as he knew the trout was bigger than the previous state record and that he had just set the new state record tiger trout.
Caylun then took the state record to be weighed at the Washington Department of Wildlife office in Spokane where he discovered it weighed 24 pounds and 8 ounces. This is when Caylun realized he has just caught the new IGFA World Record tiger trout, the biggest tiger trout caught on the planet, ever.
About Tiger Trout
Tiger trout are a sterile hybrid fish produced by crossing a female brown trout with a male brook trout.
This is a natural cross of brown trout and brook trout does happen in the wild but it is extremely rare and 99.9% of the tiger trout on the planet are hatched in a hatchery and then stocked into lakes.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks Loon Lake with around 10,000 tiger trout every fall and since the tiger trout WDFW stocks are sterile, they don’t waste any energy spawning and thus can grow to huge sizes.
Since tiger trout come out of a hatchery, you can go fishing for them all over the world so long as a fishery has decided to stock them. Loon Lake is one of the top tiger trout fisheries but as is Lake Michigan.
Where Else Have Record Tiger Trout Been Caught?
Lake Michigan, Wisconsin, USA
The previous record fish, world record that is, was caught in Lake Michigan in August of 1978 and it was both the world record and state record for tiger trout at the time.
This record fish weighed in at an amazing 20 pounds and 13 ounces but the record Caylun Peterson caught certainly blew this one out of the water. It was caught by Pete Friedland using conventional tackle and the fish still stands as the 20 lb line class record and the state record in Wisconsin.
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Duncton Mill, Sussex, United Kingdom
The biggest tiger trout caught on the fly was caught by Luke Butcher while he was fishing at Duncton Mill Fishery in Sussex, UK. The fish weighed in at 16 lbs 12 oz and Luke holds the 8 lb class tippet for this fish caught on the fly.
Oddly enough, the Duncton Mill holds another 4 world records on the fly and they were all caught within two days.
The fishing must have been fantastic on the 08-Sep-2001 when four world record fish were landed to take the 8 lb, 12 lb, 16 lb, and 20 lb class tippet world records with fish weighing between 12 and 16 lbs.
The next day, on the 09-Sep-2001 the 2 lb class tippet world record was set by Stan Massey with an amazing 10 lb 11 oz. A fish of this size is not easy to land on a 2 lb tippet and especially on a fly rod, it must have pulled drag for a long time.
Fish Lake and Roses Lake, Washington
The WDFW stocks other places outside of Loon Lake in Washington State and both Fish and Roses Lake hold world records.
On the 27-May-2008, angler Evan Roda broke the 8 lb line class record while fishing on Fish Lake. The angler was lucky and skillful enough to land a monster 13 lb 12 oz fish to take the record.
Kirk Herrin while fishing on Roses Lake also found a record. The angler landed a giant of a 15 lb 5 oz tiger to break and hold the 12 lb line class record on 11-Apr-2012.
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Central Highlands, Victoria, Australia
Being mainly a hatchery fish, you can go fishing for these special trout in a lot of places in the world. One fishing spot that you might not have thought would be so productive for record tigers is in the Central Highlands of Victoria, Australia.
This area holds three world records including 2 lb and 4lb line class world records that were both caught by the same angler, Frank Bluch.
The same angler, Frank Bluch, also holds the world record on the fly for a 4 lb class tippet and he caught this record on the same day as he caught the 2 lb line class record.
Can you imagine catching two world records in one day? I’m sure Frank celebrated in the best way possible.
How Do I Catch Big Tiger Trout?
The tactics required for catching big tigers are the same as targeting a big brown trout or brook trout. They will feed on small bait fish, big leeches, worms, and more. Use a large lure, bait or fly that matches these kinds of natural prey and fish them deep.
Another key to finding big tigers is fishing in the right place, and the best spots are the places we have just run through in the article, so head there if you aren’t too far away.