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New world record Atlantic Salmon (landlocked) ratified by IGFA

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Tom Aufiero of Lafayette Ind., holds up the new IGFA world record landlocked Atlantic salmon he caught on a fly last October while fishing Torch Lake. The fish weighed 26 pounds, 12 ounces. Photo by Matt Supinski Tom Aufiero of Lafayette Ind., holds up the new IGFA world record landlocked Atlantic salmon he caught on a fly last October while fishing Torch Lake. The fish weighed 26 pounds, 12 ounces. Photo by Matt Supinski

The International Gamefish Association announced Monday that a 26-pound, 12-ounce catch from Michigan, USA is the new IGFA All-Tackle world record for landlocked Atlantic salmon.

by Howard Meyerson - The Grand Rapids Press

The last thing Tom Aufiero expected last October, while fly fishing Torch Lake for Atlantic salmon, was to hook a world record. But that is what he did.

The International Gamefish Association announced Monday that the 54-year-old Indiana heart surgeon’s 26-pound, 12-ounce catch is the new IGFA All-Tackle world record for landlocked Atlantic salmon. He set another record too catching it on 6-pound test line.

“She didn’t hesitate at all,” said Aufiero, of Lafayette Ind. who caught the big female on a tiny shrimp pattern known as a mysis. She took his first cast with that fly after refusing several others.

“We were working the edges looking for fish,” he said. “The water is very clear. She would be interested in a fly the first time or two (casted), but was always reluctant to take it. We fished on an off for a couple of hours. It was that small shrimp fly that piqued its interest.”

Good thing too, said Aufiero’s fishing guide, Matt Supinski, owner of the Gray Drake Lodge on the Muskegon River. Supinski and Aufiero had spent several successful days fishing steelhead on the Muskegon River, then opted to go to Torch Lake for something different after the Muskegon turned muddy following a big release of water from Croton Dam.

“I was pulling my hair out, running out of hope having tried everything,” said Supinski about Aufiero’s fish. “I’d changed flies 16 or 17 times. Then I decided there must be some mysis shrimp in the lake and put one on figuring to give it one more try.

“Tom dead-drifted the shrimp and she saw it, then moved three to four feet off the bottom and just engulfed it. Tom, being a good steelhead fisherman, knew not to set the hook too early. Then he stuck the fish and all hell broke loose.”

Aufiero said he fought the salmon for 15 minutes and called it “a dogged fight,” before landing the big female.

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Comments (4 posted):

mcnerney on 17/03/2011 14:27:44
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Paul: That was a great story, thanks for sharing! Larry
piscatorial_phd on 17/03/2011 15:05:06
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Man, fished that area alot with my uncle when I was a kid. There was a time, near Croton dam that they permitted snagging. I don't think that is done anymore, but I remember it being shoulder to shoulder like the California Gold Rush. Thanks for posting the article it sure makes me want to go back.
Glen Wright on 17/03/2011 19:25:31
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Now that is pretty cool!
Editor on 23/03/2011 11:03:53
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What I particularly like is how these record breaking fish just turn up and give some unsuspecting angler who was just out for fun their moment of fame - great stuff! :D
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salmon, michigan, world record, igfa

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