World-record-breaking monster trout mystery: “He’s just a guy who wants to be left alone”

News
1999

24.9kg brown trout is believed to have been caught, dwarfing previous records. But fisherman says he wants to be left alone.

Last week, SalmonBusiness reported that a salmon farmer who helped the angler by keeping the monster fish cool with ice may may be able to confirm the record.

The nzherald wrote the angler said to have caught has pledged to hide the fish from public view if he is hounded over the record-breaking catch.

Local business owner Richard Hill said he believed “100 percent” in the story of a 24.9kg brown trout being caught. But he said the proof remained elusive and could completely disappear if the media buzz over the catch didn’t calm down.

“The guy who caught it, he isn’t a recluse. He’s just a guy who wants to be left alone. He’s a shy guy,” Hill added.

Once he had the fish landed, the angler wrapped it in his shirt to keep it cool before getting ice from a nearby salmon farm. High Country Salmon and Mount Cook Alpine Salmon are closest to the site in question. SalmonBusiness approached them for comment, but they have declined to reply.

Fish & Game NZ has called for the angler to come forward with the fish, which was apparently caught about two weeks before Christmas after an epic two and a half hour battle.

In an email to SalmonBusiness, Rhys Adams Officer at Central South Island Fish & Game Council explained:

“In last weeks’ fishing report, I mentioned that a 55 lb brown trout was said to have been caught at the canals recently. The mystery of who caught it and what it looked like sparked huge interest in the national media. Our search for confirmation of the catch has come to a standstill as the angler appears to want to remain anonymous. It is possible we will never discover the identity of the angler and the record may not be claimed, but there is still a good chance we will get to see the fish.

“Richard Hill at Oamaru Outdoors and Sports, who originally informed me of the catch, is confident that if we leave the angler in peace, we will get to see the fish once taxidermy is completed. This catch is too impressive to hide away on someone’s lounge wall. I reckon we just respect the anglers wishes and wait patiently for them to produce evidence of the catch in their own time.

“One thing is for sure, 55 lb is way bigger than the current record of 42.1 lb set by Otwin Kandolf at the Ohau Canal in 2013 and It begs the question, has there always been 50+ lb brown trout in the canals but this is the first landed? There have been other massive brown trout caught, some thought to exceed the record, but none to my knowledge over 50 lb.”