Final Friday, Gunnison, Colo. angler Scott Enloe hit the waters of Blue Mesa Reservoir, hoping to land a giant lake trout. Certainly he did, boating a possible Colorado state file and Worldwide Sport Fish Affiliation world file that weighed 73.29-pounds on digital scales whereas measuring 47-inches in size and 37-inches in girth. (Photograph courtesy of Scott Enloe)

When homebuilder Scott Enloe launched his boat onto the chilly waters of Colorado’s Blue Mesa Reservoir late final week, he hoped to catch one thing massive from its depths.

On opening day of the season at Blue Mesa following ice off, he did greater than that, catching an enormous lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) that suggestions the digital scales to a staggering weight of 73.29-lbs. Amazingly, that mark that’s a couple of pound above the present Worldwide Sport Fish Affiliation world file for the char species native to northern North America, together with some western and northeastern U.S. waters the place it has been launched.

Whereas he knew this laker was enormous from begin to end—it additionally measured out at 47-inches lengthy and 37-inches in girth—Enloe’s first actual inkling of what had been caught got here when he and his son Hunter tried to weigh the fish on his 26-year previous son’s digital scales. When the load registered on the system, it merely learn “FULL.”

With that 50-lb. scale bottomed out, the father-son workforce of anglers discovered Scott’s digital scale within the boat, which fits as much as 100-pounds. When it settled in, the pair was left speechless, taking a look at plenty of greater than 73-pounds.


After a lifetime of fishing—Enloe notes he was as soon as fished competitively in skilled bass derbies and was a multi-year member of the USA Fly Fishing Group—the 50-year previous Gunnison resident had a fish that was a “Mega Monster Big!” as his son described it. 

Take a look at video of the catch: 

The catch capped a tremendous hour of fishing on the season’s first day, one which Scott and Hunter will always remember solely three weeks after Enloe returned from rebuilding broken properties within the Sanibel Island/Fort Meyers space after Class 5 Hurricane Ian devastated southwest Florida final September.

Again house in Colorado—his second stint within the Centennial State following a transfer again seven-years in the past after rising up in North Carolina—Enloe was greater than able to hit the water after a winter that by no means wished to finish. With file chilly and snow gripping a lot of Colorado and the western U.S. earlier this 12 months, the angler says that the ice on Blue Mesa was as a lot as 40-inches thick on some events this previous winter.

“It was sunny and chilly, about 28 levels after we acquired on the water final Friday,” stated Enloe of the Could 5, 2023 outing. “It was opening day, with the ice lastly coming off. There was nonetheless ice on the lake from winter, simply three days earlier.”

Since transferring again to Colorado, Enloe has developed a ardour for bowhunting elk along with his son, fly fishing on the Lake Fork of the Gunnison, and chasing the large lake trout that swim within the clear depths of Blue Mesa. A lot in order that his son is an space information and Enloe purchased a Tracker Professional V 175, full with a Mercury 115 and Lowrance electronics back and front, to determine the way to catch these massive lakers.

The IGFA gamefish records book, opened to page about lake trout
Cutline: Has the IGFA world file for lake trout been damaged? Perhaps, if the load of a file e book buster from Colorado’s Blue Mesa Reservoir close to Gunnison will get licensed. That world class laker, a 73.29-pound large caught by angler Scott Enloe on Friday morning, Could 5, 2023, measured 47-inches in size and 37-inches in girth earlier than it was photographed and launched again into the Gunnison County reservoir. (Lynn Burkhead photograph)

“I’ve tried to check these fish, to determine them out, and to attempt to catch a extremely massive one,” stated Enloe. “I wasn’t making an attempt to catch a 73-pounder, essentially, however I’ve been making an attempt to catch one which pushes previous the 45- or 50-lb. mark. We’ve caught lots within the 30s, some within the low 40s, and that was the purpose to get past that.”

After being third in line on the boat ramp, Enloe and his son had been quickly underway, heading to a spot later than traditional on the calendar.

“Usually we’re fishing for these lakers the second week of April, however after this winter, every little thing is a full month delayed with the ice getting off late,” he stated. “Normally by this time, the fish have began out into deeper water of their seasonal sample and they are often harder to catch on the market within the tremendous deep water that may be 200, 250, and even close to 300 ft typically.”

