Thunder Bay·Video

Ontario teen lands record-breaking freshwater cod

An 18-year-old angler from Thunder Bay may be the new "ling king" of Ontario.

Giant burbot weighs one pound more than current Ontario record of 15.8lb, caught March 14, 2003

Thunder Bay teen lands record-breaking freshwater cod

7 years ago
Duration 0:48
description: 18-year-old angler may be the new 'ling king' of Ontario. Landan Brochu caught a giant burbot weighing one pound more than current Ontario record

An 18-year-old from Thunder Bay may be the new "ling king" of Ontario, when he landed what could be the new Ontario record for the species.

On March 5, Landan Brochu was fishing on Jessie Lake, near Nipigon,Ont., with his father, Richard, when the whopper hit.

"I had a huge hit on my rod so I set the hook," he told CBC News.

"I thought it was a lake trout at first because it just started rippin' it. My rod was completely buckled over."

Brochu said he started reeling the fish up and it took several minutes to get it to the top of the ice hole.

Once the fish was near the the top of the hole, he said he could tell it wasn't a lake trout.

"It was just rolling, instead of trying to swim away even harder." he said.

A 16.8 pound burbot caught by Landan Brochu of Thunder Bay barely fit through an 8-inch hole in the lake ice. (photo credit: Richard Brochu)

Brochu had hooked the fish in an eight-inch hole and had trouble getting the giant's head through. When the burbot's head was finally inside the hole, he said he really got excited.

"It came up and I saw it and it opened it's mouth and I couldn't believe it," said Brochu.

"I started dancing around, I even forgot to grab it and pick it up out of the hole."

The fish started slipping back down the hole, so Brochu stuck his hand into the water wrist deep and grabbed its gills and pulled it up.

"I just looked at it and started jumping again," he said. "I couldn't believe it."

Thunder Bay angler Landan Brochu holds a 16.8 pound burbot he caught March 5, in Jessie Lake, northwestern Ontario. (photo credit: Richard Brochu)

Brochu's father measured the fish and it was 37 inches in length and 22 inches around.

But the anglers had no clue what it might weigh.

"I'd caught a 12-pounder the other weekend and this one topped it for sure," said Brochu.

After the fishing day was done, they returned to Thunder Bay and weighed the fish on a certified scale in a local meat shop.

Landan Brochu's 37-inch burbot sits next to a power ice auger.

The weight was recorded as 16.8 pounds — nearly one pound larger than the present Ontario record burbot weight of 15.8 pounds. That fish was caught by Ernie Arpin on March 14, 2003, and measured 36.5 inches by 21 inches around.

Arpin's record burbot was also caught in Jessie Lake.

Brochu's giant burbot is being entered for consideration in the OFAH/Ontario Record Fish Registry.

There is a process of verification that has to be completed before it becomes a record. For now, it's just a very, very large fish with record book potential.

A potential record breaking fish was caught this past weekend near Nipigon. We will hear from Landon Brochu, who may be the new "ling king" of Ontario

Teen proud of his ugly catch

The Burbot is the only gadiform freshwater fish and is closely related to the marine common ling and the cusk fish.

Some anglers find burbot ugly or slimy, and prefer to cut the line rather than handle them.

But not Brochu.

He loves the cod-like fish and is proud of his catch, whether it become a record or not

"Ling are gorgeous creatures to me and I'm so, so honoured to maybe have this (record) title," he said.

Although Brochu considers burbot delicious eating, he plans to have the fish professionally mounted by a Thunder Bay taxidermist.   

The International Game Fish Association records the world-record burbot as being caught in Lake Diefenbaker, Saskatchewan.

That fish was caught by Sean Konrad on March 27, 2010.

Konrad's world record  burbot weighed 25 lb 2 oz (11.4 kg).


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