Trout Fishing photo

New Zealand angler Otwin Kandolf’s name has officially been entered into the International Game Fish Association’s (IGFA) record book for taking the biggest brown trout ever on a rod-and-reel–a 42-pound, 1 ounce behemoth he originally thought was a water rat.

An article from the Bay of Plenty Times says that on March 8 the 71-year-old angler was fishing with a friend in Oahu Canal on New Zealand’s south island–an area on many angler’s radar after a string of larger-than-average catches in recent years. Not long into their trip, he sighted one of the infamous large fish.

“My friend was fishing 50m further up and shouted ‘there’s a water rat coming down’.”

But it wasn’t a river rat–it was the dorsal fin of a massive brown trout sticking out of the water that soon disappeared in a swirling pool.

“I cast into the pool a few times. Then I called out, ‘I’m stuck, I’m stuck again’. And then I pulled and pulled and I could see my little red spinner coming up. I didn’t even see the fish at first but then I did and shouted ‘it’s on, it’s on’. He went back up the canal and I followed him up about 100m.”

Unfortunately, neither Kandolf nor his friend had a certified scale or camera with them to document the catch, so they kept it in the refrigerator of a nearby pub overnight. The next day, an unofficial scale measured the fish at 21 kg. Two weeks later, when the scales were certified, the official weight of the fish was documented at 19.1 kg (42 lbs., 1 ounce).

On Saturday, July 27, Jack Vitek, record-keeper with the IGFA, said the agency approved Kandolf’s fish as the new all-tackle world record. It beats out Roger Hellen’s Lake Michigan brownie caught in 2010, which weighed 41 lbs., 8 ounces.

Photo from