For the reason that lakers spawn within the fall, the important thing for Enloe now could be to mimic the kokanee salmon which might be an enormous a part of a lake trout’s springtime weight loss program. Utilizing an Abu Garcia baitcasting reel, a 7’11” 2X Heavy Okuma Information Choose rod, and 10-lb. take a look at Seaguar InvizX fluorocarbon line, the pair of anglers was quickly in enterprise with Hunter touchdown a 31-pounder round 6:45 a.m. to open the present. 

After Hunter misplaced one other related sized fish, it was Scott’s flip almost an hour later when he tossed his one-ounce Gunnison Sports activities Clothing store jig head into the water and let it fall.

“I used to be utilizing a six-inch tube bait on that jig head, nothing fancy,” stated Enloe. “That is vertical jigging and the tube jig itself was a type of a bronze multi-colored sample with some holographic stuff in it, together with a stout Trokar 6/0 hook too. It type of resembles a kokanee salmon, or no less than that’s what you’re hoping for.”

As Enloe labored the lure, he hoped to catch a giant laker out of a pair of fish displaying up on the Lowrance Ti2 depth finders: “We see two massive fish and so they regarded like 35-pounders.”

However what occurred subsequent was one thing that neither Scott nor his son had been ready for.

“Unexpectedly, this fish got here on the display,” stated Enloe. “It’s 3 times larger than every other mark we’ve seen and is purple, teal, and black, multi functional massive mark like we’ve by no means seen earlier than. We all know what a 35-pounder is like, and Hunter even requested if it was probably two fish as an alternative of 1. I stated I didn’t know and centered my consideration on my jig, which I might additionally see on the graph.”

A second or two later, Enloe’s day modified dramatically for the nice.

“It simply nosedived on the depth finder, down about 5 ft to my jig,” he stated. “I can see the jig on the backside—we had been in about 39-feet—and because it nosedived, I turned my head and regarded on the line, concentrating to see what was occurring with it. Unexpectedly, the road curls up a bit on prime of the water and I felt the slightest tick on my rod. No matter it was, I knew it had simply bit and I set the hook exhausting.”

That’s when the angling model of all-heck broke lose for Enloe and his son.

“It got here to the floor inside what appeared like two or three seconds,” stated Scott. “We noticed it come up, then Hunter moved to get the trolling motor up and out of the water, and the fish noticed the boat and turned and went straight again down.

“I had seen the fish briefly, and Hunter had not, and I instructed him that it was a 50-plus pounder. He instructed me in a while that once I stated that he didn’t imagine me as a result of we’ve by no means caught one in that vary. And to be sincere, it wasn’t the craziest combating fish, simply pure weight on the opposite finish.”

Issues acquired even crazier after a 15 to twenty minute battle as Scott wrestled the large laker in the direction of the boat.

“It was only a monster, an enormous fish that wouldn’t match into the web,” he stated. “I’ve the largest Frabill internet you should purchase and it wouldn’t match, not even shut.”

With the left-handed angler holding his rod on that facet, Enloe used his proper hand to seize the web in order that Hunter might get each palms on the netting course of down under on the waterline. 

An angler holds an enormous lake trout with both arms.
Irrespective of the way you have a look at the monster lake trout landed by Scott Enloe final Friday morning at Colorado’s Blue Mesa Reservoir, it’s world-class massive. After bottoming out a 50-lb. digital scale, a 100-pound digital scale was pressed into service and it confirmed a weight of 73.29 kilos. The fish stands poised to turn out to be a brand new IGFA world file and Colorado state file pending certification. (Photograph courtesy of Scott Enloe)

“It wasn’t actually within the internet after we lastly acquired it landed,” laughed Scott. “It was type of cradled on prime of the web and we wrestled it up into the boat. After having a look at it, Hunter stated ‘Dad, what did you simply catch?’ And I stated I didn’t know, however I knew that it had simply smashed the Colorado state file.”

The present Colorado lake trout file was set on Could 23, 2007 when Donald Walker landed a 50-pound, 5-ounce laker at Blue Mesa. That lake trout had a reported size of 44 1/4 inches and a girth of 34 3/8 inches.

