Ortonville teenager catches Great Lakes Chinook record | New


Louis Martinez d’Ortonville was not quite sure.

Icebreaker Charters Captain Bobby Sullivan was also beginning to have doubts.

Once Sullivan brought Martinez and his family back to Ray’s Auto Marine weighed the chinook that Martinez caught on Saturday morning, the race was on to see how well a fish had been caught off Big Sable Point in Lake Michigan. .

Shortly after this was confirmed – Martinez pulled out a 47.86 pound, 47 1/2 inch Chinook Salmon that set a new Michigan State Record. The previous state record was 46.06 pounds and 43 1/2 inches captured in 1978 following a collision on the Grand River in Kent County.

“The first 10 minutes were quite a struggle,” Martinez said. “Around the 20’s, 30’s (about a few minutes) he started jumping out of the water. That’s when we took it out and put it in the boat.

“The captain was so happy. (Sullivan) was screaming, ”he said.

Saturday was Martinez’s first time going salmon fishing, and he was with his mother Maria Lemaster, sister Ale Martinez and stepfather David Lemaster.

“We come every year, my husband and I love to go fishing,” said Maria Lemaster. “Every time I’ve invited them over, and this year, for some reason, they’ve decided to go.”

“Try something new,” Martinez said. “It’s (my) first time to catch a salmon.”

At around 7 a.m., the fish struck the line for the first time.

Lemaster said they knew they had a big fish on the line right away.

“The coil started screaming,” she said. “It happened a lot faster than I thought. “

Sullivan said it took about 350 feet of line, and he said he was starting to think he didn’t have enough line. He did, however.

“It took me a big run and then it backfired, and I don’t know if it took a run once (Martinez) started gaining the line,” Sullivan said. “The fish got into a few planks on one side, but once we untangled it and got it on board I just said, oh, man, this thing is a giant.”

As Martinez turned the fish, Sullivan said he slowed down his boat a bit. Martinez said he felt a little sore as he rewound it.

“They were all screaming, and I was like, what did I do?” Martinez said. “(Sullivan) said he weighed over 35 pounds for sure. ‘I know that. I know that.'”

There was a lot of screaming, videos and a few pictures too.

But then the doubts started to set in a bit.

“When it hit the ground, I said, ‘This thing is big.’ And then I started questioning myself, “Sullivan said.” I thought it was pushing 40. I said to (Martinez) ‘You don’t realize what you just caught.’

“I didn’t know, when I weighed it at Ray’s, and I put it on the scale, and I was like…”

Sullivan said because the record fish was brought back around 7:30 a.m., they stayed outside and caught another fish before returning to Ray’s Auto Marine.

“All the time I think I wish I had a ladder, I wish I had a ladder,” Sullivan said.

There, on an uncertified scale, he tipped the scales at over 47 pounds.

They put the fish on a lot of ice, and Sullivan’s other charter boat captains began to praise him.

“He was at the cleaning station and he had it on the scale, and he said that scale can’t be correct,” said Doug Strzynski, Pole Cat captain. “I said, ‘Bobby, that’s a 47. I caught a 37. I know. He hung up the scale again. I told him the scale is good. Bobby’s girth is amazing.

Strzynski said the camaraderie between all the captains they are in is really good.

“Our wharf is beautiful. Everyone shares the way each of us is doing. We don’t care who catches the most.

Sullivan operates a 350-foot weighted steel line with a 30-pound single-filament leader. The rod also had a few hundred feet of 60-pound braided superline support. It was on an Okuma brand rod and reel.

He’s fishing in a 28 1/2 foot Baja Cruiser, and Sullivan estimated the line to be about 60 to 65 feet deep in 200 feet of water near Big Sable Point.

When I was running up there I stayed outside (dozens of boats fishing there on Saturday morning), ”Sullivan said. “And I’m glad I did.”

The record was taken with a Magnum Moonshine Raspberry carbon spoon. The lure is now Martinez’s.

Sullivan is in his fifth season as a charter boat captain and splits his year between Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay and Lake Michigan. He said he typically spent July and August fishing for salmon along Lake Michigan.

After heading to Ray’s Marina and measuring him, the family and charter headed over to Captain Chuck’s II to have him weighed in and see how to get him certified.

“They called and said they had a 47-pound king salmon they wanted to weigh,” said Scott Keegstra, co-owner of Captain Chuck’s II. “We have a derby going on. This is our first derby, and Bobby from Icebreaker is in that derby. When they said 47 pounds you didn’t know what to think.

Keegstra was then able to take a look at the take.

“The minute I saw it I was like, fuck shit, this is huge,” he said. “We put him on the scale, and he was over 47 (pounds), and I immediately knew that was uncharted territory. It’s a state record.

Keegstra made arrangements with Mike Krueger at the Northside Market after speaking with Jay Wesley, the Lake Michigan Basin Coordinator for the Department of Natural Resources, to weigh the fish on a certified scale, which is needed to set a new record. of state.

“The scale (of Kruger), being certified, the official weight was 47.86 (pounds),” Keegstra said. “It was just amazing.”

Wesley left his home in Kalamazoo on Saturday, reviewed the documents and then certified the new state record fish. He announced it as a crowd of dozens watched and flocked to catch a glimpse of the new record.

“I wasn’t sure if we would ever see a new record, but we’ve hit 40 pounds or so over the last few years,” Wesley said. “I was working in my garage and I said to my wife, ‘I’m heading over to Ludington. I have to see this thing.

Wesley said the Muskegon area has seen Chinook salmon weighing over 40 pounds. Wisconsin also registers big fish.

“Amazing to have 47 pounds,” Wesley said. “In fact, the last state record was in 1978, and it was hung in the Grand River. Having this one to officially bite a lure, fished in Lake Michigan and fished in Michigan’s salmon capital, Ludington, is pretty amazing.

The fish is probably a new record for Lake Michigan. Online records show fish under 40 pounds caught in Indiana and Illinois, while a 44-pound, 15-ounce chinook was caught near Door County off Wisconsin on July 19, 1994. .

This could very well be a new record for the species in all of the Great Lakes. Minnesota records show a 33-pound, 4-ounce chinook captured in Lake Superior off St. Louis County. The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters lists a chinook salmon record of 46.38 pounds and 47 inches caught near Oakville, Ontario in Lake Ontario.

While securing everything to certify a new state record, the word quickly spread in the fishing community as well. Around 2 p.m. Captain Chuck’s II was packed with those looking to take a peek at the record fish. The lot filled with cars, trucks and trailers lined the aisles and dozens eventually piled up as Martinez, Sullivan and Keegstra pulled the fish out of its box and onto a ladder.

Dozens produced dozens of phones, trying to capture photos and videos of the new record.

“The fishing community is a relatively small community. I thought we would have our normal fishermen and some of the other clients maybe, ”Keegstra said. “The way this word spread and the draw of people blew me away.” When you think about it, it was a record that was set in the 70s that was broken today by a 19 year old child. Incredible. Incredible.”

The original weekend plan for the Lemaster family was to come on Friday, fish on Saturday, and come home on Sunday. The whirlwind to catch what is a new state record?

“It wasn’t part of the original plan,” Lemaster said.

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