Maryland State Record Rainbow Trout Hooked by Montgomery County Angler

In a remarkable feat, Jean-Philippe Lartigue from Bethesda has clinched the title of the new state record holder for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Nontidal Division, as officially recognized by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Lartigue’s extraordinary catch, a 17.44-pound rainbow trout, occurred on February 10 in the segment of Antietam Creek flowing through Devil’s Backbone County Park in Washington County.

Armed with a 12-foot crappie-style rod, spinning reel, eight-pound test monofilament line, a small split-shot weight, and a No. 8 hook with a natural worm bait, Lartigue skillfully reeled in the massive rainbow trout. His extensive experience as a fisheries biologist in Africa and his adherence to the European style of fishing, learned from his father in Morocco, undoubtedly played a crucial role in this accomplishment. The technique involves using long rods to control the drift and presentation of natural baits, especially effective in swift stream currents.

Reflecting on the intense battle with the fish, Lartigue remarked, “I knew the fish was a very large trout, but I did not see how big it was at the beginning of the fight.” The encounter lasted a challenging 30 minutes, during which the trout made two lengthy runs to the opposite side of the creek, proving difficult to maneuver. Lartigue skillfully navigated the fish away from bridge abutments that posed a threat to the line. Finally, after a strenuous effort, he successfully tired out the fish, securing it with his fingers as he lacked a landing net large enough.

Measuring an impressive 32 inches in length, the weight of Lartigue’s catch was verified on a certified scale at Ernst’s Country Market in Clear Spring, with John Mullican, DNR’s director of freshwater fisheries and hatcheries, confirming the species. The certified weight of 17.44 pounds shattered the longstanding record of 14.2 pounds set by Dave Schroyer on October 21, 1987.

Expressing their astonishment, Recreational Fisheries Outreach Coordinator Erik Zlokovitz stated, “We are extremely impressed by the weight of the fish, which bests the old record by over 3 pounds, a record that many of us in the department thought would never be broken.” Lartigue’s remarkable achievement now stands as a testament to his angling prowess and adds a new chapter to the angling history of Maryland.


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