New world record Atlantic Salmon (landlocked) ratified by IGFA
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.
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.