Previous to that, the Colorado state file was a 46-pound, 14-ounce laker that reportedly measured at 42 1/2 inches in size when it was caught at Blue Mesa in 2002 by angler Larry Cornell. 

As spectacular as a licensed Colorado state file can be, what can be much more superb is the IGFA world file that might be forthcoming after taking a look on the 2023 version of the IGFA World Report Sport Fishes e book.

In that lately launched quantity, the IGFA All-Sort out World Report lake trout is a 72-pound laker pulled from Nice Bear Lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories, a benchmark caught by Lloyd Bull on Aug. 19, 1995.

It’s price noting right here that there have been social media rumors and on-line tales of even larger lake trout being caught within the final half century, however the numbers both weren’t verifiable or the fish was caught by subsistence strategies. 

It’s additionally price noting that Enloe’s massive laker is a possible state and world file. That’s as a result of he selected to let the large fish go since he’s a conservation minded catch-and-release angler who says it by no means as soon as entered his thoughts to kill this lake trout that might be upwards of fifty or 60 years previous. So devoted is he to fastidiously caring for these demons of the deep, Enloe and his son acquired the catch-and-release course of accomplished in only two minutes. 

That’s spectacular contemplating that they needed to do some further work to get the large laker’s head and gills into the oxygenated water of the reside properly, then get their scale and tape measure prepared. As soon as they had been helpful, the fish was weighed, measured, photographed and launched, all in very quick order.

Now, each the state and the IGFA must take a better look to make it possible for Enloe’s digital scale readout was correct, together with the measurement course of too. If he does get the IGFA All-Sort out world file by weight, that’s nice, and if not, it ought to be a slam dunk on the All-Sort out size file because the present benchmark of 109 cm (or 42.9 inches) is well exceeded by Enloe’s laker measuring out to 47-inches.

Lastly, it’s attention-grabbing that to some observers, Enloe’s fish seems to be even larger than reported. In truth, with the size and girth numbers punched into the net calculator supplied by, the calculated weight zooms out much more to an astonishing potential weight of 80.42-pounds.

Enloe shrugs, says he is aware of he did the precise factor by caring for the fish and letting it go, and he’ll have a reproduction made by Andy John’s Residing Waters Fish Replicas out of Charleston, S.C.

“Andy is making me a reproduction together with three or 4 others since some shops round right here wish to show this massive lake trout of their companies too,” stated Enloe. “However he did inform me that it will likely be slightly costlier than traditional as a result of he doesn’t have a kind this massive for a lake trout. So he’ll must customized make a kind and cost me slightly extra, however I assume that’s a great downside to have, proper?”

Enloe is amazed on the angling world’s response to the fish, particularly since he didn’t put it on his personal Fb web page initially. Nonetheless, the story has gone viral and he’s fielding telephone calls from information retailers throughout America within the days since. It seems to be like he’ll even be reside on the Fox Information morning present later this week.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” he stated. “I despatched it (images) to seven or eight of my good buddies, then swiftly, my telephone is off the hook. I’ve had 9 telephone calls because you and I’ve been on the telephone and it’s been continuous like that since final Saturday morning.”

Sarah, Enloe’s spouse of 31 years had simply knowledgeable Scott throughout our Tuesday name that he and the fish had been on Animal Planet. So too are his daughters, 30-year previous Hailey, who’s married and lives in North Carolina, and his 11-year previous daughter Bella who has had faculty buddies ask in regards to the fish.

The viral consideration coming in is as spectacular as the large fish is simply too. Enloe stated he’s obtained greater than 800 telephone messages (texts and/or calls), together with hundreds of thousands of views on Tik Tok.

“A buddy of mine posted it (the video) on TikTok, and this morning,, it had over 600,000 views,” he stated. “Another person right here on the town additionally posted it on TikTok, and that posting had over 700,000 views. Altogether, that’s 1.3 million views for this massive fish. I assume the phrase is out.”

Certainly it’s, because of a world class lake trout that zoomed into Enloe’s life on a chilly, spring morning with Colorado’s snow-capped 14ers looming within the distance on opening day. Now that’s a fishing journey that will likely be exhausting to prime, even at Blue Mesa.

“It was a loopy day and I hope it occurs to each different angler of their lifetime,” stated Enloe. “That is each fisherman’s dream and I’m residing it and I’m blessed and grateful for all of it.” 

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