Big King Salmon Caught in Lake Erie


When Patricia Burkart convinced her friend Tamica Mickle to join her on a fishing trip, she expected them to return home with some fresh walleye. After all, the last time Burkart went out with Ciao ‘Charters’ Captain Dick Torrelli, the party hit its eye limit at 7.20am. Instead, Mickle made headlines on his first boat trip a 32-inch king salmon to Lake Erie, a very unexpected catch for this body of water.

“Everything about this fish was unusual,” Torrelli told F&S, noting that king salmon had not been stocked in Lake Erie to any significant extent since the 1970s and that Mickle’s fish were found in waters relatively shallow, at 57 feet deep. “There’s no rhyme or reason why a rainbow trout or a salmon would be in such shallow water, where it was 72 degrees. Salmon and rainbow trout like cold water.

The boat was rigged with planer boards, five color lead core line and deep dive Storm lures. When Mickle’s fish bit, the captain knew right away it wasn’t a walleye. “This one jumped right off the trigger and shot behind the boat,” he said. “[Mickle] probably must have wound about 350 feet of line. She did a good job, but it’s a chore.

“I expected to work a little harder to get some fish, but the setup on the boat was really nice,” said Mickle, COO of Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania. “I had never seen king salmon, except when I go to the store, where it is already filleted. I didn’t realize how exciting it was until the Captain came on the radio and announced that a King had been caught.

Chinook salmon, native to the Pacific Ocean, were introduced to all of the Great Lakes, but did not establish in Lake Erie as they did in Ontario, Huron, Michigan and Superior. Pennsylvania doesn’t stock kings anymore, so how Mickle ended up with one at the end of his line is one to guess.

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“I’ve looked at all the salmon stockings and rainbow trout stockings, and now it’s mostly walleye and rainbow trout here,” said Torrelli, who is captain of. charter on the lake for 38 years. “I have been through all the slow times and the fast times. Walleye fishing over the past three or four years has been great, fabulous.

Burkart, CEO of Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, was happy to see her colleague succeed: “I’m so excited for her,” she said. “It will make him want to go fishing with me more!” “

“I will,” confirmed Mickle. “We’re looking at the moons and the calendar for next year, trying to line things up.”

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